The Amprey decade

July 01, 1991

The first rule of good management is, choose a competent person to run the organization, then give that person wide latitude in choosing the people who will help to achieve the goal.

Whatever else may be said of the new school-management team the Baltimore school board has chosen, that basic rule was not followed. The board in effect chose three superintendents, and designated one of them first among equals.

That said, Superintendent-designate Walter G. Amprey seems comfortable with the deputies the board chose for him, and there is no reason the unusual arrangement won't work. While Amprey brings a broad background of experience in all areas of school management, the two deputies bring specific qualifications. As a longtime administrator of the city schools system, Patsy Blackshear knows the bureaucratic lay of the land, so to speak; ** as an assistant superintendent of Washington schools in charge of education of children with special needs, Lillian Gonzalez should bring a much-needed expertise to a system which draws large numbers of students from non-traditional families.

The goal of the Baltimore schools is clear and simple: To keep children in school until they graduate, and to graduate them with the skills which will enable them to compete, either in college or in the work force. There's every reason to believe that the new management set-up can achieve that goal if, now that it is in

place, everyone understands that Amprey will be in charge of the team which can be expected to run the Baltimore schools for the remainder of the decade.

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