Tuesday, August 14, 2007

R. Scott Pierce: A resignation long overdue

R. Scott Pierce, the controversial superintendent of the Kenosha Unified School District, has resigned to run a charter school in Milwaukee.

Pierce officially labels it a "retirement" but today's resignation is effective on Sept. 1 which hardly is the way most school superintendents "retire."

It's hard to say what straw broke the camel's back here -- the school board and current superintenent seem to bask in operating in secrecy -- but Pierce has been a huge disappointment.

There were expectations that Pierce, a Kenosha native, would be a unifying, healing influence. Those expectations were unmet.

Instead, Pierce turned out to be one of the most arrogant and out of touch public officials in the history of the county. Wrapped up in his own self-importance, he created his "cabinet" of administrators -- "cabinet" was his description. He eliminated the position of assistant superintendent, apparently unwilling to trust anyone to share power and responsibility.

The president of the United States has cabinet. A local school superinendent does not and should not.

Under Pierce the school district became hugely and irreparably insular and bureaucratic.

While we wish Pierce the best of luck in his new duties, we wish his successor even more luck in attempting to undo the damage Pierce left behind.

5 comments:

Dutchlu said...

It is unfortunate that whoever "writes" this blog is so out of touch with reality. Regardless of the superintendent that left,(most current and all those that come in the future) get the hint that this district is broken and will continue to be that way until this community elects a school board that understands the difference between board governance and board micromanagement.

A brief look back at history clearly shows that this community elects dysfunctional people to the board that all have personal issues and wish to inflate their egos! It will never change and this district will never grow and improve until the taxpayers wake up and elect community members whose first interest is the children of Kenosha, not to inflate their already overinflated egos!

Anonymous said...

Regardless of who is in the superintendent seat, most recently departed, prior to him and in the future, until the residents of Kenosha elect board members who are there for the benefit of the children they serve, there will be the continual "interim" superintendents. It is too bad also when you have two retired teachers, a retired principal, a board member with a spouse who is a teacher all on the board at the same time. I also believe there should be term limits for board members so you don't have a "lifer" like Ostman...and to think he was a teacher! Yikes!

RAG said...

In fairness to Ostman, sometimes he's the lone voice of dissent (and/or reason, depending on your view).

Yes, the board is a piece of work but it didn't become that way overnight. One of the tasks of the next superintendent should be to significantly pare down the bureaucracy, streamline and harmonize policies (or which there are far too many) and demonstrate to the board and the community that the job is getting done.

No matter how you slice it or dice it, Pierce is still a piece of work.

Anonymous said...

Currently R. Scott Pierce is the superintendent of Central High School of Salem, Wisconsin. Will he prevail in damaging another school is in question. Right now he has students protesting against him and his new decision to let go or resign teachers and staff that have been working with the school longer than he has while under the benefit of getting paid twice as much as he should as an adminstrator. Hopefully the board and surrounding communities will realize their mistake and correct the problem quickly before the students, parents, and faculty end up paying the price.

Anonymous said...

One need only ask a few teachers what they thought of his leadership in Kenosha, and what they think if his leadership at Central. They will indeed tell the tale.