Today’s Star Banner offers an article titled “Does level of education matter with superintendent candidates?” and it asks this question because Jackie Porter is running for Superintendent of Marion County Schools but she has no degree while all of her opponents do. I choose the title of this article because I think it more accurately reflects what the real question is.
Does the education of our educators really matter?
My answer is simple, of course it matters. It is actually one of the most important questions to ask yourself in the race for Superintendent of Marion County Schools.
Do we want someone who appreciates and understands the value of higher education to lead our school system or do we want something less for our children?
The educational goals and achievements of our top educator do certainly matter in the decision as to who will guide our communities educational standards. They certainly matter to this parent who wants someone his child can look up to as role model for education rather than anything less. Would we hire a teacher who chose not to pursue a degree? No, and we should expect no less from the teachers boss.
Should we expect our children to strive reach for higher goals than our own? Of course we should, that’s what good parents do. We ask our children to always strive to be the best they can and working towards a college education is an important part of that path to excellence. What message do you send to students when the leader of the school system chose not to pursue a continued education? Do what I say but not what I do? Is that really what we want to tell students in Marion County? It’s OK not to go to college because we didn’t!
Much has been said in the comments section of that article about the success of people who do not have college degrees and names like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are thrown around as succesful individuals who do not have a degree. I think it’s true that you can succeed in life without a degree but we sell ourselves and our children short by justifying their choices with their success.
Just because a select few in our society have had the ability to succeed without a formal education is no reason whatsoever to lower the standards we expect from our children. The fact remains that most people who do not complete their education are not doing as well as those who have degrees. Even as hard as it is for college grads to get a job in today’s market it is much more difficult for those who have not graduated to get a real good job.
Hiring an educator who has nothing but a basic education sets the standards too low for our school system. I think we should expect more from our educators. I think we should expect a lifetime of dedication to education from those who want to lead our children’s education and nothing less.
Jackie Porter is an intellgent, articulate and impressive woman. I think she speaks her mind and she has the will to pursue what she belives in. I consider her an asset to our community and I have supported her in the past. I do however feel that she is not the best candidate for Superintendent of Schools.
Mrs. Porter recently announced her candidacy for Superintendent but many of us remember that her first choice was to run for Senate. She made the decision not to run for Senate after redistricting put her in a position where she could not win. The role of Superintendent is a second choice for Mrs. Porter and a calculated decision to pick a battle she felt she could win. It’s a smart move politically speaking but not the best move for our community.
Mrs. Porter will face Dr. Diana Greene for the Democratic nomination. Mrs. Greene holds a Doctorate in Teaching and Learning and she has been a teacher and student for her entire career. Mrs. Porter is running based on her experience as the owner of a local business with as many as 250 employees and her credentials are certainly admirable but there is a significant difference in the career choices and the lifetime focus of these two candidates. Mrs. Porter ran a business and then chose to go into politics. Mrs. Greene became a teacher who was forced into politics because in Marion County we elect our Superintendent.
Diana Greene has been an advocate and leader in our community and a champion for students. She has affected the lives of 100′s of local residdents as their teacher and mentor. She has already left an indelible mark on our community and she is fully deserving of our support and appreciation. There is no better qualified candidate for the role of Superintendent of Marion County Schools. No other candiate is better prepared for the role as leader of our childrens education. No other candidate has proven themselves as dedicated to the students of Marion County. No other candidate has the direct job experience and ease of transition to this very important position.
We should elect Diana Greene not because she deserves it although she does, not because she has earned it although she has and not even because she is obviously the most qualified and experienced candidate for Superintendent of Marion County Schools.
We should elect Dr. Diana Greene because she has already proven dedication to the education of our community, because she understand the concepts of hardwork and perseverance and because she values the importance of education and we should expect nothing less from our top educator.