Unhappiness on LR School District principal shuffle | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Unhappiness on LR School District principal shuffle

Posted By on Sat, Jun 16, 2012 at 6:40 AM

DR. MORRIS HOLMES: Transfer plan riles some parents.
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  • DR. MORRIS HOLMES: Transfer plan riles some parents.
Little Rock School Superintendent Morris Holmes' fruit basket turnover of district school principals this week has left some parents unhappy.

Channel 4 reports here on an unhappy parents group at Western Hills Elementary.

I'd heard myself from a parent at the well-performing Williams Magnet School about unhappiness over reassignment of their principal. They met further on the transfer yesterday with school officials.

It was particularly jarring because at least some principals themselves, perhaps all of them, didn't learn of the action until minutes before the School Board meeting.

Holmes defended the transfer of 17 of 36 elementary, middle school and alternative school principals as a way to "refresh" the schools. The School Board approved 5-2, over some objections that more study was needed. State Rep. John Walker, lawyer for black families in the desegregation case, also objected to the transfers, drawing a rebuke from Holmes over Walker's criticism of the district's failure to narrow the achievement gap between black and white students. According to the Democrat-Gazette, Holmes said:

Mr. Walker has been working in, at, around and through the district for several decades ... and he observes that he has seen no progress, yet he has been working at it through the past decades. ...

Mr. Walker probably needs to examine himself a little bit because he probably has had as much or more influence in this district through heavy litigation and through all kinds of interventions - formally and informally.

Parents I heard from cheered Holmes on this, but not the transfers.

My takeaway: A school that's working doesn't necessarily need refreshing. A school that isn't working may be "refreshed" by a new principal, but the school receiving that unrefreshing former principal might not be so lucky.

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