I've seen it hundreds of times and it never quits! People who step into leadership at a charter school to satisfy their own personal agendas or bolster their egos. Worst of all, in almost every situation, it's the students that lose.
These are the people who get on a governing board and immediately start making significant changes to the charter school in order to put their mark on it. Or the administrator who thinks that he/she is irreplaceable and stirs up parents to help reinstate him/her as administrator. Or the administrator that develops factions among the staff and pits the entire staff against the governing board. Or the parent that gets recognition for leading a parent revolt against the governing board and attempts to recall board members. I could give countless examples--all without resorting to a fictitious scenario. These are all true situations. In the end, it all boils down to someone's ego getting fed.
What's the right thing to do? Focus on what the students of the school needs. Pretty simple, right? Not for a lot of adults, sad to say.
First and foremost, a public charter school should make sure it's providing the best education possible for students. This means not only a focused, rigorous curriculum, but also exemplary teachers and a culture of continuous improvement where everyone realizes they can do better.
People become complacent. They rationalize why test scores are falling each year. If parents like the teacher or lead administrator, they make excuses and justify their belief that as long as their child is happy and safe, slipping academics is acceptable. Even worse is when the administrator clearly doesn't understand how to raise student achievement through high expectations, staff training and instructional coaching, but instead makes excuses, or worst of all--blames the students, or a group of students.
When a governing board member or an administrator is faced with a tumultuous situation, he/she should do some soul-searching about what is the best for the students in the long run. That may require that board member of administrator to resign and let someone else step in to lead the school. But ultimately, everyone, should put the needs of the school first--in front of personal agendas.