All right, let’s quit wringing our hands about John Covington up and quitting as KCMO schools chief after two years on the job and two weeks into the new school year.
F___ him. (My wife suggested that I strike the full word.) Good riddance.
Sorry about the language, but this is really irritating.
Like many superintendents we have had in the past, he’s not really interested in giving the kids a good education; he’s looking out for No. 1.
He smells bigger money and a loftier post.
The afternoon, The Star reported on its website that Covington was being interviewed in Detroit today as the sole candidate to become chancellor of a new special school district in Michigan. Later, the Detroit Free Press reported that Covington had been named chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority, a statewide school system that will oversee the lowest-performing schools in the state.
Now we know what those “other opportunities” were that he talked about in explaining his resignation.
But enough about the crafty, opportunistic Covington. Now, let’s take a look at what direction the district might go from here to try to take the next step forward and possibly get some continuity in the super’s office.
As I look back at the list of superintendents since 1977 — eight acting or interim and 10 full-fledged — something jumps out: The Kansas City district has never had a woman as full-fledged superintendent.
Now, let’s take a look at the Kansas City, Kan., school district. According to its website, it has had 12 superintendents, including current superintendent Cynthia Lane, since 1886. Maybe that’s a misprint. Maybe it’s 12 since 1986, but I don’t think so.
In addition, the district has had a female superintendent since 2005. The first woman to head the district was Jill Shackelford, who served five years before retiring and moving back to her native Oklahoma. She was wildly popular.
At her going-away party, school board member Vicki Meyer said: “You brought true our hopes and our dreams. We couldn’t have asked for anyone to represent our heart and soul better.”
And where did the KCK school board find this diamond in the rough? Why, right in the district’s ranks. Shackelford had been with the district since 1995, and before that she had worked for the nearby Turner School District.
Last year, the KCK school board turned to another insider, Cynthia Lane, who has now been with the district 24 years.
Before becoming superintendent, Lane was a special education teacher, a principal, director of the Wyandotte Comprehensive Special Education Cooperative and assistant superintendent.
You see where I’m headed?
I think KCMO should turn to a woman. In general, I think, women are better grounded and more nurturing than men and they better understand the rhythms and needs of children.
Also, if at all possible, I think the school district should hire from within.
Surely, there are several fine, accomplished women down at 12th and McGee who have shown, over a period of years, that their first interest is, indeed, the children and that they have excellent managerial and communications skills.
That’s a recipe worth trying: A woman whose first interest is the children, knows the district and can communicate well.
By the way, Covington, for all his presence and dynamism, butchered the King’s English. He should have taken some English classes at Metropolitan Community College.