Heckuva Job, Sully

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Education is a hot topic in St Louis right now. If case you live in a cave, here's the recap: the St Louis Public School District was stripped of accreditation, the current board has basically been stripped of any power, and Gov. Blunt appointed a new CEO of the district. That CEO, the person who will supposedly lead the district out of its mire, is McBride Homes exec Rick Sullivan, whose prior educational leadership experience includes the boards at Lindenwood University and Villa Duchesne and "sitting in on some classes" at the SLPS.

I am not the only person who finds this completely appalling? It is audacious to suggest that a person appointed to lead a deeply-troubled school district have an extensive educational background? I'm not saying it should be a teacher--in fact, it probably shouldn't be, but it should be someone who has experience with educational leadership and administration. I don't think serving on a university board qualifies in this case--it's a very, very different experience to completely turnaround an urban district . Sullivan isn't even a St Louis resident: he lives in Frontenac. Proponents claim Sullivan is a tough businessman who will run the district like a company.

I'm reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed right now, so that's influencing my reflections, but this is classic oppressing behavior on the part of Blunt: his appointment of a marginally-qualified candidate who is not a member of the community he is seeking to change demonstrates that doesn't believe that a member of the community has the ability to lead the revolution. You're telling me that there's no highly-qualified candidate to lead the district that 1) lives in the district 2) is black, like over 80% of the students in the district? I find that highly, highly, highly hard to believe. Put it this way: Blunt's choice makes it look like the only person who can "save" the poor black kids is the rich white man. That's bullshit.

Look, Sullivan might be a well-intentioned guy. He's probably smart and well-intentioned. But this kind of cronyism will probably lead to disaster. Remember Brownie, who "did a heckuva job down there" during Katrina?

If you are a city-dweller who lives in the 4th District, I urge you to e-mail Jeff Smith and let him know that Sullivan sucks as the choice to lead the district. His e-mail is jeff.smith@senate.mo.gov. If you are not in the 4th District, you can check out the Senate website to find your senator to e-mail her/him and urge her/him to block Blunt's appointment of Sullivan.

1 comment:

...Banter said...

I nominate Beatle Bob!
[tell me you've been in stl long enough to know who he is]