As one who worked very hard to rid a district of a deputy superintendent (successfully I will add), I’ll tell you why Superintendent Andrew Bott has resigned.
We knew this was Andrew’s first superintendent job when hired and Brookline is a tough district to cut one’s teeth on. We have parents whose first move, when unhappy, is to show up at his office with a lawyer. We have a union who institutes work-to-rule to force negotiations their way. We have federal Office of Civil Rights and state complaints about overcrowding yet cannot get a consensus solution among the populace. We have important people with good goals (accountability, transparency) trying to make changes via militant tactics. We have elections with misinformation campaigns; random conspiracy theories abound. A problem with the way kindergarten is programmed is bizarrely designated “K-gate.”
Many, if not most districts have superintendents who are much less accessible and would never be addressed by their first name. One would not get a meeting with them unless and until you went through the proper chain of command. It’s the smaller districts that have accessible superintendents who are supported in doing great things.
Brookline is neither a small district nor an easy district. And just as we are getting larger, we are getting more difficult. Over the last few years I have seen a change in attitude, a change in feelings of entitlement, a change in the ambiance. Part of this may start at the very top (i.e., those running the country) but much of this is homegrown.
I have no inside nor direct knowledge as to why Andrew has stepped down other than his letter. But I do personally know this: he gave it his all, he always did his best, and he is a very good man. He could have been, and definitely will be, a very successful leader in education and will do great things. The Public Schools of Brookline is a better place today than it was three years ago, thanks to Andrew Bott.
Want to know why he resigned? I say look in the mirror.