Monday, November 10, 2014

Dueling Editorials: Two Wildly Differing Op-Ed Pieces Concerning Brad Smith's Recent Utah School Chief Appointment

Our take? Utah's new State Superintendent of Public Instruction (Brad Smith) must be NOT be "blindly followed," but rather "closely watched"

To kick off our Monday morning discussion, we'll shine the spotlight on a couple of hot-off-the-press Salt Lake Tribune op-ed pieces, offering wildly differing opinions, revolving around the "wisdom" of the appointment of former Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith as or new Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

First, on 11/2/14, the Trib published the below-linked Kaye C. Chatterton guest editorial, which takes fawning flattery to a whole new level. Our new Utah State Schools Superintendent "is smarter than most of us. He is a whirling dervish in his learning curve," according to the obseqious Mr. Chatterton. "He is a spiritual man who appears to have congruent values on all seven days of the week," adds Mr. Chatterton, with a particularly Utah-esque church-speak flourish. as he urges Utah Lumpencitizens to lend him their blind and  "total support," [which] "he needs to do his new job." "Suck up much, Kaye C. Chatterton," one astute Trib reader asks?
Happily, veteran Ogden schoolteacher and former Ogden Education Association executive officer Lisa Vipperman offers a more level-headed approach, with her 11/9/14 Trib op-ed retort. "It isn’t up to us to give Mr. Smith a chance. We were not given a choice. Now all Utahns will have to deal with what happened in Ogden," opines the ever-rational and outspoken Ms. Vipperman:
Having observed Mr. Smith's bull-in-a-china-shop approach during his Ogden School District Superintendent tenure,  we're inclined to go along with Ms. Vipperman's analysis, and to adopt a posture of making sure that Mr. Smith will be closely watched, as he prepares to take a meat ax to the Utah public school system, which will most surely be the inevitable result of his new appointment.

But what say you, Utah public education wonks?


blackrulon said...

Brad Smith might be smarter than he is given credit for. He has found a way to fool local and state board members to believe he is qualified to be a leader. I still believe his two qualification for his new position are simple. he is very anti-teachers union and he was the least objectional alternative to Becky Lockhart.

AWM said...

Spot on on!

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