The price of secrecy

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not too long ago in this space, when Dr. David Scala announced his plans to leave his post next summer as superintendent of the Cape Girardeau School District, we suggested that in his short tenure he had restored a sense of stability to a chaotic district. Indeed, Scala may have improved some areas, but it now appears the handling of the district's finances raised serious internal questions.

Neither board members nor Scala want to talk about why the superintendent's contract was abruptly terminated. Instead of explaining why Scala is no longer in charge -- he's on administrative leave until his contract officially terminates next month, the board has chosen to clam up. This is a critical time for the district in terms of public perception. That's a lesson the board should have learned when it fired Scala's predecessor.

The board hopes to have a new superintendent in place soon. It would be good to have the air cleared about this superintendent before a new top administrator, once again, has to deal with public perceptions formed in a vacuum.

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