I believe leadership voids are created when governments assume leadership responsibilities historically taken by individuals who would see things that no longer work and would work to create things to fix their problems. Leaders would simply “rise to the occasion” and assume the responsibility to lead. Today individuals elected or appointed to carry the burden or responsibility are simply not motivated to lead.
In education, local boards and superintendents make up the leadership teams charged with giving our children the best education possible. However, less attention is being given to improving education than to “keeping things the way they are.” The reason for this shift from improving learning to maintaining the status quo is, in my opinion, the absence of leadership.
Educational leaders cannot or will not rise in the time of need because today’s teachers, superintendents, principals and board members are restrained by their fears. Fear that they won’t be re-elected. Fear that they may be asked to work more for the same pay. Fear that in seeking to change long standing traditions, they may be labeled as “radicals.” Fear that they may ruin their chance for advancement and thus more benefits at retirement. Fear that they may be inconvenienced by having to alter their childcare arrangements. Fear that their athletic programs may have to adjust to a “learning is more important” attitude.