By Ernie Fowler – Nashville CHSD #99
My summer break has gotten off to a rocky start. Unfortunately, some (not all) of my friends with the Nashville Education Association aren’t happy with me. I’m in good company. Santa Claus can’t make everybody happy. Jesus Christ was perfect and was killed for his actions. I guess I should be flattered that some want to hang me as well.
The NEA claims that I don’t support teachers. Wrong. I support teachers as long as they are doing the right thing. Teachers are human. Believe it or not, teachers make mistakes just like I do. I cannot support any teacher if I feel like a student has been treated unfairly. I cannot support a teacher if they provide misinformation to the public. I want to support the teachers but I expect the teachers to act in a manner that is proper.
I’m fascinated by the word “input”. Input is fine but input doesn’t mean “my way”. There have been times when I have gone along with the input of teachers when I felt like it was good for the school district as a whole. On the other hand, there have been times when I have rejected such input if I felt like that input did not benefit everyone. I’m also fascinated with the term “lack of communication”. The problem isn’t a lack of communication but rather some folks don’t like what I’m communicating. My eight year old doesn’t like it when I communicate the word “no”.
I consider myself to be one of the most frugal (or as one of my former principals called me “tight”) people around. I don’t like to spend money unless I see a reason. I look for ways NOT to spend money. This is especially important when I’m in charge of spending someone else’s money…..like tax payers. My friends of the NEA claimed that I discouraged them from seeking grants. Wrong. I cautioned them about the grants. Some will cost the district money as they are only start up in nature. A grant may fund the first year of a project but it will require the District to fund say years 2-5.
Here is the bottom line. Paul Harvey said it best…..”the rest of the story”. There are always two sides to every issue. I would encourage the readers to keep that in mind. I think I’m a pretty lovable guy…..apparently a few people don’t think so . That is the life of a Superintendent.