Knoxville Branch NAACP recommends that the Knox County Board of Education adopt minimum qualifications for the next school superintendent.

The Knox County Board of Education has begun the process of hiring a new superintendent.

The Knoxville Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) believes selecting the right superintendent is essential to the future of Knox County Schools and Knox County. To that end, the Knoxville Branch has sent the attached letter to the Knox County School Board.

The superintendent of Knox County Schools (KCS) is one of the most important jobs in the county. The KCS superintendent guides the education of 60,000 students and supervises 8,000 county employees. The quality of our public schools is a primary reason employers come to and stay in Knox County. How the KCS superintendent performs his or her job affects all of Knox County.

The Knoxville Branch NAACP believes the next superintendent must be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to implement Knox County Schools’ vision for increasing student achievement, eliminating disparities and creating a positive school culture.

  • Demonstrate significant experience as a public school classroom teacher.

  • Show significant experience as a public school principal and assistant principal.

  • Demonstrate significant experience as a successful public school superintendent.

  • Show that he/she has had success leading a diverse public school system.

  • Show that he or she has the commitment and courage to put the needs of our 60,000 children and 8,000 staff first among all other considerations.

  • Demonstrate a track record of listening to and being responsive to parents and community groups.

The Knoxville Branch urges all Knox County citizens across the county to speak into the process. The two opportunities to be heard are:

  • Attend and speak at the public meeting on December 2 at 6:00 in the boardroom on the first floor of the Andrew Johnson Building, 912 S. Gay Street.

  • Take the survey here 

My commentary: I do not disagree that there should be some standards for the Superintendent. I remember School Board Member Patti Bounds calling Bob Thomas Dr. Thomas after he was selected as Superintendent and the same happening at a Knox County Commission meeting and Thomas correcting Commissioners that he does not have a doctorate. 

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