Hello Philip — your term corporate insidiousness is terrific and a good descriptor of so much of what I saw and experienced on campuses, as a visiting “ambassador of education,” and later in a district role.
I appreciate you sharing your experience and I’m sorry you had to attempt to teach under such conditions. To your point about women being just as capable of inciting a reign of terror, I would point to Lady Macbeth as the seeming role model for the types of leaders you describe. It’s not as though I’m giving toxic women a pass, I’m simply pointing out a discrepancy in who, in my own experience, tends to get leadership positions (emphasis on tends) as well as who is asked to speak at many education conferences when most of the labor force is female.
My point isn’t that improvement is tied to gender parity, it’s tied to recognizing how much gender — and race — predict who will be put in positions to choose and execute which improvements are adopted within school systems. A first step toward improving quality in our learning environments for both staff and students is a willingness to talk about whose voices dominate discussions and how those voices reify power structures within our systems.
You bring up other worthy topics, particularly about technology, and that sounds like a post you could bring some firepower to bear upon.