School superintendent Roger Schmiedeskamp of Manning, Iowa, is learning the hard way that applying modern management principles to public education can be risky. Greater transparency? Aggressive community outreach? Stripping away all pretense? These ideas may sound reasonable in theory, but implementing them in practice has landed Schmiedeskamp--who posed half-naked for a charity calendar--in hot water. (He was Mr. August, appropriate for back-to-school, while other Manning civic and business leaders assumed responsibility for the other eleven months.) Parent Kathy Swanson complained to state officials: "There definitely needs to be a reprimand." She found particularly distasteful the picture's milieu (Mr. August was sitting in a classroom desk). Parent/farmer Gary Rieschl called it "soft-core porn." Hogwash. Superintendent Schmiedeskamp, we salute your entrepreneurialism and willingness to take risks, and stand behind you...way, way behind you...all the way.
"Superintendent takes flak for calendar," Associated Press, September 2, 2006