Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chaos Reigns On Mitchell Bridge Road

Interim Clarke County School District Superintendent James Simms, following the lead of Lewis Holloway, is the second superintendent to resign (at least tentatively) since last August. Read Simms’ rather blunt letter of resignation here. The concerns cited by Simms include disagreements with the Board over not approving his personnel recommendations the Board's attempted micromanagement of the District’s day-to-day affairs

Simms' threat prompted a couple of Board of Education members, District 1’s Denise Mewborn and District 4’s Allison Wright, to similarly threaten resignations; the former may or may not resign if Simms follows through and the latter apparently has reconsidered. For what it is worth, Wright is quoted in the
Banner-Herald as characterizing the Board as “dysfunctional” (Clayton County, here we come - or perhaps Peyton Place would be more apropos).

So, on top of the District’s lengthy record of startlingly high expenditures and chronic academic under-achievement, it also has to contend with friction between its administration and the Board, not to mention an ongoing series of personnel disputes (about which I know nothing other than what I have heard and read in the local media).

As an aside, the Board is coming in for lots of criticism for stepping outside its policy-making bounds and trying to micromanage the District’s daily operations; this is an interesting complaint, accurate though it may well be, in a county where many citizens routinely encourage the Commission to do precisely the same thing with regard to the Unified Government.

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