PRINCIPAL LAWRENCE LIPSERVICE’S LAWYER’S RESPONSE
DEFENDANT LAWYER (rises)
Thank you your Honor. (Faces jurors)
Your Honor, members of the jury–I can save my rhetoric for closing remarks. Suffice it to say that my client vigorously denies these charges. Furthermore we will provide abundant evidence to show that Dr. Lipservice’s efforts on behalf of the children and staff of Anytown USA Elementary School have indeed been exemplary. In fact, we are offended that some of its disgruntled stakeholders who are no doubt serving their own agendas for power and control of the school’s governance can assert, at any level, that their collective (makes air quotes) can supplant that of a respected and accomplished educator such as Dr. Lipservice.
We will present evidence to demonstrate that Dr. Lipservice made provisions for input from his School Improvement Team when appropriate as long as they did not undermine his authority as the educational leader of the school. We will present arguments to demonstrate that Dr. Lipservice made efforts to train this stakeholder group in shared decision-making but when they failed to demonstrate any particular mastery of the kinds of skills and behaviors such a group must have to be effective decision makers, he rightfully minimized their activities in the best interests of the children.
We will provide evidence to demonstrate that Dr. Lipservice provided the school improvement stakeholders with appropriate information and data necessary to help them to analyze and formulate goals for school remedial action.
Further, we will provide ample evidence that the dysfunction of this group, and their inability to operate effectively invalidated their choices and activities.
In the end, this means that Dr. Lipservice was and is the only valid decision-maker in his school and by right as principal, took the actions he deemed educationally necessary to maintain its standing. We will argue that the so-called lack of achievement growth my opposing colleague cites are the result of root cause issues and challenges beyond the school’s control. And as such, we will show that the principal’s leadership indeed helped these students as best any one school actually can.
Thank you your Honor.
(to Stakeholder Lawyer)
Please call your first witness.
Your honor, we call Theresa Teacher to the stand.
The stage is now set for how each lawyer team will probe Dr. Lipservice’s actions. Within Lipservice’s lawyer’s opening remarks you can discern the themes and issues she will use to defend him. High Involvement variables as described in the first segment abound: Lipservice asserts his Power/Authority particularly. However, you can also see that his assertion that the group’s ineffectiveness required him in fact to negate its efforts so that the matters of Knowledge and Training, Using and Sharing Information, Making SMART Goals, Delegating Leadership, Providing Resources and Rewards are moot points.
Would it hold or not hold that a principal’s efforts to promote collaborative leadership also require him/her to work towards those variables?
~Richard Bernato, Ed.D