Thursday, August 21, 2014

What it is that we need in an APS superintendent

There is about to be compiled, an enormous list of every quality a superintendent could and must display.

I heard one at public forum last night, I hadn't heard before.
I use it for no other reason than that.

It was part of a presentation by a group of people coping with the Esquivel Modrall procedural directive.  Because Esquivel and the board don't want them to pool their time and elect one speaker, they were taking turns presenting successive parts of a cogent thought too complex to convey in 60 seconds.  Oddly, the procedural directive requires that people with the same thing to say, must select one of them to say it in one unit of time.

"Culturally proficient".  We need a superintendent and superintendency that is more culturally proficient than the last.

Let's say we find the most culturally proficient candidate in the entire United States and hire them.  How much will that one person contribute to the overall cultural proficiency of the community?

The problem is not that the last superintendent lacked cultural proficiency, it was that he made no use of the cultural proficiency available to him.

There are nearly 100, 000 years of teaching experience in the APS.  There are thousands and thousands of employees.  There are hundreds of thousands of stake and interests holders who between them, know more than anyone can bring.  It is highly unlikely that anyone can bring anything new or revolutionary.  There is no magic; there are no magicians.

There is no expertise or acumen that any candidate can bring to APS, that is not already here.

We need a superintendent who is capable of facilitating the meaningful participation of all interest and stakeholders in decision making that affects their interests.

We need a facilitator.

A proven facilitator, a superintendent with both

1.  manifest character and

2.  competence.
Substitute in the preceding argument for culturally proficient, any other quality you can imagine.  Is there even one, the fruit of which is not already hanging on tree unharvested?

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