Even before the new Lee County Board of Education can be sworn in there has already been a not-so-behind-the-scenes effort to further extend the contract of our Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Moss. What in the world are you thinking, Lynn Smith? It was bad enough that your previous “Boss Tatum”-led board extended and improved Dr. Moss’ schedule in a surreptitious, behind-the-scenes vote beyond the terms of every member of the school board without any publicized justification. Why would you push so aggressively to compound that previous mistake? Dr. Moss must remain responsible and accountable for his actions. Guaranteeing him a full four years of employment beyond his current contract removes any risk of dismissal for poor performance over the next few years.
It’s no secret that Dr. Jeff Moss operates with open contempt for the people of LeeCounty, the LCBOE, and anyone who disagrees with him. Yes, he is highly educated, usually very articulate, and even a crafty administrator. He typically acts as if he’s the smartest person in most any room, even when there are other people in the room, and then he will let them know that he has the only answers that matter. His actively employs a directive style of management; but then only he knows what the strategies, plans, and program intents are. He shares little with his subordinates- or the school board for that matter -except what he wants them to know. Dr. Moss has helped arrange nominations for self-aggrandizing awards and recognitions for technology and such, yet still fails to disseminate operations cost data from which reasonable people might determine how effective our K-12 programs, plans, and strategies really are. Maybe he acts this way because he has a contract that allows him not to kowtow to anyone in the county. In all fairness, Dr. Moss may be performing at a level commensurate with the county’s budget limitations, the socio-demographic cohort of children he has in our schools, and the quality of education staff he has to work with. But that we will never know. With his contract extended well into the future, he has little incentive to improve his current level of performance.
No, Dr. Smith there is no need to extend Dr. Moss’ contract even one minute beyond where it is currently. Maybe the effort wasted on this poorly conceived concept should be spent in conference with the LCBOE, sans Dr. Moss, meeting and developing a detailed strategy for the next two years. The Board should consider giving Dr. Moss the priorities and the programmatic intent for our future LCSS strategies, plans, and programs the LCBOE wishes to implement. Then the Board can review how well Dr. Moss did at the end of this two-year term, when they meet to decide if Dr. Moss is really the person they want working for them in the next term.