October 22, 2008

Superintendent Shaw handles his first mini-crisis

Racine Unified Superintendent James Shaw is proving adept at his new position. Here's ">his response to the mini-controversy over a textbook including an excerpt from Barack Obama's autobiography:
Shaw told the Racine Unified School Board on Monday that people in his administration made him aware of two parents who had complained about the issue, and a “thoughtful, reflective investigation” of the textbook flap was necessary.


Jeff Weiss, director of curriculum and instruction, will conduct the initial review, and Shaw will issue a follow-up report to the board. Correcting any curriculum issues that violate district policy will be the first priority, Shaw said, followed by disciplinary measures if it’s appropriate.

The emphasis added is mine. Two points:

1. Shaw wasn't condescending. He's taking the parents' concern seriously and promises to address the issue.

2. Someone could get in trouble for this. If district employees violated district policy, it sounds like he's ready to act.

If you're trying to win over a skeptical public, taking their concerns seriously and enforcing existing policy seem like good places to start.

1 comment:

  1. I've somehow missed a chapter in this story: WHY do the parents find this text book offensive? Is it just that they don't agree with Obama's politics or is it the content of the article? I don't have access to 8th grade text books (especially now with those limited library hours) but I was told there is also an article written by David Sedaris, which, knowing the conservative leanings of our city, well, I'm surprised more aren't protesting THAT.