Jeff Meadors: Tough leadership needed for school change

Jeff Meadors

Jeff Meadors

Underneath the deluge of political money falling in Orlando, Columbus, Richmond, Des Moines and Colorado Springs swinging a General Election, Middle Eastern violence against the U.S., murdered diplomats and embassies under siege dwells a buried story of unlikely alliance.

Paul Ryan praised Rahm Emmanuel's quest for educational reform as the Chicago strike lost media steam compliments of torched American flags in Benghazi while the U.S. president played Vegas.

Leadership matters. We need it nationally; we need it locally.

From Portland the message came: "We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel," remarked Ryan of the strike separating Illinois students from classrooms.

These are the children locked in often unremarkable schools on predictable trajectories, virtual hostages of, in this instance, a union which has blocked choice, burdened charters with regulatory hurdles, craved higher income in a city where the average teacher's salary is $76,000 and found handy collateral damage for pension demands: children who face narratives spun from early literacy levels swimming upstream in dismal U.S. statistics in science, technology, engineering and math.

Condi Rice calls the K-12 crisis the civil rights issue of our day, a detriment to national security and a threat to the fabric of America as we know it.

Argues Rice: " ... we need to give parents greater choice, particularly poor parents whose kids, very often minorities, are trapped in failing neighborhood schools."

Providing options for students is critical. Georgia's Casey Cagle knows this better than most. His relentless efforts behind the Georgia Career Academy Network (GCAN) seek career pathways in relevant fields available to all Georgia students in a few short years. The GCAN network has a "we can" approach to graduating young people with impressive industry credentials.

Colleges are building pipelines of dual credit pathways in both technical and academic programs. Articulation is tedious, painstaking, and necessary. Students are worth it.

Legislators in Georgia can't be overlooked. Legislation and policy revision have assisted parents with dollars for options -- even unaccredited home study and home school programs.

Rice says, "There is no country, no, not even a rising China, that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we do not do the hard work before us here."

School change is hard work. It calls for leadership tough and able, unabashed by retaliation and unashamed of truth, willing to tackle uncomfortable questions with unfriendly answers, and willing to show some the door.

Real change has no catchphrase; it is cultural, systemic, not motivated by fear. The results of fear in leadership for change are mediocrity and exodus. We are full up on that.

In "Good to Great," Jim Collins has done the research for us. Read about his leadership bus. That bus is coming around in November. Do we have the right people on board to mitigate the future Rice foreshadows?

Or is it time to make a stop and help them off?

Jeff Meadors may be reached at pjeffreymeadors@gmail.com.


Yallneedprozac 3 years, 2 months ago

Awesome once again.  Hunter Hall should read this because there are many postive options mentioned for students and good things that are working.  Hey Eddie did this column "hit it out of the park!"????  


Chambermaid 3 years, 2 months ago

I can name two who need help off the bus and they have the same last name.


Satan69 3 years, 2 months ago

I learned something this week.  When this guy stopped writing for the other paper the editor who is now gone got chewed out.  Makes me wonder if that is part of why that paper has ever since been on the attack after him. 


SharonBlock 3 years, 2 months ago

So I have seen in another article sit that you were the powerful Meadors of Oz well do us a favor and if that is true banish Hunter Hall.


Iknowddatsright 3 years, 2 months ago

Oh my goodness Mr meadors you wrote a comment after Hunter Hall asked not to um um your breaking the Hunter law. You may want to be careful he might get Stephanie Lindsey to sue you. I think he secretly works for her.


Watermelonlover 3 years, 2 months ago

Now this is what I like to see you were told not to write anymore and you didn't disappoint us you still wrote this week that is Awesome. Good article by the way!!!

Hope Hunter Hall enjoys it.


MissLoy 3 years, 2 months ago

I think the title says it all. Hey you know what I wonder is didn't Mr Meadors have to get Hunter Hall to approve this lord knows if it isn't to his liking he may throw a tantrum walk out and cry. He maybe at the next BOE meeting reprimanding you and then Eddie Johnson can chime in and say " you hit it right out the park" yeah no more comments from the peanut gallery. It's more like theres a foul ball down the left sideline. A swing and a miss. Hunter-0. Meadors-5

Awww Mr hall looks like you lost this battle the writing shall continue.


Tairuna 3 years, 2 months ago

How sweet it is you know I was really hoping that I would see An article this week and I'm so glad that Mr Hall didn't scare you into not writing due to your " present situation" as he so nicely put it.

All your columns are always to the point and very informative.

Thanks for the reading.


will 3 years, 2 months ago

Hunter Hall does not scare anybody until he opens his mouth.


suerprincipal 3 years, 2 months ago

I found one thing to be absolutely true you can't keep a good man down.

Good job dear Sir


Calisweetheart 3 years, 2 months ago

i do not understand all the hype about these columns - i love them and there is written evidence of Dennis Carpenter and Gary Matthews praising the articles not only praising but sending them to some of us on the ELT


Grandcanyon 3 years, 2 months ago

Eddie Johnson is the worst excuse for a board member in Newton history.  If district 2 re-elects this goober who does not even use correct grammar on a SCHOOL board then they are insane. 


Truckermother 3 years, 2 months ago

Dennis and LaQuanda Carpenter need off the bus NOW.  Can you believe the superintendent admits to this conflict of interest and won't do anything about it?  Seriously?  A married couple where one manages the human resources and budget and building operations of another and you wonder why no one has reported alleged mishandling of money to the NCSO.  Citizens must take action.  Matthews second public statement admitted that school officials could have better accounted for money. 


Frustrated 3 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Mr Meadors for not caving in to the political pressure from Hall. If anyone needs to stop writing its Hall. Keep doing what you do..keeping us informed of whats going on.


Beautifulblueeyes 3 years, 2 months ago

What I find so humerus about this I guess Hunter thought he was actually scaring somebody into stopping the columns. Yeah well I see he didn't not get his wish. How is the man going to contradict himself at the board meeting then stand there and say all the information is factual but given your present situation maybe you should not write well one thing has nothing to do with the other.

We need the columns to get information lord knows we won't get it anywhere else


Sign in to comment