The departure of the CMSD CEO should be a time for real Civic Responsibility

Submitted by jpelikan on Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:26.

On December 13th and 14th the PD story "what kind of leader do we need" and editorial "..disappointing departure" already prime Cleveland to a march down the so old path looking for our next Moses to pick up a nicely polished but incomplete plan to transform education in Cleveland.

Attention first needs to focus on the incompleteness of the plan. 

One good aspect of what proceeded the roll out of the transformation plan was an objective look at schools and teachers.

Missing was the same objective look at administration and governance.

The objective look at schools and teaching was however intentional conducted in a manner to keep the public in the dark until the District had reached its conclusions. After some nine months of what was originally said to be a three or four month process, being denied any interim data, my continuing request finally forced the CEO to call with a response. He spoke with pride that he was intentionally using a private organization as a means to keep the reports from the public. This is just a one of many examples of the dysfunction in Cleveland's public-private partnership same old way of failing while spinning scripts of change.

The departure of the CMSD CEO should be a time for real Civic Responsibility. The current partnership of private foundations and regional chamber of commerce dominating rather than collaborating with the public is a well worn path of Cleveland's decline.  

While we are creative with means that give fewer and fewer people real understanding, influence or participation in public education, we wonder why parents aren't sufficiently involved and why voters won't support our plans.

The Plain Dealer article 12.13 article quotes the advice given in 2006 to the CEO search advisory committee "The person has to be a super PR person."  At one of  public forums of that search process (at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church) I heard the same thing in response to my statement that the candidate had to be committed to involving the community. These are very different perceptions of real conditions and choices. The tables where decisions are made aren't balanced in a way to hear or understand but one of these perspectives.

What is presently on the horizon for education in Cleveland is very troubling, calling for leadership that honestly engages with the whole community.

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jpelikan - you need to promote your posts to home

jpelikan - I appreciate your perspectives on education here - good to see your posts... you need to promote your posts to home. The way blogs are set up, they do not post to the home page unless you choose that option on the blog form - at the bottom, right before "Submit" - select "Publishing Options" - check "Promoted to front page". Look forward to seeing more of your thoughts on home as we take on the huge responsibility of choosing a new CMSD CEO!

Disrupt IT

JPelikan-Great Post

  Thanks Jim-

The departure of the CMSD CEO should be a time for real Civic Responsibility. The current partnership of private foundations and regional chamber of commerce dominating rather than collaborating with the public is a well worn path of Cleveland's decline. 

Instead, the apparatchiks via Brent Larkin and the PD trot out another "buzz" word strategy to tax us all the more--a la the Cleveland Promise. As if we have never heard that spin before...like in 1967...because the wonder-bread wonks hold secret meetings and evidently worship Jim Rokakis and his master plan.

I have no faith in our leadership in NEO.  No faith at all.