BY BUDDY NEVINS
Government education bureaucrats are obsessed with advanced college degrees.
Why else would the Broward system require an interim superintendent to have a mastersâ€™ degree? This interim job is scheduled to last three months, some of it over the slower summer break.
When the only applicant who applied earlier this month didnâ€™t have an advanced degree, the School Board decided to rebid the job without requiring a masters or doctorate. Itâ€™s a smart move, but they may want to go farther.
In the last 50 or so years, advanced administrative degrees have sprung up like weeds in the front offices of our nationâ€™s public schools.
Administrators have titles like Doctors of Education Leadership. Many courses to obtain these degrees are offered online where universities’ brag they have â€œflexible curriculum choicesâ€.
What does that mean? Can you take the administration techniques of basket weaving?
Some of these bureaucrats take their degrees very seriously. One school superintendent insisted on everybody calling him “doctor.” His staff of flunkies bristled every time I called him “mister.” I believe, like most newspaper style books, that only a physician was entitled to be called “doctor.”
We Paid For It
This trend towards advanced degrees was paid for by taxpayers. Public schools subsidized employeesâ€™ education to obtain these administrative degrees. Then the same employees got a bump in pay for putting a few letters after their names.
Did all these administrative degrees improve our public schools?
What the school system has sadly lacked is administrators with a knowledge of business. I would like to see somebody running our school system who has a solid business degree rather than a nebulous education leadership degree.
But do you need an advanced degree at all?
Experience trumps a degree any day. Why has someone who has climbed up through the ranks and proven that they are a leader need a degree?
I donâ€™t believe leadership can be taught. I believe most good ones are natural born leaders. They can be taught some tricks of the trade, but most of their skills come from the gene pool.
Some are lucky enough to have another skill from birth â€“ creativity. Bill Gates of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Mary Kay Ash of the cosmetics fortune and hundreds of other successful, creative people have no college degreesâ€¦.much less advanced degrees.
All of them think out of the box. Thinking out of the box is another skill that isnâ€™t regularly taught by a university.
But isnâ€™t thinking out of the box just what we need more of in our schools?