Through a bizarre set of circumstances, the city of Lowell will have a new superintendent of schools next month, who is the first in a decade to come from within the city's public school system.The column was a nice discussion of and congratulations to Jean Franco, our new Superintendent of Schools.
Congratulations Ms Franco and welcome on board in the top slot.
But, back to the use of the word "bizarre". I think that Mr Wallace is joshing us with that word. There was nothing bizarre about the decision on the part of the School Committee to not make an offer to Dr Chris Scott. The members of the School Committee, or most of them at any rate, had finally drawn the conclusion that Dr Scott was sailing her own course and that she felt that she did not need to let the School Committee get in the way. The issue with the Alternative High School makes the point. The questions tabled by School Committee members that went unanswered made the point.
If Dr Scott had followed the traditional model of "It is easier to get forgiveness than permission" it might have worked. Instead, it seems to me, she followed the Admiral Nelson model and put her spy glass up to her blind eye and sailed on, ignoring the signals being hoisted for her to read. The bizarreness was in Dr Scotts independence of the School Committee.
In addition to that, and those I have asked have denied it strongly, the Regina Faticanti imbroglio must have been in the back of their minds. Dr Scott was willing to take School Committee Member Faticanti to court and make her eat humble pie. This helped force Ms Faticanti off the School Committee. Frankly, the whole thing seemed like something that could have been worked out by adults without dragging the public and the courts into it. I made it a mark against Dr Scott. That said, others took advantage of the error and prospered.
In the mean time, as Mr Wallace seems to be suggesting a "steady as she goes" approach:
There was a sense the committee wanted to select a local person to bring some stability to the system that has been somewhat shaken by the circumstances of Scott's departure.I am a little dubious. Is the present course the proper one? What will be the strategic vision of the new School Superintendent and what will be the measures by which we gauge our progress toward that goal?
Franco won't need a road map to guide her through the issues the city's public schools are facing. She has been a major player in the operation of the Lowell schools for years and has pretty solid support from a wide variety of staff.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Remember, articles in The Sun go away after a while, to a different place. I will not be updating their links unless I am bedridden and have read every book in the house. And, besides, the Editor tells me the links cost money after a few weeks. It is the new business model.