Bad Leaders Damage More Than a Classroom

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To the Editor:

My thanks to David Finley for illuminating, in "Teacher Tenure: An Innocent Victim of Vergara v. California," the dirty little secret of school organizations: poor leadership.

From 36 years of experience in independent schools, public schools, and charter schools, I have seen individual heads of schools who are incompetent, divisive, arrogant, lazy, self-serving, totally dishonest, or manipulative. The roster of unprofessional behaviors includes publicly favoring certain teachers at the expense of others or waging vendettas against others. I have seen hypocrisy, gossiping, inability to keep secrets, and the capacity to talk the talk but not walk the walk. In a profession that calls for listening to all voices, the control freaks suppress them. There are, alas, heads of schools who do not like children.

Yes, there are teachers who should not be in classrooms. But bad leadership diminishes an entire school, not just a classroom.

Eleanor Nicholson
President, Board of Directors
Woodstock School
Uttarakhand, India

For more reader opinions about Vergara v. California and the implications for teacher tenure, browse the following letters:
"Teacher-Tenure Essay Draws Passionate Response," April 15, 2015.
"Teachers Aren't Alone in Being Vilified," April 15, 2015.
"School Boards and Tedium Mar Evaluation Process," April 15, 2015.

Vol. 34, Issue 27, Page 22

Published in Print: April 15, 2015, as Teacher-Tenure Essay Draws Passionate Responses
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