Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August 5: Miami-Dade School Board, Continued: How It Can Get Even Worse

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Sadly, Miami-Dade School Board Vice-Chair Perla Tabares Hantman decided to join the gang trying to force out Superintendent Rudy Crew. He is still the superintendent by a 5-4 vote.

During yesterday's meeting, the board decided not to approve, at least for now, a provision that could make matters even worse: An elected school superintendent.

No. NO. NO!

The solution is definitely not to politicize that post. The school superintendent should not be subject to an election. The school superintendent should be, must be, an education professional in every sense of the word.

For an example of what happens when a position is politicized, look at the sheriff's post in Broward County. Look at what happened to Ken Jenne, a man with no experience as a law enforcement officer. That could very easily, too easily, happen in Dade with an elected school superintendent (and yes, it happened with an appointed one, Johnny Jones, in 1980. But Jones and, more recently, the incompetent Roger Cuevas have been exceptions; most Dade superintendents have been top-notch.).

The School Board, which is and must be an elected body, has been abdicating its responsibility to the people it serves. Board members should leave both the superintendent and the means of selection alone. If anything should change, it's on the board, where at-large, countywide seats should be added.

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