Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Roy Brooks: deja vu all over again

Posted By on Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Thanks to Stand News for an article noting a black community in Georgia unhappy with the hiring of Roy Brooks, the deposed Little Rock and eStem charter school leader, as a superintendent.

The Americus-Sumter Observer, an African-American newspaper in Americus, Ga., considered the decision made by the Sumter County School Board to hire former Little Rock School District Superintendent Roy Brooks the “worst superintendent they could find.”

The story recently led the front page and the editorial section of the monthly newspaper. John D. Marshall, MD, former Sumter NAACP president and publisher of the paper, blames the majority white members led by board president Dr. Michael Busman for the hiring of Brooks, “a man they could control.”   Americus is a city within Sumter County, about 89 miles south of Macon. Based on the 2000 U.S. Census, the historic city has a racial makeup of 39 percent white, 58 percent African-American and nearly three percent Hispanic. Like the LRSD, Sumter County’s school district is majority Black. The board members were searching for a superintendent to replace Dennis McMahon who was retiring. Brooks was approved by a 5-4 vote with members voting across racial lines. All five white board members voted for Brooks while the four African-American members voted no. Brooks, though lionized by the wealthy whites who controlled him in Little Rock, left a checkered record here. He not only was fired in the LRSD, his pay was slashed at eStem (along with those of some high-priced administrators he'd brought along) before school leaders ultimately encouraged him to move on entirely, though he continued to draw the reduced pay through the end of this year as he looked for a new job. Now he'll march through Georgia.

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