Louisville's NAACP branch is calling on the Jefferson County Board of Education to reopen its search for a new superintendent, the board's two finalists “very weak” and lacking experience with desegregation.Ed board interview: Christine Johns - JCPS superintendent candidate: JCPS superintendent candidate finalist Christine Johns is interviewed by The Courier-Journal editorial board on June 7, 2011. This is the complete interview.
“We were expecting much better candidates,” said Raoul Cunningham, president of the local NAACP. “We are very worried about what will happen if either one of them is named the next superintendent, which is why we are formally going to ask the school board to start this entire process over.”
The NAACP was joined by unlikely supporter Thursday, when attorney Louisville attorney Ted Gordon, who helped overturn the district's old desegregation policy, said he agreed that the search should be reopened.
“I don't think these are the best candidates out there,” he said.
But school board Chairman Steve Imhoff said he has no plans to reopen the district's search, saying he is “still happy with both candidates.”
The school board is scheduled to meet at noon Tuesday to discuss a timeline for making their final decision, he said.
Louisville residents and officials have given mixed reviews to finalists Christine Johns, superintendent of the Utica, Mich., Community Schools, and Donna Hargens, chief academic officer for Wake County, N.C., Public Schools.
While some praised their professional accomplishments and academic experience, others, including the NAACP, criticized them for refusing to take clear stands on Jefferson County's student-assignment plan...
JCPS superintendent candidate Donna Hargens: JCPS superintendent candidate Donna Hargens is interviewed by The Courier-Journal editorial board on June 9, 2011.