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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Greene's lack of leadership

Superintendent Greene was awarded the superintendent of the year award. As somebody who works in her district, I was blown away. Now she does deserve credit for pushing the referendum. An additional revenue stream in the face of all of Tallahassee’s cuts was long overdue. Sadly, other than that, her leadership has been nearly nonexistent, especially on important issues. 

Thousands of veteran teachers in Duval County are on the precipice of a pay cut. A good leader would fight and scrape to make sure that didn’t happen. They wouldn’t let the backbone of our teacher corps be treated so shoddily. Some may argue that the hands of the district have been tied by the state. If that is the case, why isn’t Greene out there fighting against it? Why isn’t she explaining it to people and encouraging them to vote against anti-education politicians and sadly, in Jacksonville, we have many. Her silence on the issue is complicity because if she cared, she would be doing something.  

Furthermore, many in education believe draconian cuts are coming. Something I have written about in the blog Education Matters since the spring. Where has Greene been on the issue? Commissioner Corcoran says there is 500 million in unspent CAREs money. The question there becomes why hasn’t Duval County hasn’t received more? To give you some scale, Detroit, a district half our size, received 80 million in CAREs money while we received just 35 million.  Superintendent Mike Grego of Pinellas county and others have spoken up about it while Greene has remained silent. If there is money we should have got or if budget cuts are coming, the time to fight about it and inform the public is now. 

Speaking of the Commissioner, he has the mistaken belief he is the king of our schools. This noneducator, whose wife profited off legislation he helped pass for charter schools, likes issuing edicts and executive orders. This is not how things are supposed to work, nor have they in the past. When Greene shrugs her shoulders at executive orders, even if she may agree with them, she hastens the erosion of local control.  

Some might argue that she doesn’t want to speak up or challenge Tallahassee because she may be afraid they may try and harm Duval County or public schools in general, to which I reply this is what they have been doping for the last 20 years. What is she waiting for? She is the superintendent, heck she is the superintendent of the year, and her fighting against lack of funds in general, shoddy treatment and pay cuts for teachers, and fighting for local control is what she is supposed to be dong, its what a leader does, and she has not. 

I have been in the classroom for 20 years and have seen 5 superintendents come and go, and I am here to tell you we can’t afford much more of her leadership. If she isn’t going to lead, it's time for her to step out of the way and allow the board to pick somebody who will.  

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