May 18, 2015

The Billy Martin Effect on Educational Leadership

Currently, I am reading Seasons in Hell: With Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and "The Worst Baseball Team in History, the book about the 1973-1974-1975 Texas Rangers written by Mike Shropshire. It's a fun book to read and it keeps the reader interested. I just finished the 1973 season and suddenly former Detroit Tigers manager Billy Martin has joined the fray. Billy Martin is an interesting manager, some people call him a baseball genius for the way he could explain the game to others but also for the way he could pick up on the smallest nuances of a baseball game. Martin was hired and fired many times in his career, but he was the type of manager who could have a quick impact on a team. He was a turnaround manager before the concept had been fully developed.

Reading the book (which reads like a novel, by the way) and then following up on Martin (other books, internet sources) caused me to think: would a turnaround manager who turned things upside down in a school district and still led the district to immediate academic and financial gains be a positive development or negative?

Really, is there someone out there who is both a financial and curricular manager who could cause immediate improvement in a school district but whose magic touch would wear off after 18 months or two years? If educational leaders/managers like this do exist, why doesn't this type of situation occur more?

What do you think?

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