Danville school board should rescind its decision on superintendent

Published 9:15 am Thursday, March 8, 2018

Dear Editor,

It is obvious that there are serious problems plaguing the Danville Independent School District System and that serious problems existed before the present superintendent arrived.

I am not acquainted with Dr. Look or the three board members who voted to dismiss him. However, my training in education theory and practice leaves me with grave concerns about what has and is unfolding in the Danville district.

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I am deeply concerned about what seems to be a lack of an updated comprehensive strategic plan. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of policy analysis knows that the strategic plan is the foundation on which goals and objectives, which translate into action plans, are built. Why that process was halted is beyond me. Strategic plans should be updated periodically, and they should reflect the input of a wide range of stakeholders. I would suggest that work on an updated comprehensive strategic plan resume, and when it is complete, that it be made available to the public for comment.

At this point, it would seem prudent to take a step backward. Rescind the actions of the Feb. 19 meeting. If there are substantive transgressions on the part of Superintendent Look which are serious enough to not renew his contract, then let’s hear what they are and how they have negatively impacted the educational process within the district. There is nothing unprofessional about disclosing provable facts. Otherwise, extend his contract for another year if he will consent to stay. We need to hear how his vision for the district and his plans for implementing it differs from that of those who oppose it. We need to hear specifics and not generalizations. There is a school board election this fall; let’s have this discussion, and then let voters decide which path the district will take.

Those who have problems with the superintendent’s vision and his means of implementing it need to speak up publicly and air their concerns. (There are a number of means to allow teachers to safely express their views without fear of reprisals.)

I was born and reared in this community, and I have often seen opinions from anonymous sources represented as facts as they made their way around the rumor mill. Let’s ensure we are hearing facts.

When everything is laid on the table, it may be that there has been much ado about little. It is time that emotions are bracketed out and we focus on the vision for maximizing educational achievement for all students.

Ruth Ann Phillips, Ph.D