Making the Case for Hiring a Superintendent

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Jdarg, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    The opposition to the superintendent referendum has come out with some pretty interesting arguments against hiring a superintendent instead of the old fashioned and ineffective practice of electing one. In fact, they are doing a fabulous job of making our case for us! The parents, citizens, and teachers supporting the referendum are a nonpartisan group of people who saw a way to start the process of helping our school system evolve and improve, and an important step in that process is changing the way the system runs. If you were involved at all this year, you know that the current system was a total disaster when it came to the teacher salary negotiation, a situation that should be an embarrassment to every Walton County citizen. Also, those of us with children in school know that FCAT test scores, which determine school ratings, mean absolutely nothing when, as parents, we measure what our kids' educational experience could be with the right leadership. Our teachers are amazing now, despite zero support from their administration.

    I also had to giggle at the RINO comments. The many Republicans working to support this referendum are a bit surprised to find out they are RINOS.:roll: And do we really want a "conservative" superintendent? What does that even mean? With this kind of thinking, our kids are certainly doomed!

    So anyway, here is a letter that was published in the Northwest Florida Daily News. it speaks for itself, I think, and totally makes our point of putting Kids Before Politics. Clearly the author of this letter is missing the point!:blink:

    LETTER: A cunning ruse

    Published: Friday, July 25, 2014 at 18:03 PM.


    We’re all aware of political manipulation of Republicans by liberals at the national level. Sadly, some conservatives and misguided RINOS are being outfoxed locally.
    Here’s how. The Walton County school district currently enjoys an A ranking in student achievement. Yet there is a significant move underway to change the system.
    Why change anything? Particularly, why change the method of selecting our superintendent?
    Are liberals and RINOS behind this scheme? Are they attempting an end run around our voting process?
    Again, why would they? From a liberal perspective, the reason is clear. In our conservative district, an election will invariably produce a conservative superintendent with a conservative educational philosophy. Thank heaven!
    On the other hand, appointment by School Board will open the door to a progressive superintendent and a progressive education philosophy. School Board members are not required to declare party affiliation when running.
    The superintendent election process clearly requires an open declaration of political, hence educational, philosophy. This eliminates liberal candidates — as it should, the will of the people.
    In the election process a candidate must declare party, hence political philosophy. In this district, a progressive’s chances are quite slim.
    This cannot be overemphasized: Changing to selection by School Board significantly increases the chances of a liberal being named superintendent.
    Conservatives, open your eyes to this cunning ruse! Look around at the liberal bastions of education, where more money equals lower student achievement. We don’t need that type of change here.
    Wake up! It’s your child. Exercise your choice in his or her education. Vote NO to an appointed superintendent.
    — RICK McQUISTON
    Santa Rosa Beach
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mike Jones

    Mike Jones Beach Fanatic

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    Definitely makes your case. But I don't get it. So what is the take? Is this guy just using code for "we need to ensure we got a superintendent who is a christian"?

    Or is he just shivering in his boots that a "progressive liberal" might be in charge who has a higher degree than him and his buddies?
     
  3. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    You got me Mike. I don't know why liberal or conservative even comes into the conversation about this issue.
     
  4. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    I originally lived in a very conservative community, one of the best developed communities in the United States...Edmond, Oklahoma. It was so because of the close connection between the town and the local University. Many of their programs and visions transferred to reality through being adopted by the city council. The school board was elected. It was always basically Conservative in nature. It appointed well qualified, well educated superintendents. A superintendent able to work with all facets of the educational system. The thought of his or her political affiliation never entered the equation, only the individual's qualifications and ablility to work with everyone. Mr. McQuiston's letter is full of fallacious assumptions which have very little chance of occurring if a superintendent is appointed using proper hiring techniques. Bear in mind when considering appointed vs. elected that anyone can run for office and be elected. An appointed superintendent has to meet clear and defined job qualifications as was required in Edmond, Oklahoma, which had an outstanding school system due to proper and qualified administration. Please understand it is not the teachers that are at fault in the Walton County educational system, it is the administration and it is time to change it! And oh, by the way, there are few here who have more Conservative values than I, and I am certainly not hoodwinked by Liberals into voting for an appointed superintendent. I have seen both sides of the coin. VOTE YES on August 26th!
     
