Monday, February 25, 2008

Jim Paul's Arrest: The Complete Video

Last week we called the video of Escambia County school superintendent Jim Paul's arrest "instructional." Now there actually is an instructional video (14 min.) of sorts, complete with chapters illustrating the major stages of a DUI arrest.

It's just like a training film (see below) without annoying commercials or the all-important breathalyzer test, which may have been administered off-camera.

Ah, but training for whom? New traffic police or chronic drunk drivers looking to prepare in advance for the field sobriety tests when they're pulled over?

No doubt the video is the kind of 'ugliness' the Pensacola News Journal editorialized about last week:
At a time when the School District faces growing challenges, the last thing we needed was a race for superintendent whose chief issue would be the superintendent's personal actions, not education.

It's too bad, but that is the reality of it. Paul made himself into a target — one hard to defend.
Those most in need of some training are the voters. They need to realize, as the PNJ says, that it makes no sense to have the Escambia County school board and its superintendent enjoying "independent power bases due to the political structure of the system."

As the newspaper points out, "Few, if any, elected superintendents enter office having managed anything as large and complicated as a school district." Furthermore, having an elected superintendent as well as an elected education board doesn't blur the "line of command." It erases that line.

What's worse, the political sirens of electoral politics inevitably seduce elected superintendents, sooner or later, into making decisions that are calculated to have voter appeal but do not help to improve the quality of our schools or the education of our children.

By referendum, local voters have had opportunities in the past to restructure the governance system of Escambia schools. Every time, a bare majority has blown the chance.

If Mr. Paul's troubles do nothing more than inspire the voters, at last, to rationalize the system and abolish the election requirement for superintendent then this tawdry business will have served a worthy end. And Jim Paul, by no design of his own, will have left a lasting legacy we can all be thankful for.

1 comment:

flcertifiedteacher said...

Very interesting!

We have a new stupidintendent here in SW FL, in Collier County. I created a blog about him: