Kurrus clears complaint at Jefferson School | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Kurrus clears complaint at Jefferson School

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 6:58 AM

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Former Little Rock School Superintendent Dexter Suggs' witch hunt against some staff members at Jefferson Elementary led directly to his abrupt departure from the school district, so here is a worthy postscript — an action in the matter by current Superintendent Baker Kurrus.

He's written that the staff at Jefferson had been targeted for no good reason and he's apologized ton behalf of the district.

To refresh: Suggs mounted an investigation of staff members for conducting a summer enrichment program, for a fee, at Jefferson. It's a widespread practice in the district and was done with the principal's approval. But the teachers were targeted by Suggs because one of them, a teachers union leader, had complained about potential abuse of leave practice by a friend of Suggs in the administration.

The fallout included energizing Matt Campbell of Blue Hog Report, a parent of a Jefferson student. He looked into Suggs'  resume (state Rep. John Walker had obtained the material and already done some early spadework) and soon found evidence that Suggs had plagiarized his doctoral dissertation. Very soon after, he was gone. In the face of the Jefferson outcry, Suggs had already ceased his investigation, but with a non-apology. The teachers wanted more.

One of those targeted, Teresa Knapp Gordon, vice president of the Little Rock Education Association, sent me a copy of the letter she has received from Kurrus. He "made things right," she said. Kurrus, by the way, attended Jefferson for a couple of years as a child before his family moved to Pine Bluff.

A superintendent willing to say district administrators had made mistakes? This is a good thing.

UPDATE: Oh, and this: There will be a K-2 summer reading camp at Jefferson again this summer. July 13-17 and July 20-4. The theme is Medieval Times. Still room for more. Write nathalie.massanelli@lrsd.org for more info.

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