A disturbing trend appears to be developing in North Texas as nine school superintendents have announced they are leaving their posts at the end of the current academic year.
It’s an unusual number of top public school administrators heading for the exits, according to officials, as reported by the Texas Tribune.
The culprit? It appears to be a combination of culture wars, pandemic politicization and perhaps some normal retirements. From my vantage point, it appears that the culture wars and the politics of the pandemic are playing too heavy a role.
Richardson ISD Superintendent Jeanne Stone perhaps is the most notable resignation. She quit in the middle of the school year after being pressured by parents over mask mandates. She was mum at the time she quit, but she has opened up in recent days to the media.
“Heartbreaking is a pretty accurate way to describe this,” Stone said. “It’s all I’ve ever known. It’s all I’ve ever done. It’s all I ever wanted to do.”
The Tribune reports: Stone is just one of many public educators who have borne the brunt of a shifting culture war — filled with fierce accusations and rising tensions often stoked by state officials — about how K-12 students learn. And she is among at least nine North Texas superintendents who have announced they would leave their jobs since the start of the school year.
School administrators generally have a relatively short lifespan in their posts. However, the current climate seems to be quickening the exodus from public school admin buildings. It is a shame to see such turnover.
The other biggie appears to be this thing called “critical race theory.” Parents are fighting among themselves over whether schools should allow teachers to instruct students on racism and its impact on our national history; they also are fighting with school administrators and elected board members, too.
And, of course, we have the children who are being caught in the middle of all this tempest and turmoil.
They are suffering the most. It shouldn’t happen.