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Alexandria's New Superintendent Urges Educators to Stop, Reflect, Act

Susan Notes:


Ohanian Comment: I decided I wasn't going to post another outrage about D. C. Chancellor Rhee today. I read this one instead. Then I decided to look and see what kinds of comments readers were leaving. The only comment makes me want to cheer:
What a difference between this story and the DC Chancellor Rhee. What a difference experience and true confidence, as opposed to bluster, makes.

What a good point! People chosen as leaders who don't have much experience in schools go in with a big stick. Those with the confidence of can afford to start quietly. Who knows what will happen next, but surely, this is a good beginning in Alexandria.


By Theresa Vargas

On Morton Sherman's desk sits a brown leather journal. It is a nicer, more expensive version than the ones he handed to Alexandria school administrators a few weeks ago, but the purpose is the same.

"Part of what we're going to be doing is writing the next chapter of the story of this school district," Sherman, the school system's new superintendent, said he told them.

Educators often spend their days running from decision to decision. Sherman said he thinks it is important for them to sometimes stop, find a quiet moment and reflect on what they are trying to achieve for the students.

Sherman, 58, is the Washington region's newest superintendent, on contract for $250,000 a year through June 2012. A former superintendent in Tenafly, N.J., he replaces Rebecca L. Perry in heading the 10,600-student system.

Sherman said his first task involves being a "good anthropologist."

He has met with about 500 members of the school community and created an online survey, which has received about 200 responses. The survey asks four questions: What are the strengths of Alexandria public schools? What are the needs of the schools? What would you recommend as two or three major goals for the district? What are your expectations and hopes for your new superintendent?

— Theresa Vargas
Washington Post


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