QUOLKE’S CORNER 1/18/11

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QUOLKE’S CORNER #85
NEW INTERIM CEO AND CHALLENGES WE CAN FACE TOGETHER
 
On the evening of Wednesday, January 12th the Board of Education gave notice of their intention to hold an emergency Board Meeting on the following evening, January 13th. That night, the Board introduced to the community their choice for the Interim CEO of the CMSD, Mr. Paul Raskind.
 
When I heard the name of the Interim CEO, I am sure; I was like many of you who went right to the computer to make Paul Raskind the Number one Google search in northeast Ohio. Since then I have learned more about Mr. Raskind.   It seems to me that working for a company that is in the throes of a financial (and leadership) crisis has come to be Mr. Raskind’s specialty.
 
Mr. Raskind has committed to serve as the Interim CEO for $1 and will only serve until a new CEO is named (he is not seeking the permanent position). 
 
Although I do not personally know Mr. Raskind, I have heard from some in the community who do know Mr. Raskind. He has been described as a man of integrity who is up for a challenge. And a challenge is exactly what he will face at the helm of the CMSD for the next several months.
 
Often in times of great challenge comes great opportunity. We are all very aware of the challenges, both academically and economically, that face the District. We are also very aware of how the Cleveland Teachers Union was not a partner in the development of the Transformation Plan. It is my hope that as the District attempts to address the challenges we face, that Mr. Raskind will embrace the members of the Cleveland Teachers Union for input, partnership, and collaboration to seize these opportunities.
 
The reality is that the Cleveland Teachers Union has always embraced collaboration regardless of who held the position of Superintendent/CEO. Likewise, the Cleveland Teachers Union is ready to extend a hand, open our minds, and roll-up our sleeves to work with the leader of the CMSD. I am committed to do what the Cleveland Teachers Union has always done – commit to collaboration, commit to doing what is fair for educators and best for students, and commit to making real and lasting reforms in this District.
 
How successful we will be in that effort rests with the leaders of the CMSD. Agreeing to collaborate, agreeing to work together, agreeing to collectively roll-up our sleeves does not mean that the work will be easy. But it does mean that our efforts and energies can be focused in one direction for a common goal – the goal of creating a school district with great educational opportunities, great learning conditions, and one that all parents will want their children to attend.
 
This will not be easy – if it were it would have been done a long time ago. But the Cleveland Teachers Union has a commitment to this community and hopes that Mr. Raskind will join us in working for reform that will be successful long after we are all gone from this District.
 
In Union,
 
David