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OKC school board faces crucial hiring decision in replacing superintendent

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: July 3, 2013

What now? The school board's plans for choosing Springer's successor weren't immediately clear. The timing isn't great. School starts Aug. 5. With Springer's departure scheduled for just weeks later, district educators will prepare for a new school year uncertain of who will be calling the shots in a few short months.

Now is not a good time for leadership limbo, but neither should the board rush a decision. In the five years since Oklahoma City searched for a superintendent, much has changed. Schools are facing tight financial times even as the academic and social support demands on schools increase. The implementation of common core standards is a real challenge for schools, one that dovetails with new and stronger evaluations for principals and teachers. It's a tough time to be a superintendent in any district, let alone an urban district.

Times of challenge bring great opportunity. Sure, that statement is trite. But it's also true. School board members — including two new regular members and a new board chair — are asking more questions of district administrators as of late. They've stated that they aren't interested in acting as a rubber stamp.

The school board has no more important job than hiring a superintendent. If this growing, dynamic city has a weak spot, it's a public education system many families opt out of. Springer worked hard for five years to make improvements. His successor must continue to push to make sure the children of this community — especially those who can't opt out — have the education they need and deserve, so they can look to a future filled with hope and opportunity.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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