The Bentonville Public Schools United Facebook page provides the video of members of the school board paying tribute to Superintendent Michael Poore after accepting his resignation to take the job of superintendent of the Little Rock School District. Poore didn’t respond. He’d explained, whatever he explained, during a closed session withe the board.
School Board member Joe Quinn, a Walmart executive who once worked in Little Rock as a Huckabee administration official, posted this on Twitter after the announcement:
Mike Poore is a unique and talented leader taking Little Rock job to do the right thing for all students.
That could be true and still not be an adequate response to the firing of a proven leader with granular knowledge of the district, Baker Kurrus, solely because he wouldn’t toe the party line on charter schools. Coming from Bentonville, seat of the Walton fortune that is now controlling education policy in Arkansas, it is hard not to presume that Poore brings that influence in his DNA. Kurrus offered facts on the charter school debate. The other side works on faith.
PS — State Education Board member Diane Zook’s dishonest suggestion to the Democrat-Gazette that Kurrus made the decision to leave is yet one more black mark on her service. She’d belittled Kurrus in his appearance before the state board on charter school impact. She probably opened the door to the events that led to Kurrus’ sacking. Because the state Education Department charter school review group was asked to produce some information on charter school impact and performance (facts they have never been interested in amassing) she cobbled up a list of questions for Kurrus intended to make the Little Rock School District look bad. That opened the door to his presentation of a mass of information unhelpful to her pro-charter school position. I suspect that played a role in Education Commissioner Johnny Key’s decision to boot him.
Sad day. Bentonville now runs Little Rock schools. Wonder what the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce thinks about that.