At the end of the year we bid adieu to Bobbie Kavanaugh, a principal who welcomed our son with open arms to McKinley Elementary School. Kavanaugh is an old-school principal. She treats us like family and knows the needs of our son do not always fit with the regimented, standardized education that is the hallmark of No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and now Common Core, which rushes children to develop whether they are ready or not.
Now the search for a principal to replace her seems a little rushed too. Of course the principal must hold a valid administrative credential as well as a teaching or services credential — that much is required by California Education Code. But beyond the basics, what makes a competent, compassionate leader seems to be up to a select few, representatives of stakeholders the district handpicks, whose decision the district can override.