Wouldn’t it be something if the largest school district in the State of Nebraska would take a page from what is happening nationally, and allow an OUTSIDER, with diverse leadership experience and ideas and methods that are new to public education, to take the reins of leadership? But what are the chances of that happening in the coming days, as the Omaha Public Schools selects a new superintendent to replace Mark Evans? Slim to none.
The nation elected the ultimate political outsider, Donald Trump, in an apparent rebuke of the status quo, the entrenched political leadership, and the same-old, same-old oriented bureaucracy in our national governance. That’s the obvious political will of the American electorate. So why shouldn’t one of Nebraska’s largest units of government, OPS, follow suit and put in place an outsider as superintendent?
Because the game is pre-set. You have to be a certified teacher. Note:
Therefore, you have to emerge from the Groupthink Swamp of public education. The chance of getting a divergent thinker and breakthrough artist are nearly zero, as a result.Nebraska’s insistence on this “insider” credential is the same in most of the 50 states, although a growing number are allowing business executives, retired military leaders, visionaries and others to take educational power and try to break the old, ineffective habits and methods that aren’t getting a lot of the students anywhere.
Certified teachers, by definition, are not innovators. They almost never have any management experience outside of the school setting. You can’t lead where you haven’t been. So we seem ordained to go ’round and ’round the mulberry bush in public education, censoring out any fresh, new ideas from the private sector or other types of governmental operations, because of the rule that the leader has to be an INSIDER.
Four years from now, just imagine if a lot of this nation’s economic, foreign policy and social justice indicators are more positive than they are now — because of the leadership of an OUTSIDER — while the accountability factors by which we measure OPS — standardized test scores, graduation rates, suspension and expulsion rates, racial achievement gap, number of students of color in Advanced Placement classes, etc. — stays the same or gets even worse — because of the ineffectiveness of an INSIDER who just doesn’t know any other way than the same-old, same-old.
We’ll have to stay tuned. Note: the OPS board plans a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to narrow the field of candidates for the supe job to three from the 33 applicants now on record. Public interviews are scheduled for March 6,7 and 8, and the board hopes to have its new supe appointed by later in March.