Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Next for KCMSD: A School Board that Disappears

You might recall that we had a lot of drama last week over the resignation of the superintendent of the KCMSD, John Covington, who resigned to, as it turns out, take a really sweet paying gig up in the Detroit, Michigan area. We all felt a little played, especially those who really stood up for Mr. Covington. I still think that he did something that had to be done--something that was going to be painful and could cost a person a lot of support. When people gave that support, only to have him bail in such a sudden way, I think they felt betrayed. People supported the plan to close schools at some cost to themselves as well, as they were threatening the grifter gravy train that the school district had become.

In addition, a rift in the school board was exposed. Frankly, unless you are a close follower of the goings on at the school board the fact that we all know who these people are is a bad thing. I don't even live in the district and I can name three KCMSD board members without even trying. I think I can only name one Hickman Mills school board member right off the top of my head. I can name the superintendent without even thinking hard--and that is the way it should be. The administration's head is the face of the schools to the community.

So tonight, after meeting together so much their spouses/S.O.s must have been wondering, the KCMSD board found an "interim" superintendent. They will now look for a new one. Also Airick West will step down as board president. I don't know who the lucky soul will be to take that mantel, but I am hoping it is neither Arthur Benson, or Duane Kelly.

KCMSD needs a superintendent who is committed for the long haul, and the contract they offer needs to have disincentives to leaving early. I don't know who is in-house but start there. As much as I would hate to see thriving districts in the metro lose talent, the next place would be to consider a district in the KC metro. Only look outside if none of the above pan out for a candidate. Then the superintendent needs to be the only face of the KCMSD. Names like West, Kelly and Benson should fade into anonymity. It is not a good thing when the school board makes the news for anything other than the operational decisions that it is responsible for under the structure of the district.


chuck said...


The Observer said...

Is it possible? I hope so, I so hope so, because our little city would be a better place in so many ways if we can provide a place for kids to get a good education if they want it without having to move.

Another choice: vouchers, so that for parents and kids who care, there is choice, and for schools, there is competition--no more free lunch.

The Observer