Cross-posted at SchoolMatters (East TN, USA)
Our school system is undertaking a search for a new superintendent. Part of that process includes drafting a job description as well as selecting a head-hunting firm.
A 14-page draft of the job criteria is available to the public. Recently I took this text and created a tag cloud. In a previous entry, I posted the tag cloud as well as a short explanation of how I generated it.
Generally speaking, I’m interested in understanding how we might interpret tag clouds and use them as visual summaries. After reading the superintendent job specs, I was struck by how much it was a reflection of our community — our issues and assets, our values and our priorities — as it was a description of an ideal instructional leader. For that reason, I thought it would make a cool visualization.
But how to interpret it?
Recently at the 21st Century Collaborative blog, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach presented an interesting framework. I invite you to check out her post about “tactical” versus “strategic” perspectives and then take a second look at Knox County’s approach. What are we seeking, stability or change? Where is our focus, inward or outward? What do we value, institutions or people?
What do you think?