Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pat Green Resigns: Survey Results, Part II

Forty people took my survey! Here are the results. I've split them into three parts. Part II is the post you are reading: Do you have any thoughts/ideas about why Pat Green is leaving?

Part I: Did you have personal experiences with Pat Green? Based on those experiences, how did you feel about her? Can you give concrete examples?

Part III: Looking to the future, what qualities do you think are important for the next superintendent?

And then there is what you could think of as Part IV: My Commentary.

The question we're addressing in Part II is, as I put it, the rumor/innuendo question: 

Do you have any thoughts/ideas about why Pat Green is leaving?

She realized she was not a good fit with "culture " here.

Because she can, and she didn't really ever want to be here.

You have people like the principal at the Dicken that does very little that you need to deal with and justify their high salary.

She is facing resistance and hostility. There are too many overpaid people at Balas who are not listening to ideas and challenges. She has fostered that, and now there is mutiny afoot from within and from the community. There are also a huge number of problems that would take a greater commitment than, perhaps, she is willing to give.


She is a good person who values education, and doesn't want to be the one to do the cuts. 

To spend more time with family.

She doesn't even live here?

She did a poor job.

She was overly confident when she was hired.  Her management style was inconsistent with AAPS culture and she refused to work with AAEA and AAAA.  She left when it was obvious she was not achieving her goals and could not be successful in AAPS.

She has to make hard decisions on budget cuts and is already unpopular--so decided to retire so she didn't get booed out of town.

Didn't want to face the fallout from upcoming budget cuts?

She recognized very early (probably six months in)  that she wasn't actually a good fit with the board and the community. It's a community that – outside of AAPS – doesn't call her (or anyone other than physicians) "doctor." She didn't care for the fact that she was expected to make herself available and accessible to the community. Meet with upset parents?? Not something she felt was part of her job. Mexicotte's letter, in its commentary on Green's involvement with the community, was generous to the point of creating fiction. Green stayed just long enough not to make it completely embarrassing for herself and the district. This way it was only somewhat embarrassing. 

No idea. There's no doubt that the job would really suck right now. No one wants to preside over the dismantling of a great school district. And with the main problems in Lansing, there's not a whole lot we can do from here. The board may have lost confidence, or they all may have decided that she has become too much of a lightning rod. So she'll be responsible for the massive cuts, and someone new gets to take on the rebuilding. Or there's always family/health issues.

She has lost community support because she appears to be inaccessible to many parents and teachers. She hides behind her minions.

It's a really hard job. I think the board hoped that by paying her a LOT more than her predecessor she would feel obligated to stick around while the state guts public education. If you don't have any connection to the community it is easy to leave. 

Not what she signed on for. Tough budgets, lots of scrutiny, lots of vocal parents with conflicting goals, the whole Skyline white elephant in the room.

"If I had to guess, I'd say she probably felt cutting the budget a further $17-20m was not doable without massively unpopular layoffs and cuts to programs and closing schools. She'd already gotten an icy welcome from the townsfolk and so the landscape ahead probably looked akin to scouring the Shire.

That said, I saw no evidence of her being any sort of transformational leader. Not of the sort that will be necessary to keep public schools together under the massive multi-decade right wing privatization machine.

The budget deficit.  She referred to the elephant in the room.  Realign the attendance areas so that kids could go to their neighborhood schools reducing the need for many bus routes. BOE wasn't willing to listen to her.  She was fighting an uphill battle.

Really don't know, but how nice she got to pad her retirement fund by 55k in two years! I want a job like that. Seriously, I don't know why except that she couldn't take the heat. And what's with Mexicotte's fawning letter? Did she write it or did Pat Green?

She seems old and tired, and frankly if I was her, I wouldn't be up to the challenge in a community that I have no ties to.  There's really no repercussions for her leaving - she's at the end of her career.  There doesn't seem to be any ethical issue for her in regard to not filling out her contract of 5 years or ditching AAPS in this crucial moment.

Ann Arbor turned out to be harder than she thought. Too much micro managing (not a good fit for her monarchy like style) and too much bad news from the state legislature and governor.

Tough to work with the board, didn't like the commute back home to husband, not looking forward to implementing budget cuts.

No.  But polished, professional folks don't just up and leave like this, so there is a story to which we are not privy.

I wonder about the relationship with the board of education - were they really so supportive of each other?  I also sense she did not have the backing of the central administration and other district employees.  It is hard not to be liked.

I am worried about a future selection.  I think we need someone that can hold their own against the BOE - they are powerful and coordinated and there should be a check and a balance for them.  Elections do this to some extent, but we also need more qualified people willing to run.  This of course is a whole 'nother topic!

Nope. I have no doubt she wanted to retire, as she claims. Whether that means she was never truly that invested in the community or the job... that feels plausible, but I have no evidence that it's true.

Teachers showed they were willing to take a pay cut for the students in the district. Once the "what pay cut will you take" ball was in the administrators' court she decided to pack it in. 

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