New LRSD superintendent faces wary civic advisory panel at group's final meeting
Mike Poore, the incoming superintendent of the Little Rock School District, fielded questions from the district's Civic Advisory Committee this evening at the panel's final meeting. After Poore outlined his "entry plan" for public outreach in the weeks ahead, members of the CAC asked him pointed questions about charter schools and more — but were also careful to make it clear that their current discontent is directed towards the state rather than Poore himself.
Poore, for his part, mostly hedged; as in the past, he wouldn't explicitly commit to opposing charter expansions. To be fair, that's only to be expected from an incoming school leader in a fraught political environment. Only time will tell where the new superintendent really stands.
The CAC is — or, after tonight, was — an entity created by the state Board of Educationafter it assumed control of the LRSD in January 2015. Although the advisory committee was tasked with soliciting community input on Little Rock schools when the district's elected local school board was dissolved upon takeover, it never had any real decision-making power. It did, however, take a symbolic stand against the decision to fire current LRSD Superintendent Baker Kurrus in April, including a unanimous call for the replacement of state Education Commissioner Johnny Key. It's widely assumed that Key declined to renew Kurrus' contract because of the superintendent's vocal position against charter school expansions in the city, which Key supports.
Kurrus addressed the panel briefly, but left early to attend a principal's retirement ceremony. He thanked the CAC for its service and welcomed Poore before declaring "I want what’s best for our school district"; much of the audience gave him a standing New LRSD superintendent faces wary civic advisory panel at group's final meeting | Arkansas Blog | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art: