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Don't let opportunity slip away

June 09, 2010 - The retirement of Superintendent Al Roberts presents an opportunity Clarkston hasn't seen in the past 15 years, a chance for new, effective leadership sorely needed in these tough economic times.

We ask that they take it.

This is a chance for a new direction, away from the current regime's market-driven focus. A chance to show real leadership instead of spending money the district doesn't have on the latest prestige programs like Fast ForWord or International Baccalaureate, then blaming the state when pink slips start flowing.

With so much control concentrated at the top for so long, the school board will be tempted to keep Roberts on board in some capacity to "help with the transition." They have several options to do this, such as extending his service for a month to a year.

They can also allow him to retire, then rehire him as a contract employee, as they did with Deputy Superintendent Dave Reschke and Human Resources Director Linda Nester this past year.

Don't do it. Trust your teachers, principals, and central office staff to run things while selecting a new superintendent.

We're all for innovative methods, teaching students to be critical thinkers with a love for learning. Maybe they can come up with ways to do it without paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the latest thing.

To retire means to withdraw from one's occupation, to stop working. We ask the school board to honor Roberts' request to retire and let him do it, July 1.

The last time this school district had the chance for a new direction was in the 20th century. Don't let it slip away.


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