Outsiders as school superintendents

January 8, 2010
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If it weren’t for the snow, education news might be dominating local headlines.

Yesterday, the Indiana Division of Professional Standards Advisory Board approved a proposal to allow future teachers to devote more time to learning math, science or other subject areas and less time learning teaching methods. The point is to make it easier to attract people with expertise in a subject into education, and to bring more subject expertise into classrooms through new education graduates. Read the story here.

Then, today, the Department of Education announced that high school graduation rates are rising. Here’s the story.

All good news for people who think improvement is long overdue.

However, one change largely overlooked in the teacher standards announcement was giving school boards the option to hire nontraditional superintendents—namely people from outside the education system. Licenses would be granted to these administrators only for a particular school system, but the move nevertheless broadens the potential crop of candidates.

The education department thinks school systems might look to a corporate chief financial officer if there’s need for fiscal expertise, for example. Or to a successful entrepreneur if the desire is for new ideas. Or to someone with particularly strong interpersonal skills if strife is a problem.

With every change there’s potential for problems. What are the downsides? Any upsides that will surprise?
 

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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