BY BUDDY NEVINS
Some have suggested we have an elected school superintendent in Broward.
One plus: An elected superintendent would be more responsive to the public.
I guarantee administrators would be more diligent about answering parents calls is their boss The Superintendent faced the voters every four years.
On the other hand, there is a couple of big negatives. One is that anybody could run for the job. We could get somebody who is a good politician, but a lousy administrator who knows nothing about education.
Another downside is that elections for superintendent would quickly degenerate into the same type of negative campaigns that already plague the entire political system. Many talented administrators would shy away from a campaign where they were the target.
Check out the campaign post card from the recent election for Leon County School Superintendent (click to enlarge):
The card is half accurate, like much of the campaign advertising produced in Broward.
Yes, Jackie Pons has a phys ed degree. Yes, Pons has a masters in education. What isn’t mentioned is that the master’s was in education administration, which is essentially what a superintendent does.
Yes, Pons was a basketball coach. What isn’t mentioned is he was a basketball coach before he was an assistant principal at two schools, the principal at another and before he was named Principal of The Year.
Did the school system students do badly on the FCAT writing exam? I don’t know.
What I do know is that Leon County scored above the state average in the FCAT in every subject for every grade level.
Although I don’t know where the candidate got the dropout rate figures cited in the post card, Leon County does not have the 5th highest drop-out rate in the state, according to the state Department of Education.
Sometimes this garbage works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Voters in Leon County were smart enough to ignore the attacks. Pons was easily re-elected and remains the most popular elected official in Leon County in polls.