The Trials and Tribulations of the Christina School District & Board

As everyone surely knows by now, Christina Superintendent Dr. Freeman Williams has taken a leave of absence.  Many are speculating as to the reasons why, but frankly I don’t feel it is anyone’s business other than Freeman’s.  He is doing what he has to do and I will leave it at that.

But what happens next for Christina is anyone’s guess.  Their deputy superintendent, Dr. Fara Zimmerman, is retiring at the end of August.  So who will run Christina during Freeman’s absence?  Nobody knows at this point.  There was a posting for a deputy superintendent, but that posting has been pulled.  Sources say this was pulled by one member of the board without consulting other members of the board.  Once again, this is one of the individuals who seems to think making major unilateral decisions for the district is more important than discussing this with other members.

Next Tuesday, the board has their monthly meeting and I expect more than a few fireworks to go off.  Tensions have been building in this district from all ends, and with these latest two events, as well as the whole “agendagate” from last week, the allegation that two board members acted to try to get Christina investigated by the State Auditor, two referendums that didn’t pass, substantial layoffs, an essential referendum for next year, and the whole Wilmington redistricting thing which seems to be putting Christina into a corner, this is a district on the edge.

What this district needs is fresh blood that puts children first.  They need a strong, vocal, and very heavy in education experience leader.  Not a coach, or a captain.  They need a General!  Someone who will take charge with vast amounts of experience in these types of issues.  Someone who will get out to the community and rally the people.  If Christina falls, it’s only a matter of time before something like that spreads.  We all know Governor Jack wants to further his corporate education reform agendas and get more charters in Delaware.  If anyone his any misconception or illusion concerning this at this point, I can only say “Wake Up!”

Governor Markell is drunk with power, but he doesn’t realize yet how bad the hangover is going to be for him.  It’s never been students first, it’s always been Jack first.  For Christina School District, Jack has made them his punching bag for so long it isn’t even funny.  It never was.  This isn’t to say Christina doesn’t have issues.  But when you are the largest district in the state, serving some of the most vulnerable of children, and charters are taking away the best students, there are bound to be issues.  Christina needs to unify, and it’s now or never.  They need to get their board to act in unity and pick the best leader for their district.  I am rooting for them!