Red Apple Mom

September 22, 2011

Superintendent Jack Dale to R-E-T-I-R-E

Holy cow – if this wasn’t the shock of the day.

Check out what just came into my email box:

Local Politics News Alert: Fairfax Superintendent Jack D. Dale to retire

September 22, 2011 8:38:50 PM

Fairfax County Superintendent Jack D. Dale, who has weathered a brutal recession and parent frustrations while steering one of the nation’s top-performing suburban school systems for the past seven years, said he will retire when his contract ends in June 2013.

Dale said he wanted to publicize his decision now so that the community knows his plans before an election that will determine the mission, vision and direction of the school system over the next decade.

For more information, visit

Sounds like someone has seen the writing on the wall even BEFORE this November’s elections!

(Hey Superintendent – can you take Jane Strauss, Ilyrong Moon and Kathy Smith with you?)

I view this as a VERY shrewd move on Dale’s part.  It looks to me to be an election year bone thrown to his favorite School Board incumbents – Strauss – Moon and Smith who would love to focus your voter attention on a new Superintendent search this election rather than their own lame voting records.  Caution  voters – don’t fall for it.  This isn’t cynicism speaking.  This is a seasoned political consultant speaking.

It will be key to ask School Board candidates – and incumbents – what they’ll look for in a new superintendent.  However, it is just as important to look at how these incumbents have voted in the past and determine if any of them bring added value to the School Board compared to their challengers.

As for Dale, it will be interesting to see which high-priced job he takes next – and whether any of those offers come from companies who have current contracts with Fairfax County Public Schools!

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  1. Jack is cunning. Better to announce his planned retirement now, than have parents retire him sooner.

    Comment by agirlssecretstuff — September 22, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

    • True – or to suffer the humiliation of being fired by new School Board members who see right through this guy. I wonder how many of the 1600+ central administration staff are going to worry about their own job status now – and they should be worried! Dale has hired plenty of six-figure “Assistant Superintendents”, Cluster Superintendents etc.. whose futures have been tied to the Dale train for some time now. I know of at least one in the Instructional Services department I’d like to see gone immediately.

      Comment by Red Apple Mom — September 22, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

  2. “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” popped into my head when I read the headline…then reality set in. 2013? That’s nearly 2 years from now!!

    We need to push the new school board to fire him now, regardless of his plan to retire, regardless of his contract, regardless of what time of day it is…get rid of him and don’t wait.

    Comment by Korinne M. Jackman — September 23, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    • Then there might be expensive severance package issues. Don’t know if the school district could afford that!

      Comment by Red Apple Mom — September 23, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  3. One other thing:

    “Jack Dale’s leadership will be sorely missed,” said School Board chair Janie Strauss. “He moved the School Board and FCPS forward as we developed our strategic governance initiative, which made us more effective governors of this school system.

    ” In addition, his collaborative and collegial style has been a welcome approach to handling tough issues and challenges we faced. I personally hope that, after he retires, he will stay connected to public education for the benefit of students and educators everywhere.”

    Such BS I think I’ve never heard…and this is exactly why I will NEVER vote for Janie Strauss again…EVER…for anything…

    Comment by Korinne M. Jackman — September 23, 2011 @ 7:19 am

    • Strategic Governance is the reason we have so many issues with the lack of transparency and accountability in this county. It is incredible that Strauss defends that lousy initiative. Yes she definitely needs to go. One of the biggest problems with strategic governance is that it transferred authority from our elected school board members to the unelected superintendent and his staff. As a result, FCPS administrators have been able to make spending and policy decisions with very little oversight and little to no accountability.

      Comment by Red Apple Mom — September 23, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  4. Very shrewd indeed. I’ve been following FCPS business for several years and it’s been disconcerting to see how Dale has made the FCPS administrative tail wag the SB dog. Smith, Strauss, and Moon as well as most of the retiring incumbents (NOT Tina Hone) have rubber stamped just about every initiative that Dale proposed. Strategic Governance has been disastrous–has allowed Dale o virtually run the school system with no oversight. Most of his proposals are done without transparency and with a breathtaking disdain of community input. What a sad example of “school-parent partnership.” It’s the misinformation that has disturbed me the most. I recently attended a superintendent advisory committee (purportedly, the committee consists of community leaders who “advise” the superintendent). Mr. Dale made several misstatements regarding honors classes and the discipline policy, It’s unfortunately all about spin to make him look good. How does this help the students? Fairfax County voters (and that includes the 75% of you who don’t have kids in the system) educate yourself about the candidates–especially the incumbents Moon (at-large) Strauss (Dranseville), and Smith (Sully).

    Comment by pommefrites — September 23, 2011 @ 8:03 am

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