Since 1983 and the release of “A Nation at Risk,” public education has suffered scrutiny, criticism and outright derision unprecedented in American history. Those of us who chose to work in the field of education, either occupationally or by election, were maligned and accused of everything short of criminal activity. The school board has not escaped that fate.
Sometimes real life defies explanation. Some realities vary so greatly from logic that we see, but we can’t believe. We may even accept, but we can’t understand.
Such is the case with school board-superintendent relationships. How can one explain how such seemingly complementary roles can clash so greatly in practice? How can one employing entity so proudly announce to the world its “nearly perfect” choice for superintendent one year, only to see the wheels come completely off within a matter of months? What is it about this relationship that makes it so seemingly impossible for the people involved to reach common understanding about whose role it is to do what? And why is it that reasonable role definitions are so perpetually elusive?