Starting Point
Dilemmas to Learn From

School Administrator, October 2022

School Administrator launched a monthly column that has become one of the most closely followed sections of our magazine over the years. That really wasn’t a surprise.

The Ethical Educator column tackles dilemmas confronting K-12 education leaders, drawing on real-world situations from inside school systems and other professional organizations that raise perplexing behavioral choices and decisions. Easy answers don’t exist.

This month’s installment marks the 119th appearance of Ethical Educator in our magazine. All that time, there’s been one constant. Among the 16 individuals who’ve generously put themselves on the line to serve on the four-person panels that analyze each challenging scenario is Shelley Berman. In the planning leadup to the column’s launch, he was the first school system leader I approached with my vision. At the time, he was in his third of four superintendencies and notably had been serving as president of Educators for Social Responsibility, a 40-year-old nonprofit with noble purposes.

Berman has been a driving force behind Ethical Educator, contributing two handfuls of the cases that have found their way into use and always pushing the leading edge. It’s fitting then that he’s the lead author, alongside David Rubin and Joyce Barnes, of a new book, The Ethical Educator: Pointers & Pitfalls for School Administrators. Published just last month by Rowman & Littlefield, the work repurposes 100 of the dilemmas and analyses that have appeared in our pages over the last decade. The dilemmas encompass various aspects of school administration, from First Amendment and religious liberty issues to personnel and board relations.

While many School Administrator articles by superintendents, professors and others have served as a launching pad for book projects over the years, this marks the first time that the actual content of published pieces serve as the substantive basis of a full-length work. I hope many of you will consider ordering a copy and sharing your gratitude with Shelley Berman for his years of commitment.

A final note: Early in November, AASA members will receive an electronic survey about their reading of this magazine as well as the association’s digital publications. We sincerely encourage you to complete the questionnaire so we can understand what you find of value, what you ignore and what might make for a better product. Be on the lookout in your inbox.
 Jay P. Goldman
Editor, School Administrator
Voice: 703-875-0745
Twitter: @JPGoldman