Monday, July 1, 2013

Duval County’s strength, middle schools or who is the superintendent listening to?

The Super has reorganized the top administration of the district creating four area chiefs. The four people he chose to lead them are Addison Davis, Lawrence Dennis, Kelly Coker-Daniel and Iranetta Wright. Quite by accident it dawned on me that three of them made up last years middle school team.

Middle School Team 
Chief - Addison Davis 
Executive Director/Turnaround Specialist - Lawrence Dennis 
Executive Director - Kelly Coker-Daniel

I didn’t realize that middle school was the district’s strength. I bet Tommy Hazouri didn’t realize it either when last fall he talked about how discipline was so bad in our middle schools and that unless the district made them safe we will continue to lose kids and families to charter schools, private schools and the surrounding counties.

Was the best the district had to offer the middle school team and the principal of a school that just two years ago was ranked the worst in all of Florida? I have heard varying degrees of Oh My God what has the super done about three of them. Not Carolyn Davis, Mary Mikels or one of the dozens of other department chiefs, executive directors or turnaround specialists made the cut?

Think about this too. Addison Davis’s brother Mason Davis went from admissions rep to running the entire ESE department. The degrees of separation seem limited here. Now maybe I am just seeing patterns where none exist, I am on summer vacation after all and I have more free time than I know what to do with but the new top leadership comes form such a limited pool it’s hard for me to believe that there isn’t somebody in the super’s ear and I just wonder who that is and I wonder if that person is steering the district in the right direction.