Boston schools need new leader to focus on education

Help Wanted: Boston Public Schools Superintendent. Non-progressives need not apply.

The job description recommended by the BPS superintendent search committee, heading to the polishing stages by the firm One-Fourth Consulting, is a laundry list of liberal talking points.

Among the qualifications, the superintendent should be someone who:

• Wants to be the leader of the nation’s oldest public school district and the first to close the opportunity and achievement gaps.

A no-brainer, but it does beg the question – how would the BPS superintendent come up with the funding needed to close those gaps?

• Has demonstrated an authentic commitment to cultivating an antiracist organization and reviewing policies and practices through an anti-racist lens.

• Preferably is someone who is multilingual.

• Is “culturally proficient.”

Cultural proficiency is big in today’s progressive academic circles. According to “The Culturally Proficient Educator: A Manual for School Leaders,” a culturally proficient educator is aware of her own culture and the effect it may have on the people in her school setting. She learns about the culture of the organization and the cultures of the students, and anticipates how they will interact with, conflict with, and enhance one another. ”

Think “check your privilege.”

• Must participate as a member of the mayor’s cabinet.

Translation: All aboard the Wu Train.

• Has served as an educator in a pre-K-12 public school district.

Of course racism has no place in Boston Public Schools – or in Boston, for that matter – and every student should be treated fairly and with respect. Cultural differences should be valued. But one wonders if a superintendent candidate’s vision for academic excellence will get as much focus.

Students should be empowered – but they should also be educated. According to recent findings from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, American children are rated average at reading, below average at science, and poor at math, ranking 27th out of 34 developed countries.

But they rank highly for self-esteem.

We have a few questions for BPS superintendent candidates, though we wonder if these issues will be addressed in any interviews, given the progressive bent of the job description.

How would the candidate handle violence in Boston schools? It’s a problem, and it needs to be solved for the sake of students, teachers and staff. How would they address students’ accountability for violent actions?

How would the candidate deal with the exodus of teachers? As the Herald reported, Jessica Tang, president of the 8,400-member Boston Teachers Union said, “The pandemic has created anxiety and new demands and has become unsustainable for teachers working in this type of environment. … We have to hire more teachers because if we do not, the teachers we do have will have to continue to teach not only their classes, but others as well, which contributes to burnout, which is how we lose teachers. ”

The head of the Massachusetts Teachers Association blamed Gov. Charlie Baker and Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley for the low morale that is causing many teachers to leave the profession.

“This is not burnout; this is demoralization, ”said Merrie Najimy. “They do not give us time to pay attention to students’ needs because teachers are teaching multiple classes.”

A BPS superintendent candidate should have a focus on giving students the best education possible while respecting the work that teachers do.

That’s Job No. 1.


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