Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Job Posting: Shelby County School Superintendent

JOB OPENING

Superintendent of Suburban School District with Delusions of Grandeur

The Shelby County (TN) Board of Education invites you to apply, if you are someone who can follow orders, for superintendent of a district where high-quality schools is our overall objective (after politics and religion).

Join us in a school system where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the kids are above average, as long as we only compare ourselves to the adjacent urban district.

Salary: Negotiable: we know how to jack it up even if our major funding source doesn't want us to.

Requirements: All applicable Tennessee certifications. Previous experience as a lackey in an educational setting crucial. If you are a woman or African-American, you can apply if you just don't have anything better to do, but it's just not that kind of place. If you are gay, you need to find God. Southern accent required.

Send letter, resume, and credentials to School Board Chairman David Pickler.

Reason for vacancy: Previous occupant decided these weren't the kind of people he wanted to be in a foxhole with.

Closing date for applications: March 13 (ok, we admit it, it's not really a search).

Our Motto: Preparing Students for Tomorrow…Today. (As long as it's a world of white Christians.)

Preferred Traits and Applicable Experience:

  • Straight face: Ability to justify construction projects that just happen to create separate but equal schools – like a big white high school way up north and a black one down south.
  • Lip syncing: Milli Vanilli should envy your ability to move your mouth when the school board chairman's speaks.
  • Biblical: Ability to repeat the 10 Commandments (we're not so much concerned about the Beatitudes; they sound too liberal to really be Jesus' words).
  • Pedigree: Extra points if you've ever been called "Bubba" at some point in your life.
  • Warehousing: We like to build schools that stack thousands of students in them.
  • Corrections Industry: We love to watch students pee and to test students' pee, particularly if they want to play sports.
  • Myopia: Only compare student performance to urban districts.
  • Eye control: Ability to not bat an eye even when you claim that a special school district is in Memphis' best interests.
  • Ambition: We strive to be a world-class school system (as long as the world is West Tennessee).
  • References: Please list any developers who can vouch for you.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

I usually enjoy smart city posts, but this one offers no solutions, only negative comments. This entry is below par for your entries.

bob said...

Anonymous, I think he makes his point rather well. Take off your East Jesus fogged glasses and read again.

Anonymous said...

"He" does? Then where's the solution? And "Bob:" why attack me?

My family wasn't the one that decided to live in Memphis, but send my children to private school, leading to only the apathetic left for PTA organizations. I didn't elect a single member of the memphis school board to fight and grandstand. I didn't appoint Gerry House to run it into the ground. I didn't neuter teachers by removing their ability to stand up to out of control students and their parents who think "their baby can do no wrong." I didn't annex areas, then relocate my section 8 housing recipients into the homes in that neighborhood, causing crime to skyrocket and residents to flea. And considering that most of those people moved out going on 10 years ago, we're past the point of just shaking our fist at them and decrying "white flight." Grow up.

Is Memphis better because it's high emphasis on minority status as a quality of employment? Did the high influx of populations in Southeast Shelby County and Arlington drive building the schools? Is there a large number of muslim or jewish or hindu students in any memphis schools to be able to support either the blog's stereotype ("As long as it's a world of white Christians") or Bob's ("East Jesus fogged glasses")?

I think you both need to step off your "we're better than you" stool and quit blaming shelby county for memphis' woes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob: Easy on Jesus man.

As for Anon 6:56. Take it easy on SMC. That last post was hilarious.

They're telling it like it is with a little biting ok perhaps toxic humor.

Mick Wright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zippy the giver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mick Wright said...

For three years running, the Shelby County School system has earned nothing but the highest marks. They received straight A's in Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Of the 136 school systems in Tennessee, only nine can make that claim, and the average enrollment in those other eight is 6,700, compared to Shelby's 46,537. They've done this while the minority population and the disadvantaged population doubled. And they also do it while spending slightly less per student than the other eight high-scoring systems.

Tom Jones can make an ass of himself all he wants, but it won't change the fact that parents want their kids attending good schools.

Zippy the giver said...

Does the board have insurance against LAW SUITS?
I would think that if they did, they wouldn't runaround like a bunch of pansies justifying every undercut of the teachers with a BS excuse and stand behind discipline, where appropriate.

If they don't have liability insurance, I suggest they get some and get it QUICK, PDQ!

I smell a lawsuit brewing.
If the only thing that comes out of this depression is that the crooks who've been destroying this town go broke and leave, and their lackies go broke and leave, and there is no more money to support the corruption here, THEN BY ALL MEANS, GIVE ME MORE OF THIS DEPRESSION!!!!!

Ya can't hide when ya ain't got no money!!!!

I thought this post was hilarious!
Rock on SCM!

Anonymous said...

Is this Mayor Willie of Turdtown writing this ?

Sure sounds like it.

Sure whis I wasn't Caucasian. Its been a millstone hung from my neck since I moved to Memphis 22 years ago.

Thanks again for keeping a vanilla brotha down.

Smart City Consulting said...

Mick:

Good to hear from you.

