After I offered my suggestions on what the huge school system I work for should look for in a new Superintendent, the business leaders of Minneapolis offered a job description of their own for the position in their city. (Coincidence? I think not. :-)
"Wanted: A courageous soul to take on entrenched interests. A strategic thinker with outstanding public speaking skills, a clear vision for how to improve education for Minneapolis children, and a history of professional success and perseverance. Must have experience working with unions and a board of directors. While some of us want a person who has experience in urban education, most of us do not think it should be required. Sense of humor a plus."
Just as I said: a politician, not an educator. There were a couple of other suggestions from some business leaders that were interesting.
Mark Chronister, Minnesota managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, told board members: "The path you need to go on isn’t traveled. You need someone who’s willing to make bold change."
Sorry, this is public education. We don’t do "bold change". We need to – but we don’t.
A tough superintendent, a benevolent dictator if you will, is fine, agreed Toni Green of the Cargill Foundation, but not someone who alienates people.
Name one dictator, benevolent or not, who didn’t piss off a lot of people.
Oh, well. Still looking.