I went back and forth before deciding whether to use the above phrase as the title for this blog post. But the more I thought about it, the more fitting I thought it would be. I am talking about Dr. Eugene White, Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools. And if there is a higher power, he will not have that job for much longer.
Like the character portrayed by Forrest Whittaker, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, White has, as my grandfather would say, "has lost his natural mind." I'm not sure when it all began or what exactly it was that did it. Was it taking a raise for suspect graduation rates? Was it calling the governor a liar a few years back? It could have been only giving school board members a summary of the budget and refusing to provide them with a list of line-by-line expenditures? Or maybe it was his latest foray into the realm of education insanity by moving staff from one failing school in hopes to avoid a state takeover of another failing school and in the process giving his son a $14,000 raise? And when he was questioned about it by the school board, he threatened to quit. I really wish White wouldn't make threats that he doesn't intend to keep.
Or maybe it was his loss of several IPS schools, which had been failing for years. Or looking for a new job and then coming back to Indianapolis with his proverbial educational tail between his legs?
The sad part of White's story is that when he originally came to IPS, people had high hopes that he would help move the school district into the 21st century. White is moving the district into the 21st century; unfortunately it's a century that ends in B.C. I'm not sure whether he hit his head on something or if toxic chemicals in his jewelry are affecting his brain. But White is the poster child for what is wrong with traditional public education in this state.
Luckily, a new school board is now taking over. Samantha White, Annie Roof and Diane Arnold will get some badly needed reform-minded help from Sam Odle, Gayle Cosby and Catlin Hannon. If these folks are smart they will make White an offer he won't refuse by either firing him or finding some private donors to buy out the rest of his contract - and then hiring someone who knows how to run a school district. Thanks to recent changes in state law, it does not have to be someone with a superintendent's license. While they're at it, get rid of the rest of the politburo as well.
It is time for White to let the door hit him where God split him. And by the way, Idi Amin eventually had to flee Uganda after the natives got tired of his nonsense. He eventually fled to Libya and Saudi Arabia. Dr. White, I hear Benghazi is lovely this time of year.