Russ Gibb at Random
education

A New Beginning ?

January 8, 2007

Dear Russ,

It's nice to read the lively discussion currently going on regarding leadership in the DPS and the desire/need for change.

Open-minded people understand that change, fresh ideas, and continuous improvement are healthy and needed for success in any organization. A public school system is no exception.

These concepts must be not only supported but also promoted by the organization's leadership, and they will understand that sometimes changes in leadership are precisely what an organization needs to improve and best serve its customers (in this case the students and parents of the DPS).

With school board members, the voters get to decide when changes are needed. Remember that in the last election, Schoolmaster narrowly kept his seat by a vote of 11,423-11,254. His margin of victory was less than 0.5% of the total votes cast! If this isn't a strong sign of the desire for change in this district, I don't know what is. This election could have easily gone the other way.

Keep in mind that we have some other significant leadership decisions coming up in this district. The terms of school board members Joe Guido and Mary Lane are up in 2007. I don't know if one or both of them will run for re-election, but in any event voters will have an opportunity in November to put some new people with new ideas and better problem solving skills on the school board. Personally, I would like to see both of these incumbents go.

Additionally, the departure of Artis at the end of the 2007-2008 school year is really just around the corner when you stop and think about it (although it can't come soon enough for the numerous Artis critics in this district). Unfortunately, the voters don't get to choose the next superintendent - the school board does. I'm really interested in knowing when the search for the next DPS superintendent will begin, how the process will go, what the selection criteria will be, how involved the public will be, and whether the school board will get it right this time.

The students, parents and employees of the DPS deserve nothing less than a great leader who will do great things in this district. Finding such a leader will be no easy task. Great leaders have a rare combination of skills, including the ability to be tough when necessary but fair always, to listen with empathy as well as speak with conviction, to motivate and inspire at all levels of her/his organization, and to lead by example and be someone to whom the future leaders currently being educated in the DPS can look up and emulate. In my opinion Artis falls short on any number of these characteristics. Let's hope our school board can find us a great leader to replace him.

I'm looking forward to reading other people's comments on this subject.

Thanks,
DPS Parent

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10 Comment(s)

Amen, amen, amen, amen, and finally amen to that!

--by CoreValues on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

What I want to know, is do members of the Dearborn Board of Education ever respond to citizens comments on this site ? They should.

--by Another DPS parent. on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Please ,if we need to start looking for a new superintendent STOP, we have a excellent candidate already in the system. Dr Cheryl Kreger. She knows Dearborn it's citizens and school system well.
Why look outside ?
Artist would be a complete failure without her.
In fact, why don't we get rid of Artis now and make Dr Cheryl Kreger the superintendent today ?

--by Citizen on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

I support the idea of Cheryl Kreger. She really knows what she's talking about.

However, Russ, I don't support the idea of getting Guido out as the original poster recommends. In my opinion, he seems to have the clearest long-range vision as far as finances are concerned. At least, he sees and is concerned with how financial decisions will affect the entire district, rather than lobbying for one school over another. If we lose him, we will lose that objectivity.

--by Citizen 2 on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Joke: how do you spell Dr Artis ? F-A-I-L-U-R-E

--by student on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Guido voted to hire and then retain Artis as Superintendent. This has caused far greater harm to the district than his long range vision on finances. If he brought one Artis here, he may very well bring another. Out with 2006, out with Guido and Lane.

--by Charles Martel on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Dear Student, I do not believe Dr John Artis has been a complete failure. The man has a very difficult job.
Failure is not the right word.
For the Dearborn school system he has been more like a big mistake. He has a total lack of understanding of our community.

--by Parent on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Nearly 7 years ago I started going to board meetings now, I watch them on TV. I started watching around the same time Blackburn was elected. I recall Abed Hammoud was at every meeting and he would send her text messages via PDA while the meeting was in session. Then she would excuse herself to use the rest room and they would speak in the hall way.

They have improved their act so the audience can no longer see him pulling her strings But, she is still his mouthpiece.

How much longer do we have to put up with Blackburn ? Also is it too early to spray her with Oust ?

--by Board Watcher on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

If we don't watch ourselves we could have a much bigger problem with Abed Hammoud than his pulling of Aimee Blackburn's strings. We could have him as our next Mayor. If O'Reilly and Tafelski split the vote, along with the many others running, Hammoud might sneak a plurality win. I plan on attending the Democratic Club presentation of the candidates, to see if he will answer questions about his support of terrorists.

--by Fordson '72 Grad on 1/9/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Fordson,
While you're at it, ask Mr. Hammoud about threatening people who disagree with his agenda and expose his shortcomings.

--by Taxpayer on 1/9/07   Lives: Dearborn  

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