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New Superintendent Brings Hope and Change

Black Voice News.com, News Feature, Cheryl Brown Posted: Apr 06, 2009

Riversides newly appointed Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Miller lives by common sense, a set of universal beliefs and core values.

The Oxnard NAACP give him an A+, said Woodie Rucker Hughes, the Riverside NAACP president and longtime employee of the District.

Black Voice decided to check with others in Ventura County. His reputation held up. Peggy Hunt, Publisher of the Tri-County Sentry said, he has a reputation of resolving issues. He tries to resolve issues quickly. He is an asset to the community and has a long term relationship with the Ventura NAACP, she said.

The reason he comes with such a good reputation can be summed up in one word expectations. He feels it starts as a community issue and asks what are the expectations of the community and the parents? I think every student can learn, said Miller. He agrees with Bill Cosbys message and says Black or White, we need to all get in the game and have high expectations. The rhetorical question he asks is how can we work together to focus on the student? We cant afford to have the kind of failure we have had in the past.

Success, he believes, is students graduating and going to the university or a vocational school, not valuing one over the other.

Well qualified for the position Miller holds four degrees. Miller has authored a number of professional articles. The focus of his body of work is on school and improved student achievement in diverse settings. And he is a scientist and he holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry. Additionally he has taught at elementary and secondary levels, has been a principal at both elementary and high school levels and has been superintendent of schools in four school districts.

He believes, success breeds success; classrooms and schools control the conditions for success; equity is not the same thing as equal. For some students, start at a different starting point and require more to achieve the same result; people (young and old) will only rise to the expectations placed upon them; everyone is accountable; communication, including listening, on all issues to all levels is vital to the operation of a successful school system.

Maybe because he is a PK (preachers kid) he understatnds the pressures on students. He believes everything begins with him as a leader, what I will or will not accept.

On the subject of No Child Left Behind and testing he said simply, if the goal of the test is the test, I reject it but if the goal is the learning it is evidence we have achieved the information. It is how you know when someone has learned the information.

A test, he says is not necessarily pencil and paper, different learning requires different tests.

Dr. Miller is still assessing what he will do. This is a different place and different people, I dont need to do the same things I did before. I will respond based on need. Which touches on another of his beliefs, assessment is necessary to know where we are on the journey. As he winds up his first month he says, our beliefs are important, only when we align our actions with our beliefs.

His actions will spill over because the children will learn and if they dont we as a school are responsible, The buck stops at his desk.

Related Articles:

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Is the U.S. Experiencing its First Brain Drain?

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