These are the most salient problems that the superintendent faces in her new job. (i) Complacency This is the general contentment with the state of affairs in the district system. In my opinion this is most salient of the problems since it presents a culture that has taken time to develop. Its effects are that the stakeholders fail to see their vulnerabilities and do not see the need to change. This culture is deeply ingrained in Harmony district such that any effort to bring change will definitely be resisted and this is not something that’s going to be resolved easily.
As it is a mind that has learnt to think in a certain pattern will not easily be taught otherwise. The areas of complacency include: Non-compliance with the teaching evaluation program – The school district management team, teachers and parents have gotten used to not complying with these rules and it will take firm action to ensure compliance. (ii) Inequities – racial and poverty segregation This presents a special problem to the improvement of the district school system. This is a major obstacle not just to the school system but to the development of the entire region.
The effects segregation are deep rooted and not easily resolved. Segregation is a social evil that requires diligent and patient campaign. It adversely affects the education system because when a school is economically segregated and under funded it affects the spending and consequently the quality of a school. This in turn affects the performance. (iii) Personnel This is a countrywide problem. The majority of teachers are old and waiting for the age to retire. This means that they are not so keen on utilizing the modern methods of teaching. Their teaching style is out-dated and is not relevant to today’s changing world.
They do not prepare their students to be adequately prepared for the challenges of today’s world. The superintendent has to ensure that the state mandate is followed and that teaching models used prepare students adequately. This problem is not very easy to resolve since the superintendent cannot hire or retire teachers. However one of the actions will be to ensure that the state mandate is complied with and all teachers evaluated regularly. The teaching models have to be up to date and should take into account the changing role of education in today’s world. iv)
Financial mismanagement This is a form of corruption and the problem with any form of corruption is that those who practice it will always fight back any efforts to stop them. However this problem is put as the fourth priority because it’s slightly easier to resolve. These are always laid down procedures in all financial undertakings and the superintendent will have to ensure transparency and accountability by for instance putting in place an independent audit committee that will look into the books of accounts and ensure that no funds are misappropriated.
The superintendent will ensure that financial regulations that concern the school system are followed. An audit committee will also be formed to examine all the books of accounts. Another strategy is will be ensuring that the responsibility of overseeing the budgeting and appropriation of funds does not lie on an individual/person but on a board to take care of this important responsibility. (v) Lack of support from assistants The 3 associates’ superintendents have openly disclosed their diverted interests. The fact that they didn’t get the coveted position makes them not be the best working mates.
Their support willingly given would go a long way in ensuring the success of the changes that need to be made. Without it the superintendent’s job becomes more challenging. (vi) Low level of education among parents Parents who have not attended college are less likely to encourage their children to seek further education in colleges. This has led to the small number of students furthering their education after high school and to some extent the low population of students attending high school in the district. (vii) Indiscipline Scholl indiscipline is reported in the schools closest to the metropolitan centre.
This is a thorny issue that needs to be urgently addressed since the potential of disrupting learning and aversely affected performance. Solutions Complacency This problem will take a lot of firmness and strength of will on the part of the superintendent. It is not going to be easy to inspire change to the people especially with the three associate superintendents not promising any support. However it can be done through the following steps: – • Laying down the problem of pointing the vision for the future. • Ensuring proper and effective communication with the stakeholders.
This will ensure that people own the process or at least understanding why the changes must be made. • Taking firm action in areas of complacency. Ensure that areas are non-compliance with the state mandate and so forth. Personnel This is a countrywide problem. The majority of teachers are old and waiting for the age to retire. This means that they are not so keen on utilizing the modern methods of teaching. Their teaching style is out-dated and is not relevant to today’s changing world. They do not prepare their students to be adequately prepared for the challenges of today’s world.
The superintendent has to ensure that the state mandate is followed and that teaching models used prepare students adequately. This problem is not very easy to resolve since the superintendent cannot hire or retire teachers. However one of the actions will be to ensure that the state mandate is complied with and all teachers evaluated regularly. The teaching models have to be up to date and should take into account the changing role of education in today’s world. Financial mismanagement This is a form of corruption and the problem with any form of corruption is that those who practice it will always fight back any efforts to stop them.
However this problem is put as the fourth priority because it’s slightly easier to resolve. These are always laid down procedures in all financial undertakings and the superintendent will have to ensure transparency and accountability by for instance putting in place an independent audit committee that will look into the books of accounts and ensure that no funds are misappropriated. The superintendent will ensure that financial regulations that concern the school system are followed. An audit committee will also be formed to examine all the books of accounts.
Another strategy is will be ensuring that the responsibility of overseeing the budgeting and appropriation of funds doesn’t lie on an individual/ person but forms are board to take care of this important responsibility. QUESTION 2 (i) One of the first personnel decisions the superintendent will make will be to increase the number of staff at the professional development office. This is from understanding that this office plays a crucial role in the district. It is the office charged with the responsibility of managing the school district’s teacher evaluation system.
Currently teacher evaluation has not been happening in accordance to the state mandate. One staff member is not able to accomplish all that needs to be done. This office is also charged with the responsibility of giving assistance and support to new teachers. The fact that this office has not been functional in the last many years has affected the orientation process for the new teachers in the district. Having nowhere to turn to they now seek help from principals and other experienced teachers within their schools.
These principals and teachers may be too busy or may not be objective in their giving of assistance. This has led to new teachers not being properly oriented. This will in turn affect their future work. Again this department will make it possible to motivate and boost the morale of the new teachers. (ii) Initiate comprehensive staff development program This program will be designed with the view of training teachers and will incorporate improvement plans. The time for planning will be set out in the program and the teachers being trained will be exempted from their normal responsibilities.