Just for the record, I'm a graduate of Shelby County Schools and so are both of my daughters. I know of what I speak. On its best days, Shelby County Schools is a very average school district, and we've written here before about the meaningless of the state tests so we won't belabor the point again. Compare SCS to districts with similar socio-economic profiles, and it comes up short.

But what we have the biggest problem with, as we have often written, is that it has based key decisions on race-based rationales and that it was for way too long an instrument of developers, siting schools to make them rich and without any consultation with county government to determine financial impact to all of us who have to pay the bonds for the infrastructure of sprawl.

Thanks for the comment.

TJ

Anonymous said...

Some people can sure dish it out but sure can't take it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:56, apparently you weren't around every time Pickler and his ilk tried to teach Christianity in public schools. do your homework.

Anonymous said...

you gotta love it. Pickler at his finest should just "anoint" himself superintendent like Willie rather than being a puppet master constantly pulling strings...that must be exhausting...to be such a control freak.

Anonymous said...

Smart City Consulting said...

"But what we have the biggest problem with, as we have often written, is that it has based key decisions on race-based rationales and that it was for way too long
an instrument of developers, siting schools to make them rich and without any consultation with county government to determine financial impact to all of us who have to pay the bonds for the infrastructure of sprawl."

How could Shelby County School's decisions possibly be anymore "race-based" than those of Memphis City Schools?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you dont like white people.....well fuck you then.....nigger lover

Smart City Consulting said...

Anonymous:

No one would accuse us of going easy on Memphis City Schools, but we were writing about Shelby County Schools today.

While we would normally delete your second comment, we're leaving it as a reminder of what stupidity looks like when it's in print.

Anonymous said...

While I claim credit for the 3:06 post, the 3:07 post is not mine. To associate that one with mine totally wastes the point I was making.

Anonymous said...

Whoops, I mean I didn't post the nasty comment...

Smart City Consulting said...

Thanks, 3:27, we appreciate your clarifying.

Smart City Consulting said...

Thanks, 3:27, we appreciate your clarifying.

Anonymous said...

In a city that seems to have as many private Christian schools as public schools, this post appears to hit the nail on the head. But this is Memphis, Tennessee; where God, guns, Republicans and inept Democratic office holders rule and ignorance and persistant do nothing bitching rule.

Aaron said...

Ok SMC where are you going with all this?

After a week of incredibly positive posts we all get rudely reminded of what most of us already know about the past and how it continues to manifest itself in current issues.

Please let's move on or at least show us why you chose to reveal the inner workings of what you are suggesting is a very broken system. Frustrated :(

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the bigots club you have a lot of friends from the Memphis City Schools.

Anonymous said...

so in reality...what qualifications should be posted on the "real superintendent" posting...anyone read it?

Smart City Consulting said...

Aaron:

The first step in changing things is acknowledging the problem, and we've been writing for years about problems at SCS. This was just our way of recapping.

As we've said before, we need to be positive about our city and the future, but not to the point of denial or engaging in happy talk.

To us, SCS is like the proverbial mule that you have to hit with a 2 X 4 to get its attention. That said, we bet that even this post won't get theirs.

Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

"But what we have the biggest problem with, as we have often written, is that it has based key decisions on race-based rationales and that it was for way too long an instrument of developers, siting schools to make them rich and without any consultation with county government to determine financial impact to all of us who have to pay the bonds for the infrastructure of sprawl."

As one who experienced this up close and personally, I can tell you that truer words were never written. SCS and certain influential suburban developers cost the citizens of Shelby County more than just money for infrastructure necessitated by sprawl, it cost us (whether you acknowledge it or not) the heart and soul of our region - the vibrancy and growth of the City of Memphis.

If anyone thinks that SCS is doing our community any service or good by building 2,000+ schools in the far reaches of the County, you are delusional. The Board is contributing to the racial discord by intentionally segregating its students by race and class.

Sit through a meeting with David Pickler on a matter of school policy, and within the first few minutes you will realize how cleverly he has deceived the citizens who keep reelecting him and the County mayors and County Commissions who began enabling the SCS Board in the late 1980's and continue to enable it today.

Smart City Consulting said...

Since one of the anonymous posters - Pickler or part of his brown shirts - is so cowardly with his comment (thanks for deleting), he should just shut his trap. He's not worth listening to. Keep on keeping on.

Tom Guleff said...

I might not agree with Tom Jones, but his blog "ain't all that bad."

I thought the jab at SCS was funny. But, this is minor league stuff compared to the real and dysfunctional environment within much of MCS. No "local" community outrage over that ?!?!?

On a like topic, of the $1.7 BILLION of the county debt how much was due to county expansion / school construction / funding formula ?

Smart City Consulting said...

Tom:

Good to hear from a fellow blogger. We know that you are aware that we've written about the dysfunctional environment of MCS on several occasions.

Finally, to your questions, more than 50% of the county's debt relates to sprawl-induced investments in schools and roads for the 'burbs.

Steve Steffens said...

SCM,

If you hadn't hit the nail on the head, there wouldn't be this much squawling (anonymously, of course) from the white-flighters.

