Superintendent Gone, The Cycle Continues
So, our Superintendent is quitting.
Hearing the news wasn’t a surprise. City magazine, 13 Wham News, and the D & C have left enough breadcrumbs for us to assess the possibility of an early leave. Reports of him and the board incessantly butting heads have been pretty routine over the past year or two. The belief in who should have which powers was ultimately used to fuel stand-offs and dysfunction. To central office’s credit, the dysfunction didn’t prevent lay-off decreases, summer academy launches and other initiatives that have increased the graduation rate, but it was enough dysfunction to perpetuate the spinning wheel of leaving superintendents, interim superintendents, and hiring superintendents. I have had Jordan 1s that have stayed cleaner longer than any RCSD superintendent’s tenure in the past 8 years. This is unhealthy.
This isn’t an articulation of how great or how bad Vargas was (he wasn’t amazing, but doesn’t get as much credit as he probably should).This isn’t an articulation of who was right in this situation or who was wrong. This isn’t even an articulation of how we need a superintendent to be our one and only catalyst for true change. To semi-quote Kanye West, nobody has all the answers regarding how to solve our problems. When I say this, I mean nobody has ALL the good ideas in the world. We are even more limited in terms of knowing how these ideas could be implemented with people who may disagree, and have their own good ideas that clash with yours. Once that/if that obstacle is surmounted, there is still the matter of an education system that isn’t conducive for many good and necessary ideas. If they were, the problems we have as a city and a district wouldn’t be so prevalent.
Until we all behave like we don’t have all the answers for our unprecedented problem, this unhealthy cycle of missing opportunities for momentous collaboration will continue. We are imperfect people trying to dismantle an almost perfectly broken system, of which to some degree is ingrained in our own social DNA. When change agents do not simultaneously see this truth in each other, this leads to stymied progress and deadly cycles. A synchronized humbling of all stakeholders is necessary in order for an agenda framework to turn further into a framework of co-architecture.
Wait, did I just contradict myself by saying nobody has all the answers and then saying the answers to all our problems lie in synchronizing humbleness? Interesting thought.