A well-researched article in Sunday’s paper discusses the changes in the top job at six local public school districts since last summer. “Superintendent changes sweep local districts”, Francisco Vara-Orta, San Antonio Express-News, July 21, 2012. Some transitions were smooth and well-planned (John Folks’ and Richard Middleton’s retirements at Northside ISD and Northeast ISD, respectively), while others were the fallout from tension and mistrust between superintendents and school boards (at San Antonio ISD, Harlandale ISD, Edgewood ISD, and South San Antonio ISD). An expert noted:
“The greater concern is the impact of all that discord on the staff and the quality of education, as those things are adversely affected when a board is squabbling,” said John Horn, who served 23 years as superintendent of two Dallas-area districts and is now a consultant for state and national organizations such as the Texas Association of School Administrators.
“Over a period of time, a dysfunctional board — and the decisions they make — will lead to a dysfunctional school district,” he said.
We will be watching to see how these new leaders perform in the coming school year, and if they will be able to finesse any continuing disfunction at their school boards.