The superintendent will recommend to the district board the adoption of performance pay policy for school principals who show remarkable performance. This will serve to encourage principals to spur the teacher within their schools to work even harder with their students so that they may improve their performance. This is in accordance to the human resource concept of giving incentives to outstanding performance in order to motivate them. Question 3. A curriculum philosophy refers to a set of values, beliefs and ideologies that guide educational administrators in the execution of their day to day duties.
The numerous challenges facing Harmony District School system calls for a superintendent with a focused mind, one who is able to dissect through the problems of the school system and thereafter offer long lasting solutions to the inequities rampant in the area, the lax educational administrators , the dysfunctional teacher support services as well as the dismal performance of the schools , the increasingly agitated parents, the ignorant the ignorant and unsupportive parents all require a superintendent with a strong philosophy.
A strong and reproducible curriculum philosophy is not only a guide to the superintendent but also serves as guidance to the whole district school system in dealing with the existing challenges and issues. The superintendent will have to borrow from similar cases in other systems especially from where they are transferring from. Additionally, the superintendent will rely heavily on the almost 30years field experience to deal with the staff as well as the parent body which clearly are not functioning in a manner likely to yield into a synergetic effect. Performance is the greatest challenge for the incoming superintendent.
The statistics clearly point to a scenario whereby only very few students make it to the grade level. A comparative. As the new superintendent, the following curriculum if followed would result in the school system regaining new strengths and therefore uplifting the school performance. By emphasizing on non-compromise to quality, the superintendent will ensure that through better management staff, and especially then 253 veterans will use traditional instructional methods and have gone un-inspected for 5 years are inspected and such incidences do not recur in future.
Usually such occurrences are caused by laxity on the part of the associate superintendents as well as the superintendent. If such a problem occurs at the superintendent’s office, this can only mean that matters are worse off in the schools. This has a bearing on the motivation of teachers as well as of the students and therefore performance is affected. Specifically, to bring the poor performing schools in the north area feeder system would simply require; adherence to state mandate on inspection and evaluation, addressing the inequality issues such as resources, enough teachers and enough administrators.
Integration as a curriculum philosophy calls for amalgamation of the school system into the needs of the students and parents with an aim of ensuring that the schools provide and impart self sustaining education. By achieving the above, the superintendent is able to save the whole school system. The involvement of the local community in all of the above measures is of core importance in that the community is a big stake holder of the school and therefore all measures must get the approval of the community in the sense that it is the community that naturally should benefit from the school system.
Currently that is not the case because the school system has ceased to adhere to state mandate rules and regulations. 4) You are to assume that Harmony School District is in a state with precisely the same laws as yours. You are concerned that the student performance data is evidence of inequities in the system and you are concerned that the school district has become complacent with these inequities. What problems presented in this case are related to issues of power and domination?
Harmony school district must be made to deal with the rampant cases of inequities. The worst thing is the fact that this inequities currently happening do happen under the watch of the law enforcers. The superintendent is mandated to oversee the whole school system in the district. The law has to some degree protected the marginalized communities from discrimination and unfair treatment but at the same time it has failed to freely address the problem which studies have shown as a major contributor to poor performance in some schools in the Harmony school district.
The above mentioned problems can only be addressed through the implementation of the state laws regarding education and which calls for and guarantees equal opportunities in the school system regardless of ones racial background. Although the law has been in place for decades it is evident that, it has not dealt and addresses the problems conclusively and effectively. Therefore there is a need for a more concerted effort towards the protection of the minority groups especially in the African-American community whose entry to grade – level is pathetic and wanting.
The other legislation which needs urgent review is the school administration Act which calls for all education officials to be vigilant in making sure that the laxity observed in the school system for the past 5 years is done away with. Specifically, the following issues need urgent attention from the superintendent; Resource allocation is another issue, the fact that there is only one professional development staff is an indicator of neglected and dysfunctional school system. This can only be referred to as lack o human resource and it is a pointer to inequality in the resource distribution in the
Harmony schools districts. The fact that, the schools have not had, their classroom buildings repaired for the past 5 years is a further testimony that the system is fully mismanaged and there is inequity in resource allocation. There is a need for equitable resource allocation from the state education department with an aim of ensuring that all schools no matter their locations or the social class have access to equal and adequate learning facilities including all necessary resources such as teachers, staff and materials.
Without equitable resource distribution the pertinent issues of poor performance as well as other challenges facing the school system shall continue to haunt the school system and the superintendent in charge. Therefore the funding of the schools in the country need to be looked at afresh with an aim of helping out places like Harmony schools districts which is facing unprecedented challenges. The numerous sit-ins by parents is something which the superintendent needs to be wary about mainly because the trend may lead to general disturbances in the schools further affecting performance.
This becomes a reality due to the fact that, if the parents are taking part in sit-ins or strikes then the children may take after them and the situation may further complicates an already complicated situation. The issue of power and domination is evident in the school system. The fact that, the white students perform better than others from other backgrounds is a pointer of power wars in the schools which may imply a dominance by children from well to do parents.
Dominance is also evident in the way the parents who work in the nearby town in professional jobs are more active in the affairs of the school and even have seconded representatives to board meetings. This is an indicator that, the above are advantages as compared to their colleagues who do blue-color jobs who do not actively participate in the day to day running o the schools. Finally this is reflected in the performance of students therefore resulting into inequities.
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