November 30, 2011
To the editor:
With the fact that students of foreign countries routinely outpace USA students in math, one has to ask why. I believe part of the answer might be with superintendents. The average tenure of an urban superintendent is 3.5 years. This short duration makes it impossible to create a value system that fosters a common focus within a school system’s culture. Hence, the evidence of failure (USA students score 30th in the world in math ) is a public reminder of ineffectiveness and organizational disarray.
With that in mind I believe we need to appreciate the 14 years of Dr. Bob VanMaren’s commitment to our community. Through the good and the bad, he has always come back to work. His behavior is a model for the very values we ask of our students. We ask our students to develop skills in order to become strong, independent thinkers. We ask our students to commit to their work and to live with purpose.
I believe the effect Dr. VanMaren’s behavior is reflected in the changing culture of our schools. This cultural shift is evidenced by all schools recently reaching AYP.
Kansas City, Mo.
Originally published at: http://www.bonnersprings.com/news/2011/nov/30/letter-appreciate-what-we-have/