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Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Superintendent turnover: Board should better define the relationship

Hiring and keeping a good superintendent is the primary job of the school board [“Fix Seattle Schools’ superintendent turnover issues,” Opinion, July 29]. That, and setting policy. That’s it.

Any conflicting comments from board members that reach the staff or the public take time away from the superintendent’s job as he or she attempts to put out the fire started. As a former assistant superintendent, I had numerous opportunities to see the damage created by school-board members who were more interested in making a name for themselves than taking the time and steps necessary to work through a problem.

While most candidates know that the superintendent job is remarkably frustrating and challenging, they apply because they think they can bring educationally reasonable change to a new district, building upon hard-earned experience and knowledge. Before any new superintendent is hired, board members need to do some soul searching about why they are on the board, what they expect from a new superintendent and how they can redefine their working relationship with him or her.

Jennifer Dolan-Waldman, Seattle

Comments | More in Seattle School Board | Topics: Jennifer Dolan-Waldman, seattle school board, seattle schools

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