To the Editor:
As your well-balanced article makes clear, the revolt of the Springfield, Mass., school district against orthodox licensure procedures for administrators marked an important moment in education (“Mass. District Steps Into Licensing Role for Administrators,” Nov. 8, 2006).
Why should we assume that the conventional practices of university-directed credentialing are the only way to license administrators and teachers? Why not assume that mission-driven schools are the best and most appropriate places to design and offer relevant licensure, just as has always been done in the most successful parts of the private sector?
Perhaps in the pursuit of journalistic balance, however, your article observes: “Analysts caution that letting a district license administrators … could reinforce status quo thinking. And few districts have the wherewithal to run their own programs.” The unnamed analysts cited are in an unconscious paradox, offering the very thing they caution against: status quo thinking.
Most districts certainly have the resources to run their own programs, if not alone, then in alliance. The shortage has never been in the resource department. It has been in the department of imagination.
New York, N.Y.
A version of this article appeared in the November 29, 2006 edition of Education Week as Administrative Licensure: More Imagination Needed