Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Worse Job Security than College Coaches

Discussing the vacancy at the head of the Metropolitan Nashville school system, Roger Abramson suggests that anyone "dumb enough to want such a terrible job" immediately disqualifies himself. That reminds me of a friend -- a school superintendent in another district in Tennessee -- who told me, in response to my hypothetical question, that they would not consider the Nashville job under any circumstances.

Isn't that where many big city school systems have gotten themselves? In Dallas, Texas, the school system has had seven superintendents in eleven years. The current head, who has been here for less than two years, has tried to deflect the blame for the systemic organizational chaos that resulted in the sudden discovery of an $85 million budget deficit. He may deserve some blame, but candidly, an organization of that size that has had seven leaders in eleven years has given no one an opportunity to change the direction of the failing system.

The only people who take these jobs are either martyrs or people who relish the idea of living off money from guaranteed contracts for a time. Why else would anyone do it?


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