There are 61 applicants for the position of Charlottesville superintendent, Sarah Berry reports in today’s Daily Progress. About a third are from Virginia, about three quarters are male, and no data on race or ethnicity has been gathered. The search firm is going to recommend a half dozen applicants on Monday. Hopefully this time the search firm will at least google the applicants first. Maybe the school board can hire Bob Gibson to research ’em. (I’m only half kidding.)
4 thoughts on “Sixty One Superintendent Applicants”
I’m of two minds on this. Because I strongly believe that Charlottesville and much of Virginia suffers from “The Grass Is Greener In The Other State” syndrome, I would like to see the board select someone with a proven track record from within the state.
However I also think that to make any real changes to the system one needs an outsider who can come in and make those tough decisions. And I think that real changes are needed. That said, I really don’t think they are serious about making changes, and I’d hate to see them blow another “quarter of a million plus” on yet another failed superintendent.
So I guess if it’s going to be “business as usual” let’s just promote from within and find the best in-state candidate.
I disagree with the statement that change has to come from outside. The problem with bringing in a white knight to ride in and save the school system is that said knight doesn’t know our school system, doesn’t know our teachers, doesn’t know our students. They might have a very clever one-size-fits-all solution to everything, but it might not fit us, or it might not fit as well as a solution developed in house, by people who actually know Charlottesville. I believe that our teachers and administrators already know what the problems and opportunities are, and with a competent leader could figure out what the right solutions are. I think Charlottesville would be better served by promoting from within.
Lyle Solla-Yates wrote:
I disagree. If our teachers and administrators already know what the problems and opportunities are then why is there still a problem? If they could solve the problem it should have been solved by now. They’ve had their chances they blew it. The problems with the city school system are not something that’s new within the past 3 years, they are in my opinion institutional problems.
And if I’m being hard on the city school system, it’s because I grew up within it and have seen it from the inside- warts and all.
The advantages from hiring “outside” is that you get someone who’s free from attachments to everyone else’s political agenda or associated affiliations. Someone who can bring a fresh eye and different perspective to the situation.
I agree with Lyle on this score: there are people inside the system who understand the challenges facing the system just as well as any outsider, and, being familiar with the system and situation, are far better equipped to deal with it.
Although Ron Hutchinson, for instance, did not institute broad sweeping changes, since his was clearly a caretaker administration, he did make some smaller reforms, in many cases simply with personnel decisions, that resulted in significant improvements.
There is an assumption in the Charlottesville Community that the problems are simply ones of management and instruction – and therefore a strong “cleaning house” among faculty and staff will be a panacea – that’s so fundamentally wrong-headed and demonstrates a real ignorance of the situation. The problems facing the school system are principally ones of demographics. Charlottesville has a proportionately large “disadvantaged” community – and this is not a codeword for ‘race’. Reduced lunch (economic) numbers will give the best picture.
Finally, FWIW, I don’t think hiring someone from another system in Virginia (as the article suggests) constitutes an “inside hire;” hiring someone from CCS does. Reading comprehension is among the real issues challenging our community, obviously.
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