Let’s imagine the interview for Greenfield High School’s new principal going something like this:
Board: What makes you qualified for this job?
Candidate: I’ve run multi-million dollar businesses, and I really know what I’m doing.
Board: What kind of experience do you have in education?
Candidate: I’ve never taught and I’ve never been a principal, but I know I’ll be GREAT for this job.
Board: Without experience, what makes you think you’ll be great for this job?
Candidate: Listen, any dumbbell can run a school. But I’m going to run it better than anybody else. You won’t believe how good it will be!
Board: You know, we’re all educators here.
Candidate: OK, I didn’t mean anything. I was just being sarcastic. But, really, what’s it take? You hire, you fire, you play nice with the board, they give you more money.
Board: Are you still in business?
Candidate: I have my hands in lots of things. I have golf courses, casinos, condos. They’re all GREAT!
Board: Do you personally run these businesses?
Candidate: Listen, I’ve figured out how to run a business into the ground and still make a bundle. I could do the same for Greenfield High School.
Board: How would you make the school money?
Candidate: First, I’d kick out, oops, I mean “redistrict” (gotta be so politically correct!) so we only had the rich kids here. Oh, and we’d keep the ones that’s made good grades.
Board: But what…
Candidate: Wait a minute, I’m not done. Once we got all the bad kids out, we’d hire fewer teachers because good kids don’t need that much supervision. Am I right? We don’t need a bunch of teachers meddling around with what kids do. If kids have to obey all those dumb rules and do too much homework, it’s the teachers’ fault. I mean, kids should be able to be kids. The school of hard knocks is the best education. Take me. I didn’t learn anything in school, but look how rich I am!
Board: But what if students quit learning because they don’t have to be accountable?
Candidate: They can get everything they need from the Internet. That’s where I get my information.
Board: And what about the teachers who lost their jobs?
Candidate: I hear they’re hiring in China.
Board: So if we hire fewer teachers and free up some of our budget, what would you propose we do with that budget surplus?
Candidate: The school should have a really big fence. REALLY BIG. We don’t want kids from other schools messing around in here.
Board: How do you feel about testing?
Candidate: I like the kind of testing that lets you know who’s in and who’s out. We could ask ’em if they go to church. Those would be good students, no doubt about it. Wait a minute, we could ask ’em if they ever knew anybody that wasn’t a good student, and if they did, we wouldn’t let ’em in.
Board: How do you feel about using corporal punishment on students?
Candidate: Beat the heck out of ’em. Listen, don’t just stop with the students. Remember what I said about the school of hard knocks? Beat their brothers and sisters, too. That would be a deterrent for acting up.
Board: You’re unconventional.
Candidate: You bet I am! I’ll make things happen. I’ll make Greenfield High School great again.
Board: We thought Greenfield High School was great.
Board (to themselves): Should we hire him?
Response: Not in a million years.
Donna Steele of Greenfield is a member of a variety of community organizations aimed at bettering the city, including Greenfield Main Street and the Greenfield Coalition. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfield reporter.com.