Asheville Daily Planet
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The Daily Planet's Opinion: July 2019
Monday, 01 July 2019 23:20

City school board (loose with funds) should be elected

So yet another Asheville school superintendent is leaving after an embarrassingly short term of service and is receiving a golden parachute from our free-spending city Board of Education for ... well ... nothing.

The outgoing superintendent, Denise Patterson, who abruptly submitted her resignation June 12, citing medical reasons, will receive a $22,500 severance package ... after less than two years on the job.

Meanwhile, the problems when Patterson arrived (and a succession of previous  short-time city school superintentendents, also receiving overly generous depature bonuses) have not been improved, including the achievement gap between white and black students, particularly in math and reading. 

Specifically, as the Asheville Citizen Times John Boyle wrote recently, Last year for all third-grade students, 76.6 percent of white studens scored proficient in reading, compared with 22.6 percent of blacks an achievement gap of 54 percent. Numbers at individual schools were equally dismal for combined reading and mathematics scores.

We agree with the assessment expressed by some critical thinkers in our community that the superintendent turnover plays a role in the gap.

And who needs a school board, now appointed by City Council, that rewards poor performance with a bonus? Talk about adding insult to injury.

Its time to shift to a system of electing school board members who will be held accountable by an electorate that expects frugal use of taxpayer funds and results.



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