Leadership: The action of leading a group of people or an organization.
When you speak of leadership, most people assume that the direction of that leadership is towards success.
We have not seen success as the goal of our current educational leadership. In fact, the goal of the current leadership is unclear and their direction is confusing.
In 2007 the Rochester City School District, under the leadership of Dr. William Cala, was listed as “most improved” in ELA and Math with Newsweek ranking “Wilson Magnet High School 49th among the nation’s top 100 high schools based on advanced curriculum.”
The Board voted not to hire Dr. Cala as permanent superintendent and instead hired Jean Claude Brizard who, after having a vote of “no confidence” taken against him by district teachers, left the district for a position in Chicago.
Under the leadership of Brizard the district plummeted from “most improved” to the worst in the State.
The Board of Education then hired Dr. Bolgen Vargas as Interim Superintendent and after spending $40,000 to contract with a Superintendent Search Firm, voted to maintain Dr. Vargas as permanent superintendent even though he did not possess the New York State Department of Education qualifications for the position.
Under the leadership of Dr. Vargas, truancy has increased 1%, incidents of school violence have increased, and only ten of fifty-four schools are in “Good Standing” according to the NYSED 2013-14 District Accountability Status. Dag Hammerskjold School #6 listed in “Good Standing” was closed by district leadership.
Dr. Vargas increased Central Office administrative staff while reducing the number of counselors at the school level and has continued to implement the K-8 model after publicly stating that it would not be beneficial for the district to do so.
In the game of “Follow the Leader”, it is important to know where the leader intends on taking you. When you find that the ones you are following are not leading you out of failure the decision must be made to elect new leaders who not only know the path to success but are strong enough to follow it.
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