District has made strides under Davis’ leadership

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Our Views

 It is not unusual. In fact, it is pretty common.

The tenure of school superintendents is usually not a long one.

The days of a Frank Hatfield serving for decades is not the norm.

Some of it is caused by poor academic performances of a district. Like a head coach, the superintendent bears the brunt of that performance.

Some of it is caused by superintendents moving to a more lucrative situation.

And some of it is caused by superintendents who make decisions that upset a majority of school board members.

In Bullitt County, the latter seems to be the cause of Keith Davis’ retirement announcement a year prior to the expiration of his current contract.

It is a shame but that is the way of the world.

A reporter for the past 33 years remembers a lesson learned in college. The most powerful local government agency was the school board.

Due to changes in the hiring and firing process for employees, that has changed a little. But, not much.

Instead of debating the pros and cons of Davis’ decision and the reasons behind it, we would like to take a few moments to make general comments.

First, the school district was not in the best academic standing when Davis took over 11 years ago.

It was caught in a time when construction seemed to be the focal point. While the building phase was important and played a key role in the success today, academic pockets of success were scattered.

It might be viewed that Bullitt County was a system of schools instead of a school system.

During the past 11 years, many things have changed. Few administrators remain. Hurt feelings have been suffered.

But the strategy put into place is working. Some tactics were not as successful as others.

The bottom line is that Bullitt County is now viewed as a district that is on the move in a very positive way.

Other districts are coming to see what Bullitt County is doing right. 

There is no longer that talk in Frankfort about what was or wasn’t being done in Bullitt County schools.

The superintendent is the driving force. He or she is not in the classroom. But they must set the tone.

The school board has been very willing over the years to step outside the box. They have been willing to increase taxes to provide the funds needed to make these innovative programs possible.

The school system now has hundreds of seniors graduating with college hours in the bank — at a much reduced cost.

Scholarship money is soaring.

The percentage of students who are college or career ready at graduation has exceeded 90 percent.

The district enters the current school year with a full fleet of bus drivers due to incentives approved by the board.

The facilities are in pretty good shape.

The district is seeing an area technology center which is now meeting the needs of the work force, especially the areas most needed in our community.

Bullitt County is a system of innovation, not stagnation.

Sometimes good is not good enough.

The ugly part of any education system is politics. There is no getting around it — if a majority of school board members do not approve of the superintendent’s actions, it is time to get a new one.

Is it right? Is it wrong? It is reality.

Publicly there have been a few differences of opinion even though the evaluations have been pretty good over the years.

There has been no call for Davis to resign. But a recent three-month discussion over a teacher program may have been the final writing on the wall.

The bottom line is that the many programs put into place over the past decade are rock solid. They will remain a part of the daily learning.

The face of the district may change but the strategies will remain.

We hate to lose the superintendent who has had a very strong track record. But we understand that change occurs.

The goal for the next 10 months will be for all parties to keep the focus zoomed in on student learning. We must not allow the district to take a step back. That is the obligation of all parties involved.