Dr. Kriner Cash has served as an assistant in the 4th largest school district in the United States and is leaving the top job in the 23rd largest, whether or not he comes to Manchester.  At least one question for Dr. Cash is this:  Is Manchester simply a holding place until something bigger and better comes along?It may be that Dr. Cash simply wishes to go to try his hand at a smaller district.  It may be that, as he leaves his current district, reportedly a result of consolidation with a neighboring district, that there’s “nothing better” available.  Of course, we should know whether he’s leaving of his own free will or whether or not another person was chosen to lead the new entity and why.

According to this article, Manchester isn’t the only place he’s recently applied to be superintendent.  Given that it was written back in February, and given that he’s now applied for the position in Manchester, it’s clear that he’s either not been accepted or not accepted other positions he applied for.  The article also examines his personality and leadership style.  Is it right for Manchester?  We’ve also included this link to various radio and TV interviews with Dr. Cash.  Of course, I listened to the radio interview from “The Bev Johnson Show!”  It’s interesting because it’s from 2008, when Cash first arrived in Memphis.

If Dr. Cash’s intent is to stay in Manchester as long as we’ll have him, then there are questions we sincerely hope have been specifically asked and clearly answered.

Having read his bio, I have to admit that I’d like to know what he means when he refers to “human capital.”  Whether he means staff in the district or students in the classroom, his definition of that must be crystal clear and not have anything to do with producing little widget makers for the global economy, if you catch my drift.  People are individuals with specific talents and gifts that should be nurtured to maximize their potential, not commodities to be grouped for specific purposes in service to the state or society in general.

Then there’s the money he got from “Race to the Top” and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Frankly, neither are known for advancing academic standards and rigor.  Will he recommend Manchester “get back to academic basics” and focus on student achievement, or will he be an advocate for the politically correct, baseless modern movement in education where everything’s relative and acceptable?  Every candidate should be asked this question.

Of the three, Dr. Cash has the “big resume.”  On paper, he’s “the guy” with the big credentials and he very well may be the right fit for Manchester.  But a man who’s had jobs in districts as big as the one’s he’s had and otherwise applied for may consider Manchester a temporary harbor, not his home port.  Not all can or will make the transition from being a big fish in a big pond to a big fish in one that’s much, much smaller.  Let’s be sure.