Mar 2, 2011
Defending A Bad Decision
The Allentown School Board made a bad choice in their hire of Gerard Zahorchak as School Superintendent. Although he sounded good on paper, two other candidates had the large inter- city experience we needed. The Board probably felt that as former State Director of Education, Zahorchak would have the fast track on grants. In reality he was just a political appointee by Rendell from the small Johnstown School District. In five months time he has lost the confidence of the district teachers. First he reassigned the most effective principals in Allentown. Then he proposed eliminating the most relevant courses. Although yesterday's teacher vote to reject the salary reductions was not surprising, their distrust of him was telling. Although last Wednesday's Board meeting suspended Zahorchak's plans for the honor student academy, the district proceeds spending $millions renovating the building. The School Board must assert itself against the grandiose plans which are not applicable to our local situation. We have a transient population. Radical curriculum changes mean little if the students move away during the course of instruction. But, before they will do so, they must stop being defensive about a previous poor decision.