Experience is the best teacher. A candidate who has experience being in the classroom, being an administrator, understanding what a superintendent does is a better fit than someone who holds a piece of paper. I believe our next IPS superintendent does not need a license to be successful at the job. I believe requiring a superintendent license would exclude some great candidates if it was a requirement for the job.
I look at my life and realize that no one could have trained me on how to be a father. You simply don’t know what it is like to be a parent until you are one. You can read all the books and take all the classes, but nothing prepares you for parenthood until you’re holding your baby. I think a lot of jobs are the same. You can have a degree or a license, but until you’ve had related experience you aren’t guaranteed success.
A license doesn’t make someone qualified for the job and I hope the board considers fit within the district above all else. I want a candidate that stands for children and wants to bring up all schools.
I think the next superintendent should be someone who has experience in education, who is from the community or involved in our community. They need to listen to parents, children, and teachers. This person should be approachable and be familiar with the real-life issues that the kids across the district are going through at home. Every home is not solid. Some of the kids face tough home lives and go into school unable to concentrate. How can you properly prepare a child for education unless you understand and have plans for the kids in IPS with real trauma in their lives?
I would like this person to have had success in turning around struggling schools. My daughter Khloe is in 2nd grade at Kindezi, an IPS innovation school. She’s been there 2 years. What I have seen with innovation schools, I like. The principals have more flexibility to meet the needs of the students. If it is working, I am all for it. I can say Khloe’s innovation school is working for her. I like the staff. They are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure Khloe is getting the proper help she needs. She is doing well academically but has behavioral issues and they do whatever it takes to make sure she stays focused and on track.
I want to see our next superintendent be someone who has a background of being in the classroom and an understanding that experience is more important than someone who looks good on paper.