  5. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Thanks Andy A! You and I working together on this despite our political differences is the perfect example of Kids Before Politics. ;)
     
  6. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    I agree, Andy. One of the biggest problems in our education system IS politics . We have
    groups that too often support teachers rights over students and others who want the Christian equivalent of madrasahs in public education. Another group's biggest requirement for superintendent is that the person must be conceived under a Walton County palmetto bush and not have stepped across the county line since then.

    The world is changing around us. We need fresh ideas and new energy from new leaders who are not politicians, but committed educators with a vision and the support of the community and every parent to make the vision a reality.

    Let's push aside the mindset of ...I went to Walton County schools (40 years ago)...if it was good enough for me then, it's good enough for kids now.

    It's not good enough. Aren't parents supposed to want things to be better for their kids?

    I am now stepping off my soapbox for at least an hour.
     
  7. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    I'll step up to the soap box and give everyone two words: COCAINE TEACHER

    While my argument is not as kind as those in the recent edition of the Beach Breeze, they are blunt and based in fact!

    The School Dist had hired a South Walton math teacher who is currently on felony state probation for possession of cocaine. FACT

    When this became public the school district claimed to not have any knowledge of this...

    Yet they have a large group making $ 80k +

    How is it that a private citizen can obtain this information in 5 minutes off of the Internet, yet your school district has no knowledge of it?

    Because they never wanted YOU to know this information.

    The hiring was a political favor, done by the "elected" official.

    What recourse did our Elected school board have to fire the cocaine teacher? Answer: None

    Think about that!

    The elected sup can protect teachers that abuse narcotics, drive off bridges while DUI, etc...

    The only way this becomes public knowledge is when media reports it.

    We all know how that works.
     
  8. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    It's obvious to me that 47 states have it right about hired superintendents vs. elected ones. Politics is what's wrong with the schools here so I can't imagine anyone being opposed to this effort. But I suppose there are always those who think that Walton County is right and 99.5% of the school districts in the U.S. are wrong.
     
  9. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    The "cunning ruse" letter cracks me up. Progressive educational philosophy has been around since the early 1900's. A reasonable amount of it is already integrated into public schools. It is only with the introduction of No Child Left Behind and Common Core that we have moved away from some of the progressive philosophy and back to traditional rote memory and standardized testing. Common Core, a centerpiece of traditional education, is hated by conservatives. The misunderstanding of parts of progressive education techniques is glaring in the author's letter.

    Regarding an A ranking, it is meaningless. Proficiency levels in almost all schools dropped this year. 57% at grade level reading proficiency gets a district an A? Seriously?
     
  10. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    JohnG wrote:
    Ms. Anderson had absolutely nothing to do with protecting the individual who drove 60 feet off the Clyde B.Wells bridge, into the bay, while under the influence.

    That fiasco can be directly laid at the feet of the autonomous, self governing board known as the Radar Group that currently operates Walton Academy and several other Charter School in the State of Florida.

    What can be laid at a Superintendents feet (whether hired or elected) and the school board as well, is the amount of money paid to Charter Schools in this county with no accountability. Charter Schools are pretty much exempt from laws that govern public schools because they are operated by private Corporations.

    Bottom line is all that money that Ms. Anderson tossed at Charter Schools that got the school district in the shape it is in...is gone...and the taxpayers have no idea what it was used for and the schools who received it don't have to explain themselves.

    If you want something or someone one to point fingers at you might want to look a little closer at the people who operate said Charter Schools including Bill Eddins and his co-workers and/or associates including Ray Sansom ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Sansom ) and Jay Odom.

    Be careful who and what you vote for...it may be just more of the same wrapped up in different packaging.
     
  11. Independent Thinker

    Independent Thinker Beach Lover

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    Vote yes, it's not the same thing wrapped up in a different package. You can actually get a Superintendent with the credentials and management experience to run a school system when they are appointed. If they do not perform, their employment can be terminated. Currently the only thing required to run for Superintendent is a high school education and residence in the county. And, unfortunately in the current system, the Superintendent can't be fired. If you've seen the salary list of employees in the District Office, and, check their credentials, you will see why incompetence is so prevalent, and they do not deserve the salaries they are receiving. Practically all of them are making over double what the average teacher salary is. Don't take my word for it, look it up for yourself. I have lived in a lot of different places, this is the first place I have ever lived where the School Superintendent is elected.
     
