The school district in which Mary Briggs is the superintendent is under siege; not from teachers, parents, or students, but from lack of leadership. Superintendent Briggs is more worried about a future vision than she is in solving the problems that will hopefully someday make that vision come true.
Mary Briggs is the superintendent of schools of a city school district comprised of more than sixty schools, including pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools. This is a lot of schools for only one person to oversee.
Fewer than 50 percent of the students graduate from high school, and only about 10 percent of the high school graduates are considered ready for college or employment.
The local press, many parent groups, and the office of the mayor voice frequent complaints about the low performance of the city schools.
Some people blame the teachers and the school principals for the problems. Others blame the parents and the neighborhood influences for the problems. Still others blame the problems of the school district on Superintendent Briggs
When Superintendent Briggs was recently asked by a School Board Member about the most important part of her job, she responded about visions for the future and not about immediate problems within the district.
During the workday, school principals and vice principals often send Briggs e-mails asking her advice for dealing with an immediate problem, but it usually takes about twenty-four hours to receive a response.
Some principals or vice principals will attempt to get through to her on the telephone, but it just goes to voicemail.
However, some calls get through to Superintendent Briggs’ assistant and they are told, Sorry, Superintendent Briggs is busy creating visions today. So she cannot talk with you unless this problem is a total emergency.
Superintendent Briggs is busy creating visions today, has become a punch line for many jokes among principals, vice-principals, and teachers.
The Root Cause:
The root cause of the district having so many problems cannot simply be solved by a Superintendent because it takes everyone including parents, teachers, and principals working together to get the job done. However, having a Superintendent that is so obviously unconnected with the problems of her principals and schools is the main issue. Principals are in charge of their schools but need a leader to be able to count on and Superintendent Briggs has very much let them down in the leadership department. She is only worried about future visions for the district and has overlooked that to achieve these visions, immediate problems have to be fixed first.
First of all, the Superintendent needs to remember that the School Board are ultimately her boss and she has to answer to them. There needs to be a serious “Come to Jesus” meeting between the President and Vice President of the School Board with Superintendent Briggs. They need to make her understand that to achieve her visions for the district that immediate problems have to be taken care of first. The views of the principals of the district need to be discussed so that she gets the entire picture of the district. It seems like Superintendent Briggs has almost lost her hold on reality with where the district actually is compared to what she believes it to be. This is where the