Thursday, November 18, 2004

How about we remove the Superintendent's Office

What was the last good thing the Superintendent did for you?

This just in from the Oakland School District. Perhaps it is time for us to remove the districting system as a cumbersome mechanism for school improvement and move the direction of the dollars expensed in the housing of so many offices that produce nothing but bureaucratic breeze direct to the schools that are foundering.


"Private auditors say they found that district officials concealed a growing deficit and understated expenses by nearly $38 million.

Meantime, state administrator Randolph Ward has recommended closing down five more schools in Oakland. The district closed five other schools just a few months ago. No final decision on the school closures will be made until December 8."

End of slice:

The invention of the school district is rooted in the generation of the public school system about 150 years ago as a means to develop quality curriculum when the only teachers available were single women with no formal credentials. That is, the only person with a Ph.D. and the ability to develop curriculum back in the mid-1800s was the Superintendent. These days, the superintendent is as far removed from development of the curriculum in schools as the local starbucks barrista. Teachers are well qualified and able to generate curriculum. No need for the superintendent.

We are long over due for a complete overhaul of an ancient educational system that is broken in terms of providing an equal opportunity for an equal education. And, it is time to start at the top by changing how the districting system is organized by removing the superintendents office. The cash used to run such offices is better spent closer to the students; directly on improving the schools.

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