Leadership Is Fundamentally Flawed

Classroom Accountability Begins and Ends With Leadership

 

School board trustees are elected to serve the interests of the students and parents they represent. Leadership creates the innovative environment for learning and achievement with measurements for success. Accountability 101. Yet too often we experience a lack of leadership disguised as a watered-down shell of special interests that put adults ahead of kids. San Diego Unified demonstrates this by limiting community input at the end of long board meetings that discourage valid criticism while board members pass meaningless resolutions meant to push agendas from interests outside of the district.

Trustees are entrusted with representing parents, students and voters. Yet with a majority of current board members endorsed and/or financially backed by teacher’s unions and outside labor organizations, it’s difficult if not impossible to distinguish where holding the Superintendent responsible and accountable occurs.

Instead of focusing on improving academic achievement for students of color, board members debate resolutions on unionizing charter schools, curtailing parental choice, and do little to provide accountability where it matters – in the classroom.

Teachers must be given the tools they need to succeed, the Superintendent is responsible to carry out the direction of the board, and the board is responsible to taxpayers. The current state of affairs as SDUSD has it backwards, where the tail is wagging the dog.

And it’s our students that suffer. The board specifies what students should know at each grade level and describes the skills that they must acquire in order to achieve career or college readiness. Individual school districts are responsible for choosing curricula.

  • Initiatives mean little unless and until district leaders take the lead by enabling and equipping teachers to choose and/or develop curricula based on the unique individual needs of their student population. Local control should not be a buzzword. One size does not fit all. By funding peer and community stakeholder collaboration, students, teachers, and the communities they serve will benefit.
  • Accountability is at our fingertips. Technology now allows a teacher to give a test, score it in the classroom and provide immediate feedback to students while ensuring teachers can adapt, reteach concepts missed, and provide the district with measurable accountability.
  • Assess, develop, teach, reassess, reteach. Technology is advanced enough to provide immediate test assessment that allows teachers to evaluate lesson plans and curricula daily. This translates to better test scores which translates to students being better equipped to handle the next steps after graduation.