Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Upsetting the Apple Cart

Gary Jones, Superintendent of the Rapides Parish School Board told people today that the number of retiring principals required him to assign principals based on strengths and that some folks think that he is upsetting the apple cart. That may or may not be the case. His assignments can be found here

Mr. Jones has strong credentials in education. He also has strong credentials in leadership. He holds a General's star in the Louisiana National Guard. Jones is no stranger to change of command, a normally occurring part of military life, where outgoing commanders are relieved of command, often to seek further education, work on staffs at higher levels, gain experience in related fields, then return to command at higher echelons. That rotation is part of professional development. It tends to promote the development of officers that have the potential for high leveles of responsibility. It also tends to weed out those officers who, for one reason or another, can't hack it at the higher levels.

Mr. Jones is taking people out of their comfort zone, and forcing change on a school system that had gotten just a little bit provincial. That is good. Education in Louisiana is making progress and we need to promote the best and brightest of our administrators to continue this progress. No one can be allowed to rest on his or her laurels. We certainly don't need anyone building feifdoms at the public expense. The School District should, rightfully, focus all its energy on educating children.

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