The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 February 2008

Homegrown talent

With the departure of John Q. Porter, Oklahoma City Public Schools have now gone through four superintendents in eight years, and the Oklahoman suggests looking closer to home for number five:

It isn't unusual for urban districts to seek superintendents with experience leading urban schools — with good reason, because urban districts have some unusual challenges. But Oklahoma City's recent superintendent history shows the pitfalls of going beyond state borders to find a schools chief.

For starters, transplants often aren't familiar with the state's education laws and procedures, particularly as they relate to spending.

And spending, and reimbursement for same, was a major factor in Porter's undoing.

Still, how do you find someone with big-city experience in a state with few big cities? Says the Oklahoman, look to the suburbs:

Many of the suburban districts face some of the same demographic and socioeconomic challenges as Oklahoma City.

Then again, if they're right next door, they might have a perfectly plausible reason for not wanting to take the Oklahoma City job. Stories do get around. Not that I know any of them.

Posted at 10:59 AM to Soonerland