As a major object of discussion in Joseph Bell's commentary of Sept. 27, "Schools Miss Point: Education," I feel compelled to respond. My purpose is to clarify the misconception under which he wrote his somewhat hurtful commentary.
Let me explain the context of the "four major goals." In responding to a question on my perception of the role of a superintendent, I mentioned a recent national study of school boards that identified four major interests: positive image, improved test scores, labor peace and winning athletic programs. Although I might include these in a much longer list of personal objectives, these are not my goals.
Actually, the common interests of boards when understood in the proper context are not that unworthy. Nevertheless, I do indeed recognize that my primary responsibility to the children of Irvine is to maximize the quality of instruction and provide the best comprehensive education possible. What is more than mildly irritating is the fact that a colleague in the greater educational community would not exercise a minimal level of investigative effort before launching what I feel to be an unfair attack.
I have no quarrel with The Times' misquote. Although I must admit I was bothered by the article's focus on goals that are not mine, I felt I would have an appropriate opportunity to explain the error. I was wrong.