December 18, 2017
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Education’s leadership void

By Kathreen Harrison

Matthew Stone’s excellent piece in the November 14 Bangor Daily News  titled: How Maine Hurt Public Education by Trying to Reform It highlights the trouble school systems get into when they have the wrong leaders.

With the right leaders Maine’s schools could be so much better than they are now. Unfortunately, however, what we far too often see in this state are superintendents and principals and school board presidents who are determined to follow mandates from Augusta – no matter how silly and mediocre and short-lived these may be.

What we need as leaders instead are brave intellectual giants whose passions for preserving our democracy through education, and developing the power of individual teachers and students, guide them. We need leaders who are not cowed by Augusta’s changeable, unfunded mandates.

Followers should not be our education systems’ leaders. We need leaders who are clear-sighted and unafraid to question authority. In my entire career in Maine I have rarely found such a leader. This is unfortunate for our students, and for our state. Can this leadership void turn around?

 


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