Wanted: RPS leader who thinks outside the box

5/26/2017, 6:52 p.m.

Re “Common concerns emerge in forum on superintendent search,” May 18-20 edition:

Like most of his predecessors, Richmond Schools Superintendent Dana T. Bedden was an “in the box” thinker. The prevailing theory of the last 50 years has been to just throw a little more money at “the problem” and it will go away. Richmond now spends almost twice the per student amount than the state average and the problem has not gone away. In fact, it has gotten worse.

The first step in solving a problem is to separate the problem from its symptoms. Based on 50 years of experience, it appears that the problems in Richmond Public Schools have never been addressed.

The prospective superintendent has to be someone who thinks “out of the box” and is able to separate the problem from its symptoms.

Most urban school systems seem to have the same situation as Richmond. That would indicate that 99 percent of all prospective superintendents nationwide think the same. The Richmond School Board’s dilemma is how to identify the 1 percent of people who are ready to address the problem and not be criticized because he or she is an “out of the box” thinker.