State Sen. Justin Wayne of northeast Omaha is wise to call for the Omaha Public Schools to toss out the names of the three finalists just announced for the OPS superintendent’s spot, appoint an interim supe to place-hold, and start a new search.
Why? Because right now there is tremendous groupthink on that OPS school board. The three candidates are a perfect reflection of that. “Groupthink” came into popular parlance after the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, in which the NASA “insiders” ignored warnings that resulted in a defective O-ring seal malfunctioning.
In the same way, the philosophies and methods at OPS have resulted in disappointing and even appalling results for disadvantaged students for at least two generations because of the “groupthink” in Nebraska’s largest school district. Look for the union label. You can’t expect people who’ve never done anything else besides what they are doing now, the way they’ve always done it, to recognize the problems that they themselves caused. They literally don’t know any better. That’s why you need an OUTSIDER in a key job, such as superintendent, who can introduce private-sector concepts that can solve those systemic problems.
Cue President Trump’s speech to Congress and the nation last night. Everybody’s raving and happy — because an OUTSIDER is taking on the “groupthink” in Washington, D.C., and there’s tangible hope for meaningful change.
We need someone like Trump for OPS superintendent — preferably with a better hairdo. But you know what I mean.
Wayne should know about the groupthink in OPS. The attorney is a longtime board member until he won election to the Unicameral last fall. He was the only person with the brains to recognize that there was a serious managerial problem in OPS as shown by the fact that it did not even have a “flow chart” of its personnel. Instead of being acknowledged as a problem-solver and a good adviser of practical, no-brainer organizational basics, he was bullied and ostracized and the target of all kinds of negative actions. That backlash again demonstrates the groupthink that has a chokehold on OPS . . . and our kids.
You go, Sen. Wayne. Now let’s just see if the “groupies” in OPS will “get it” and do what they should have in the first place — get an outsider. They should dissolve the requirement that you have to be a certified teacher. They should go after a newly-retired general or CEO with a successful track record and bona fides in organizational management . . . and the guts to turn that district around.