33 thoughts on “Sheldon Berman Is Out As JCPS Superintendent

  1. For the first time in quite awhile, maybe there’s hope that Louisville is FINALLY going to demand more than MEDIOCRITY with its public officials. If that’s true — it might be an exciting time. Still waiting on Fischer, though.

  2. Don’t rush to run him out of town. He did do some good things…………waiting……….waiting……..waiting……..waiting……….waiting……..maybe not. Not the right person for the job. Never was and now folks know it. Good interviews don’t make good supers and wonder where he will land next and if his family will actually join him now. Good day for JCPS students.

  3. I’m hoping it’s a sign that the district is waking up that people are tired of the schools not meeting their mission of educating.

  4. This is a major opportunity to improve the economic climate in the city. Our poorly performing public school system is a significant determent to business relocating to the city.

    The two greatest mechanisms for government to attract businesses is through tax policy and promoting an excellent public school system. We tend to concentrate on the former and neglect the latter.

    Unfortunately we’ll likely end up with another academic elitist with a propensity to value diversity and equity, over results.

  5. Mark, what’s an academic elitist? To me, that’s a person who wants all kids to outperform, not a lazy, arrogant, absent leader like what we just got rid of.

  6. Open Letter to Steve Daeschner and Marty Bell: You need not apply. We don’t want you back either. A major reason why Berman failed is because he failed to rid the central office of the waste you left behind. He was so blinded by his own agenda that he didn’t notice the poo-poo he walked into.

  7. First time in a long time that most of us will sleep well. It isn’t an overnight fix but the mess we had as a Super didn’t help and didn’t realize he was in over his head. I guess Ivy League coaching and apperance does not make a Super. Good luck to the next person and you will gain the support of Louisville when you are honest, live here with your family, and act like you belong instead of the East Coast attitude that was the downfall of the last Super.

  8. This is just the first step. Now the real work begins of healing the wounds–and there are many–and making the achievement of all kids THE priority. If you “talk the talk” and don’t “walk the walk” as well, nothing will be accomplished.

  9. How about this, as soon as you find someone, pay him off and move him out. If they wait until summer it will be too late to implement any changes for NEXT years.

  10. Rob, and academic elitist (possibly too broad a brush I grant you) is one who prescribes to the modern warm and fuzzy Ivy League teaching theory that a child’s self esteem is as important as the mastery of their studies. Look at the titles of some the books Berman has written:

    “Children’s Social Consciousness and the Development of Social Responsibility”


    “Promising Practices In Teaching Social Responsibility”

    The titles speak for themselves. The public school system has become a social laboratory instead of a teaching institution focusing on outcomes and advancement.

  11. “Investigate and Verify Before Hiring”

    The search committee and any search firm (they are typically a waste of money but also routinely employed now for executive academic posts) should damn well investigate their finalist candidates extremely closely. Not just make phone calls (some folks will say the candidate is a cross between Einstein and Mother Teresa to get rid of a bad apple), but visit the city and school system and talk to faculty, staff, parent and corporate groups. Both Felner and Berman were silver-tongued angels during their interviews. Most candidates can play act for a few days. Get out to the person’s hustings and explore diligently before hiring.

  12. Astonishingly,

    LINDA DUNCAN from Fairdale voted to KEEP Berman!

    Fairdale HS was among the 10 WORST high schools in Kentucky.
    And DUNCAN appears to be OK with that!

    Some of the WORST performing schools in the state are in DUNCAN’S district:
    Fairdale HS, Iroquois HS,
    Knight MS, Lassiter MS,
    Blue Lick ES, Semple ES, etc.

    The JCTA must be proud of helping DUNCAN stay in power.

  13. Please people, SB is not Ivy League–as I have noted before, nobody at the Harvard Graduate School of Education knows he exists. AND some of the most important research has come out of HGSE– Howard Gardner, Robert Coles, Project Zero–and it has nothing to do with SB’s pseudo touchy feely stuff.
    I am appalled at Linda Duncan and Steve Imhoff. We need a recall process for elected folks.

  14. Whoever is using P Todd to blog, stop using someone else’s real name. At least have the creativity to make up an interesting alias.

  15. Blowin’ in the wind: As a footnote to your comment, it only took me about 1/2 hour to Google Berman and find out that he FOUNDED a thing called “Educators for Social Responsibility” in 1981 and was its self-appointed President until 1988 or so. When you Google “Educators for Social Responsibility” you can’t even find the word ‘reading’ or ‘mathematics.’ It’s all about ‘happiness,’ or ‘diversity,’ of making sure everyone enjoys school — sit on the window sills if that make you happy, or wear your pants around your knees — on and on. Whoever was responsible for ‘finding’ this guy should ALSO be fired, because a simple examination of his background would easily tell you (or anyone) that he was a ‘social engineer’ and in no way an ‘educator.’ My guess is that the CJ editors (when they found out about his proclivities) had an orgasm — so we wind up with a fool.

  16. How about this, as soon as you find someone, pay him off and move him out. If they wait until summer it will be too late to implement any changes for NEXT years.

    “Investigate and Verify Before Hiring”

    If they want to do this right (which is a big IF), they should not hire anyone for next. Find an interim. Spend a year looking and vetting the next candidate.