Bravo.

Anonymous said...

"SCM,

If you hadn't hit the nail on the head, there wouldn't be this much squawling (anonymously, of course) from the white-flighters.

Bravo."

Assuming that everyone who disagrees with you AND posts anonymously is a "white-flighter" is ignorant.

Anonymous said...

How can we know anything about SCS when their data is so heavily guarded? The system is airtight and nearly unyielding in its willingness to share information. We may think that MCS has many problems, but at least we know something about the system. TN report card data is not the definitive say on the status of a school district.

To Aaron's concern, it is important to accurately describe the problem, but the rub is what to do about it. At the New Path/Not New Path meeting at the Memphis Public Library several months ago, many people discussed the need for viable candidates who represent everyone's interests...but nobody was ready to throw their hat in the ring. Some felt like they would lose their privacy forever and be overly scrutinized. Others lamented the inadequate funding for long-shot candidates, those who may not have paid their local political dues.

In any case, problem-describing can't be the final word. But it's a great starting point.

Proud2Teach said...

SCS's data is not heavily guarded. It is available by district & each school at https://tvaas.sas.com/evaas/welcome.jsp

You can compare the system to others across the state. Granted, this is only within Tennessee, but there are other high performing suburban schools to compare SCS with.

SCSparent said...

The race and religion comments may be over the top and they certainly push emotional buttons. That's a shame because they remove the focus from some of the criticisms that could draw wide support.

"Salary: Negotiable: we know how to jack it up even if our major funding source doesn't want us to." Does no one remember the raise last spring? Several different rationales were offered, but none ever really made sense.

"Closing date for applications: March 13 (ok, we admit it, it's not really a search)." Does anyone find that barb unfair?

"Lip syncing: Milli Vanilli should envy your ability to move your mouth when the school board chairman's speaks." Most people who watch SCS closely will find that comment to be on the mark.

"Eye control: Ability to not bat an eye even when you claim that a special school district is in Memphis' best interests." Again very funny. Is there a serious person out there who believes MCS will benefit when SCS is given special district status?

"References: Please list any developers who can vouch for you." If you watched site selection for Arlington High School, you know why this one is funny.

Again, Mr. Jones included much that appears to be intended to be divisive. He did make many very valid points about shortcomings in SCS. What's the cure? Transparency in the decision making process. Include the community in site selection, don't just announce a decision.

Finally, one poster commented on the citizens who keep electing David Pickler. Pickler has never won an election, he has always run unopposed.

bob said...

What's the cure?

Consolidation.

Zippy the giver said...

CONSOLIDATION.



BINGO!!!

Mike Rude said...

Tolerance, as preached by Democrats like Left Wing Cracker, is being accepting of all and not stereotyping people.

Reality: acceptance of like minded people.

Practice what you preach! You have no right to point fingers at intolerance, when you use a term like "white flighters".

I live in Memphis and am proud of it, but I'm not going to point fingers at someone who moves to the suburbs for schools and/or perceived safety, and neither should you.

Sinews of thy heart said...

As a fairly recent graduate of the Shelby County School system (2006), I feel confident in saying there needs to be change (sorry for stealing the catchphrase Barack). Anyway, I don't blame the parents of SCS students for moving to the suburbs for their child to receive a "better" education. However, I found my thirteen years in SCS schools to be a waste of time. Where's the diversity? I mean more than just racial diversity. Every single teacher was the same, or it at least seemed to be that way. I never felt challenged in class even after taking honors courses. I'm now a junior at the University of Memphis and have discovered my roughly six semesters of college education far more rewarding as I have encountered a more diverse student body (race, religion, socioeconomic background, etc.) and instructors. The kids in SCS aren't gaining the full experience of life. They need to interact with people different from themselves to better understand the world and themselves. I doubt, however, SCS will change.

Smart City Consulting said...

Proud2Teach:

We suspect that the person ahead of your comment was referring to the way that the county schools obfuscates when it comes to explaining how it sets its attendance zones, how it calculates capacity for each school, etc. As we have said before, the state tests tell us that more than 80 percent of our students in Tennessee are proficient when the more reliable, and less politically corruptible NAEP, shows it to be about a fourth of that.

NEW SOLUTIONS GROUP said...

"TN report card data is not the definitive say on the status of a school district."

Especially when there are no stats on the new leadership's results yet, that's very important not to forget.

"At the New Path/Not New Path meeting at the Memphis Public Library several months ago, many people discussed the need for viable candidates who represent everyone's interests...but nobody was ready to throw their hat in the ring. "

Like it's impossible for the jerks in office now to accomplish doing their job?
I get it it, but, sheesh!

"The kids in SCS aren't gaining the full experience of life. They need to interact with people different from themselves to better understand the world and themselves. "

You won't get an understanding of the world that's anything more than a myopia if you never leave town. I know it's better than SCS, but, it's an expanded myopia at best.

"the state tests tell us that more than 80 percent of our students in Tennessee are proficient when the more reliable, and less politically corruptible NAEP, shows it to be about a fourth of that."

One day, the truth will be pretty, but, not today.

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