Two weeks ago, our local district superintendent was effectively removed from her postion, after an 18-month long reign of terror. Since I still work for my school system, it’s unwise and ill-advised of me to go into specific detail. What I can say is that, while she governed our school corporation, our high school guidance department, our IT division, our high school technology department, a brand new Spanish teacher, and (in total) 26 employees all walked away from the school district, most in the final months of her tenure. Furthermore, the ALEC driven notion that fresh, new blood would come in a save a crippled school system never panned out in our real-world experience. We were left short-staffed, fearful and paranoid, and stressfully overworked. In the end, it was public outcry on the internet (via the local newspaper, Facebook and Twitter chatter, and via an online petition to remove our Super) that forced changes.
Today, we have a new superintendent, and our new leadership is promoting stability, continuity, and less micro-management. The good news from this experience, is that it proved that public wrath can effect swift changes. The bad news, as the above comic suggests, is that the state and national mechanisms which allowed our former superintendent to abuse her office are still in place. We may have changed our own local direction (as much as the state will allow at the moment), but other school corporations haven’t learned our painful lessons. I fear (to loosely paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi), that “Other systems may suffer the same fate as Greencastle.”