Asking for a friend because the shoe has dropped and if deaf politicians are going to do it to us again, at least they should have the courtesy to drop a shoe of our choosing on our heads.
Now comes the long-awaited news that everyone’s politician-they-love-to-hate, Jason Fischer, District 16 for Mandarin (Jacksonville), has filed his long-promised J-1 bill to require that the Superintendent of Schools be an elected position.
Jason believes strongly in democracy; as his website proclaims, he “believes in being an active and responsible citizen.” Responsible and active enough that his first version of the bill did not attempt to change the superintendency to an elected position, but to eliminate that feature from the school board.
Yes, Jason first wanted to make the school-board appointed by the mayor before the mayor said he’d rather have an elected superintendent.
Grumpy Old Teacher won’t bother you with that cliche, “I was for it before I was against it.” (Oops, he just did.)
But maybe Jason has a point. Maybe we should elect all school personnel. How would you like to vote for the principal of your school? Every two years, your principal should have to stand for election and explain why you should vote for her. No need to defend a record, no need for academic expertise or educational degrees in leadership, all that matters is a few billboards, radio commercials, and enough votes for the office.
Let’s not stop there. How about teachers? Let’s vote every year on classroom teachers. Let’s see, what’s important to parents and kids? Yeah, grades. Classroom policies about late work. Insistence on being on time; discipline referrals. Why not let the people vote?
Who cares if the teacher is qualified? Is content knowledge about their subject even important? GOT teaches math, but no one ever asks about his certification from the state to teach middle and high school. No one ever asks about his college transcripts–what background and learning he brings to the school. No one ever asks how long he has worked with children and does he have a clue about pedagogy (how children learn) and adolescent development.
Few ever ask about test scores. (Thank goodness!) But what does even that matter?
Naw, let’s just have a vote–qualifications be damned. And if GOT turns out to be a poor choice, vote him out next year and ignore the wasted year his current students have gone through.
There should have been a sarcasm alert with this post. But now that you’ve got the idea, what makes anybody think electing an unqualified superintendent, more concerned with satisfying political pressures and constituencies than seeing that sound education practices are in the schools (because sometimes that is very unpopular), is a good idea?
Jason does. Because he is beholden to a political boss, his employer with charter school interests, and the likes of the new American feudalists who run this town.