How Do You Fire The General Superintendent?
Two weeks ago, the most-asked question was: "is it time for him to go?" This week it is: "how do you fire him?"
Perhaps the real question is: "what should the Board do now?"
Keep in mind that $64, $84, or $140 million (or whatever it turns out to be--because it's entirely possible that nobody yet knows the real number) is a huge deficit. It is the largest, by far, in DISD history--likely the largest in State history.
Many wonder how a compentent administrator can justify this as a simple oversight.
So what now?
Right now, the proposal on the table to correct it involves ending the jobs of hundreds of people--impacting their lives and those who depend on them.
To reiterate the central question: "is it appropriate for the chief executive who allowed it to happen, over the course of 3 years, to be the one who should now be calling the shots to correct it?"
A reasonable person might well answer "no" to this question. Another reasonable person might consider a $64 (or $84 or $140) million dollar deficit, alone, to be good cause to terminate the the employment of the General Superintendent.
So it is, perhaps, apropos to be asking "how?"
Given the magnitude of the crisis, the Board is concerned and rightly so. Obviously, there is outrage in the public.
Again, a reasonable person might argue that the Board should be on record, weekly, as to where it stands with respect to the General Superintendent's employment.
Given this, perhaps one approach might be for a couple of Board members to place an item on upcoming agendas which reads:
"Direct the General Counsel of the Dallas Independent School District to, within 24 hours, draft, execute and deliver all articles necessary to terminate the contract of the General Superintendent of Schools, for cause, and dismiss him from his position; effective immediately."
Certainly this approach would allow each Board member to express his or her confidence, or a lack of confidence, at each Board meeting. It would also allow parents, taxpayers, teachers, students and perhaps bloggers an answer to the question: "where do they (Board members) stand?"
Still, from everything we can tell, there seems to be a hesitancy from the Board to take this action.
The biggest question: "if we fire him, who will take his place?" The District, after all, has been a "revolving door" when it comes to superintendents.
On the other hand, of course, is the nagging question: "can the one who broke it fix it?"
It might also be reasonable to believe that "as long as the chair is occupied, the options are limited."
Put another way, until the Superintendent's office is vacant, the Board may never know what options fully exist to fill it.
Tough decisions, aren't they?
Perhaps a better question is: what would you do?