In researching public school performance historical records this week, I ran across some data I thought the taxpayers of Lee County and our Board of Education might like to know.
According to the Department of Public Instruction’s published data, tracking back to 1995, the school districts our illustrious Superintendent Moss has presided over as an Associate Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and as Superintendent have never achieved even the state average for SAT scores while he was in a position of authority. Yes, that’s right, never once in 16 tries dating back to 1995. Isn’t that like a school having a major sports coach who has never had a winning record? Would that school continue to pay its coach an above average salary for that position? I think not. Frankly, I doubt that coach would last long at any salary!
It’s not like those counties didn’t have the demographics or the raw intellect to perform well. In fact, Lee County beat the state average with an average SAT score of 1009 back in 2004, a full four years before Dr. Moss came here. Beaufort County beat the state average in 1998, about six years before Dr. Moss arrived. So, it is possible for most counties to achieve the modest goal of achieving the state average on SAT tests.
A popular legacy for leaders to cite is that their institutions were better off following their departure than before they arrived. In looking at the SAT scores for the three school districts Dr. Moss has left, district-wide averages were still well below state averages for several years after his departure. (One can’t help but wonder if the poor track record of his school districts in SAT performance isn’t one of the reasons that Dr. Moss is trying to move Lee County away from using the SAT as its college prep test of choice.)
Just as with the coach who never seems to achieve a winning record, at some point taxpayers need to demand accountability for the performance of their Superintendent of Schools. I am surprised our Board of Education hasn’t already made that point in our Superintendent’s contract. If the School Board fails to correct this oversight, and remains tolerant with SAT scores perpetually below the state average, then we need to replace each and every one of the Board members who allows the malfeasance to continue. Moreover, if Dr. Moss fails to achieve at or above the state average for SAT scores this next reporting year, then he should be dismissed, or at least put on notice that he has but one year to correct his poor performance.
As they say in sports and the military, shape up or ship out!