Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, May 15, 2017

(Board of Ed) Marry in haste, repent at leisure

PEA is circulating this flyer with qualities desired
in a new Superintendent. It is an excellent start.
Click on image to enlarge or print.

Tonight's Board of Ed meeting (8:00 PM in the PHS Cafeteria) looks to be very interesting.

Several stakeholder groups are organizing to push for the immediate hiring of Accting Superintendent Sheard as the permanent superintendent. This includes the Plainfield Education Association (PEA), whose flyer is at the top of this post, and various parents and community members. My mailbox has had at least one message every day for the past week or so asking for support for Dr. Sheard or to sign a petition advocating her hiring.

I only see her at public meetings. I do not know her personally. She seems quite competent. But I could hardly recommend her hiring for any position based on what I have seen or know.

The PEA flyer has a good list of qualities the District needs from its new Superintendent, and lists some of her positive qualities in reference to their list.

But the problem is that the PEA list is incomplete and if those were the only qualities on which a decision was made, the Plainfield School District might shortly find itself up to its ears in quicksand -- with no way of being rescued.

I can appreciate wanting to put the bad experiences of the recent past in the rear view mirror, but there is more to it than that.

Two things that must also be considered in any search are someone who understands developing a consensus-based strategic plan for the district, the ability to maneuver the legisltive funding minefield that we are facing, and a strong program for contending with the ever-encroaching charter school situation.

And that's just for openers.

My mother used to say "marry in haste, repent at leisure", meaning that if you make quick decisions without the proper thought, questions and planning, you will have a long time to repent of the mistakes you made in your haste.

We should all take a deep breath. We should all treat one another with respect. We should listen to all ideas about how to proceed that are put forward. All stakeholders should be taken into account.

If we can't honestly check off these minimum conditions as met, we are not ready to hire anybody for Superintendent -- even if they appear to walk on water.

Parking is available in the Kenyon Avenue lot, with entry to the cafeteria directly from the lot.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.