Avossa off to Rough Start
One of the first actions new Palm Beach superintendent Robert Avossa took was to institute an administrative hiring freeze. Then – he ignored his own fiat and hired old pal David Christiansen as “deputy superintendent.” This is an obsolete position that will drain more money from the district. Avossa said he needed objective views but has already hired two old friends. Christiansen has been described as a Jeffrey Hernandez type – and we all know how that worked out. Christiansen has bounced from job to job and came under heavy pressure in Lake County for his one size fits all approach. He also spent a lot of tax money on a computer program called Istation -supposedly to help reading scores. Of course teachers did not need this- they needed books and not zombie one size fits all programs.
Hopefully -as deputy superintendent and not chief academic officer -he will not be able to do as much damage in his new district.
I knew there was a problem with Christiansen when I read a quote that I often hear from those not familiar with the reading process. Christiansen said, “They learn to read pre-K to second grade. Once you come out of that third grade, you are reading to learn.” This , of course, is totally wrong. Students -and even adults -are always learning to read AND reading to learn. Give me a book about lions and a second grader and I will show you Christiansen is wrong. Give me a high school student and a book about lions and I will show you Christiansen is wrong.
Will Avossa continue to alienate himself from his own infrastructure? If so- look for a coup in short order. The board in Palm Beach should be wary about what is happening.