Superintendent Candidates Draw Discontent Following Forums, NAACP Calls for New Search

by Dalton Main on June 9, 2011

Jefferson County Board of Education Chair Steve Imhoff says the panel will set a timeline for choosing a superintendent at a meeting next Tuesday. He says he does not want to reopen the search despite calls from the Louisville NAACP to do so.

NAACP President Raoul Cunningham called both candidates weak, adding that neither has experience with student assignment and desegregation issues.

Persistent student assignment plan critic Ted Gordon says he “questions why the JCPS Board did not consider any African American candidates for superintendent.”

After the two finalists appeared at open forums this week to answer questions from the public many criticized the candidates’ responses. Attendees said they were frustrated with the candidates’ limited knowledge regarding the issues facing local schools.

Jefferson County Teacher’s Association board member Jennifer Alexander said she was embarrassed more people didn’t show up to the public forums this week, but was afraid it didn’t matter.

Alexander was baffled that Dr. Johns-Haines of Utica Community Schools in Michigan exhibited a blatant lack of familiarity with local schools.

“She doesn’t know we have all-day Kindergarten and that would be a focus for her,” she says “that’s a very basic thing that’s gone on in this state for many years, I just don’t think she’s in tune with what’s best for kids.”

Alexander expressed her frustration with the candidates as well as the school board.

“Personally, I think the school board has already made their decision, anyway” says Alexander “I think this is just merely a formality; and our school board, I feel like, is out of touch with their stake holders.”

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