"Many members found no sense of urgency in the
department to address some of the issues that have been outlined," said board president Wade Linger.
"While discussing concerns, we often were met with excuses and not actions. Too often we were told how things can't change instead of being offered solutions. And when current practices were challenged, we often found people being defensive."
Well, the state Department of Education is supposed to respond to the state Board of Education, not the
other way around.
That didn't happen, and the board finally clarified who reports to whom the only way it could — with a 6-2 vote to fire Marple.
The board wants to 1) develop, reward and retain great educators, 2) raise the quality of education; 3) make sure public schools lead to careers and good jobs, 4) enrich education with technology, and 5) use money as efficiently as possible.
Specifically, the board wants local school boards to be able to hire the most qualified teachers, not the ones with the most seniority. It wants better standards for evaluating the effectiveness of teachers. It wants a Teach for America program to get teachers in hard-to-serve areas. It wants teachers to be able to spend more time teaching.
And much more.
There's nothing evil about any of this. In fact, the board's insistence that the vast, clanking bureaucracy of the school system actually serve students themselves is decades overdue.
The status quo isn't working.
Let the drama of healthy changes begin.