Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007 | I was pleased to see (in Emily Alpert‘s article) that Bill Attea, consultant for the San Diego School Board, had pressed the board to state its overall goals for our schools before moving onto superintendent selection.

At a recent meeting with parents and school board members, we were asked to describe the type of person we wanted for superintendent. I stated that I felt that we were putting the cart before the horse. The school board needs to have a clear vision of what we want to accomplish in our schools over the next several years and then look for the right superintendent to implement those goals.

It is easy for board members to get caught up in many details of how the district is run. What is more difficult is come up with the right educational system for today’s kindergartners who will graduate in 2020. I heartily agree with the board’s goal of coming up with a long-term strategic plan for the district. All of the other goals will flow from that, including the selection of the right superintendent.

One detail that cannot be overlooked, however, is a readable budget. I have several inches of budget documents that even a highly educated person would be unable to decipher. As one politician has said, “Show me an organization’s budget and I will show you its priorities.” The board needs to look at the Big Picture. Right now that picture is very unclear.

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