Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Note to Board: Stop Pushing Tyson
Tom Bowen is dreaming. In public interviews, he keeps secretly pushing for Ramona Tyson to stay in place and become the permanent superintendent. In my humble opinion, Tom wants this because Tom is busy. He holds several other jobs and sits on several other boards and this superintendent search is taking up way too much of his time. He is manipulating this process by dropping "hints" to the press of his desire to get Ramona back in the race just the same as he attempted to manipulate SB 79, the legislation that would reduce the board, by writing a strong letter of opposition and then affixing all of the board member's signatures electronically and having it hand-delivered to the entire DeKalb delegation by a system staff person - even though none of the other board members were aware of the letter!
I am certain that Tyson has been sincere all along as she has continued to state that she is not interested in the job permanently. She has done a very good job of steering this rudderless ship the last year and a half, but she really only expected to hold that rudder for a couple of months. Her arms are tired! I applaud her ability to take the high road in all conversations - she certainly has done the best job ever as the PR rep for DCSS. She has worked very hard and she has been paid very well for her service. But she has been "interim" in every sense of the word, and has in fact, gone above and beyond what is generally required of an interim. She has saved face for our board and our system over and over again. That has defined her tenure.
That said, although Tyson is the easy, comfortable, familiar choice, she is not the best choice moving forward. We need to go back to the drawing board and revisit some viable candidates – people who have a deep understanding of how to educate children well. We were told that over 50 qualified people applied and the board was able to narrow them to 6 at one point, then to 3. Our new superintendent is out there, our board just needs to focus on the task at hand and choose the best one. I have to wonder though if this group is capable of being serious, focused and trustworthy. Some on our board seem to have personal agendas that trump their ability to do what's best for our children every single time. We need to replace some of our board members ASAP - we need board members who do not have "relatives in the fight" or a desire to control personal fiefdoms. Several of our current board members have shown themselves to be too individually rapacious to work together for a greater good. However, this is the group that holds the future of our school system in their hands and I hope the few calm heads on the board will prevail.
Hear this Tom! The public wants a highly qualified outsider as our new leader. Keep looking. And keep your mouth shut. That goes for all of you!