Superintendent should be full-time

Published 9:35pm Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I read an attention-grabbing article on Selma Times Journal of Feb. 8 that advocates having a school superintendent serve as a principal too; or maybe hiring a person with high pension and pay him less-like $68,000; or just employing a superintendent part-time. While this proposition may not be preposterous, it is, at the moment, quixotic for our school system.

Since this did not come before the board in the form of recommendation or for discussion; it is apposite to respond in the fashion it was disseminated so that minds in the community will not be made up without looking at the issue critically. Moreover, we’ve had enough distractions and peace stealing agendas and may not need more.

Hiring a part-time Superintendent, in order to save money, for a school system struggling with issues like AYP, some management and public relation issues, may be compared to a sick person who intentionally buys a considerably cheap bologna, red-hot, or souse from a source that is not inspected by the authorized government agency like USDA, FSIS or Alabama Deptartment of Agriculture.

While the food is purchased at a cheaper price, it will cost you in the short and long runs, by way of more medical bills, because only one factor was considered in the purchase of the meat.

The truth is that most part-time employees are rarely held with the same standard as fulltime employees.

The superintendent is undoubtedly the CEO of a school system who responds to the rigorous demands of the school board, administrators, parents, teachers, and the entire community. He definitely charts the course of a district and works closely with the Board more than any body. Furthermore, the superintendent hires and fires school personnel (with board approval), supervises other administrators, the principals, and the Chief School Financial Officer with a budget in the millions of dollars.

I do not understand the rationale behind having a principal permanently serve as a Superintendent.

The principal is the No. 1 leader in each school. The job of an effective Principal is equally demanding as he responds to the demands and the evaluation of fellow administrators, teachers, parents, cafeteria and etc in the particular school.

If a Superintendent is also a principal, how can he effectively combine the above listed activities? How can he effectively evaluate himself so that the duties of a principal and a Superintendent will not become overly diluted and consequently cost us a lot?

In every venture, one can save and still tbe effective if, only, it is done thoughtfully.

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