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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Sign of the Apocalypse?

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Albrecht Durer

An editorial in The Oklahoman newspaper today mirrored much that I have said so far about the fact that we should look internally for our next superintendent. Quoting part of the article:

It isn't unusual for urban districts to seek superintendents with experience leading urban schools — with good reason, because urban districts have some unusual challenges. But Oklahoma City's recent superintendent history shows the pitfalls of going beyond state borders to find a schools chief.

They make a particular recomendation to the school district to consider suburban school superintendents. I disagree with them there. If the candidate has not had considerable experience with the particular problems of urban schools, then s/he will lack the ethos needed to persuade the administrators, teachers, staff and patrons to follow his/her vision for the district.

I don't know if I should be concerned about the fact that the Oklahoman and I see this issue similarly. Perhaps this is more a case of common sense rising to the surface.

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