  17. Highlander-
    For three years now I have been trying to ring that ESR “Educators for Social Responsibility” bell. I’ve called Toni Konz, WAVE, WHAS, bloggers, etc. No interest. Today, I’m all over the internet charging that if media-outlets (and we, as parents) do not do our jobs next time, we have only ourselves to blame.

  18. South Ender, on my ballot, Linda Duncan had _no_ challengers in her school district race. If she’s so bad, why did nobody run against her?

    I’m not suggesting she isn’t bad enough to lose her seat, but here’s a case in point where apathy is the real thing that has been killing Louisville. Apathy.

  19. I agree with Steve. I used to post on the C-J’s mommy site on all kinds of issues mothers run into and need advice on, but once the boards became dominated by the student assignment issue, and if you weren’t steadfastly against diversity, they ran you out on a rail.

    I don’t think the current plan is a good one, but I do think we need more than neighborhood schools, too.

    Apathy is the thing–these ladies on the mommy board virtually clawed to pieces anyone who suggested their precious event wasn’t “entitled” to go to a “good” school close to their McMansion–but when it came time to make a difference, they didn’t sign up to run for the School Board and didn’t even mount effective efforts to vote the incumbents out–every single incumbent School Board member was re-elected in November. Apathy. It’s easier just to type ad hominem attacks from the comfort of your en suite kitchen office than it is to put up or shut up. Apathy indeed.

  20. (typing from dining room table in my modest 1400 sq ft ranch, while my homeschooled children do their work)

    I’m not apathetic. I’ve just wandered off of the reservation, but am still mad as hell about it. I scrapped and clawed (board meetings, sit downs with Pat Todd, Barbara Dempsey, Rodosky) for my kids, but still was not able to get them placed in schools that were acceptable. So, we left.

    One person’s entitlement is clearly another person’s greed, to you.

    Not shutting-up, but packing-up.

    Speaking of apathy, I saw only one “Linda” on the ballot.

  21. I actually am quite satisfied with my School Board member, so there was no need for me to run. I heard a lot of bellyaching–no action. I was honestly shocked when every single incumbent was re-elected; surely, all the ire expressed here, on the C-J boards and elsewhere would result in change, right? Nope. Why? Apathy. And I’m not talking just about ensuring YOUR child gets a great education, but ALL children served by JCPS get a chance at a great education. You get no kudos from me for doing your parental duty–I do admire those, however, who see past themselves and theirs to work for the opportunity of success for others.

  22. I am sure Shelly boy was surprised by this. Looks like he may be selling his big ass $500,000-$600,000 home in the Fischerville area that he just purchased about a year ago. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out of town.

  23. Steve – the School Board position pays virtually ZERO. Thus few folks outside the JCTA have an interest in a job that gets lots of criticism and few rewards. Duncan is 100% JCTA-owned and has benefitted from tons of JCTA money used to promote her candidacy.

    It takes lots of money to run for any public office these days. For just some of these mailers run as much as $.50 per piece. While that seems small, multiple that times say 8000 voters and already $4000 has been spent in the blink of an eye!
    And that’s just for 1 mailer 1 time!
    That’s simply not enough for any challenger to be effective in getting their message out.

    Linda – true democracy is a frightening thing when one holds a minority opinion. This old Harry Truman axiom always applies:
    “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
    Sounds like you made a wise choice on the mommies site.

  24. Linda,

    Success for others (whose parents are not doing their parental duties)? You can’t have it both ways. You chastise those of us who want the best for our kids (and are likewise involved enough to know EXACTLY what that entails). Yet, you want us to move out of the way in order to accomplish the “success” of others. Your loaded cliches in your posts speak volumes to your true intent, that levelling the playing field is the name of the game. I’m sure you ARE quite happy with your board member then.

    The world is not a fair place. It needs garbarge men.

    Don’t believe it? Try asking a Porsche-owner for his/her keys. Tell him/her your mom wasn’t well-educated, you live in “Area A”, and you live below the poverty line. See how far that gets you.

    And you are correct, I am doing my parental duty. Mine alone. Not someone else’s. JCPS could learn from that.

  25. Steve M-

    Sorry, just saw that post.

    I don’t look at it as giving up. My children don’t either. As a matter of fact, it really has been a gift. I’m just still mad as hell about it. I know what I know. Much of it I can’t share on here. I am “persona non grata” at the JCPS central offices because I didn’t give up, had armloads of data every time I visited, and was relentless in my questioning. However, every road, does indeed have its end. It just knew when to jump off.

  26. Just don’t let Brent McKim control the selection process like he did last time. The teachers really do need to take a hard look at what his leadership has done for them and vote in new leadership. Brent has lost his moral compass.

  27. Temperance, we agree to disagree. I believe that my responsibility ends not at my yard–you believe it does. Because of that basic difference, we likely will not see eye-to-eye on many things. I wish the best of luck to you and your kids and agree that battling JCPS is no fun, I’ve been there.

  28. I believe that JCPS is too big to be run effectively by anyone. I think JCPS should be split into 3, North (West End-Prospect), Central, and South (Valley Station- Eastwood). Districts lines would be drawn so that they would have roughly equal property tax bases.

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