  12. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    I support for the hiring of the Superintendent. I won't complain about what someone makes, I will complain about poor performance.
     
  13. meggiemom

    meggiemom Beach Lover

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    The possibility of one less politician in the county is enough to make me vote yes.
     
  14. sunny850

    sunny850 Beach Lover

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    Misty, I don't know where you are getting your information about Charter schools but it is completely inaccurate. A charter school is a PUBLIC school and is held accountable for the same state and federal guidelines that all public schools are. (They take the fcat just like everyone else)The district does not give ANY money to a charter school. In fact, when a charter school operates in a district, the district receives 2-5 percent of the FTE that the charter school receives, just for administrative costs of reviewing the charter application. A charter school can only open in a district if the district approves the application, and generally districts do this when they do not have the space orteachers to accommodate more students. In other words, it is cheaper to NOT recieve the FTE for those students than to have to hire more teachers or build more schools. The charter schools in this county do not "cost" the district money as I have seen you post several times.
     
  15. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    The Rader Group contributed to Anderson's re-election campaign. I'm sure that helped with the renewal of the charter.
     
  16. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    http://www.nwfdailynews.com/local/walton-board-crunching-numbers-after-forecasting-errors-1.347205

    With that quoted ....The person in question who drove off the Clyde B. Wells Bridge was absolutely not held accountable by the district because Walton Academy is contracted (i.e) (Chartered) with WCSD and have their own governing board.

    Charter Schools are privately operated with public funding, independently run and many are operated by for-profit PRIVATE Companies...(I.E.) the Radar Group which Walton Academy utilizes. Charter Schools are public schools that operate under a performance contract (charter) which frees them from many of the regulations created for traditional public schools while holding them accountable for academic and financial results.
     
  17. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    I'm voting YES.

    Its much harder for the good ole' boys to buy three of the five school board members votes than the one elected Sup.

    Why do you think they've started to support a couple of the school board candidates?

    Its back up, should the referendum pass, which it just might...

    Thinking ahead.
     
  18. sunny850

    sunny850 Beach Lover

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    I know nothing about "this person who drove off the bridge,,,". What I do know is you keep saying that charter schools are a huge drain financially on this district which is just not true. As for mrs Hobbs quote, you have an unqualified person with a high school diploma who finds herself in the position of defending a huge shortfall at the end of the school who throws out 2 completely insane reasons. 1) substitute pay overages- subs are paid every month not at the end of the year so that makes no sense, and 2) charter schools- everyone knows fte counts are done in OCTOBEr of each school year so the district knew in October how many students were enrolled in charter schools so that makes no sense either. She is counting on people like you who believe that charter schools "cost the district money" to grasp onto that idea. Again, charter schools do not cost the district a dime. The district NEEDS them to serve populations they can't. I spent 14 years as a Miami-Dade county school district employee whose job was to review charter school applications and serve as a liason between the school district and the charter school, which included seeking out charter schools to serve our population when needed. They are not started by big corporations, they are started by parents and community members who see the need and want autonomy from the school board, which they DO have, but only after the school district accepts their charter which describes their plan for implementation. Look at Seaside charter school- the developers of seaside wanted a school to serve their community and parents and community members wrote a cnarter, the district approved it ( the district certainly could not have provided the infrastructure for a school for what started with 50 students) and the school thrives. It costs the district nothing and serves the community as intended. You seem to be so hung up on the guy on the bridge that its making you think charter schools are causing the districts problems. Look elsewhere and you might find the real problems!
     
  19. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Can you please produce or direct me to some reading materials to back that up? I am not disputing what you are saying but I would like to see it in writing. Also can it be Florida specific?
    Thanks
     
  20. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    I don't think there's much argument with this person, they first stated that the county pays no money to charter schools which was quickly shown to be wrong.
     

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