It had been clear for awhile that the four-member majority on the Little Rock School Board had no real intention of conducting a national search for a new superintendent, and last night they made it official. Interim Superintendent Linda Watson, on the job since Roy Brooks was ousted last year by the same four board members -- Micheal Daugherty, Katherine Mitchell, Charles Armstrong and Dianne Curry -- was offered a three-year contract. The three no votes -- Melanie Fox, Baker Kurrus and Larry Berkley -- all said they were objecting to the process, not Watson.
That's a valid objection. Watson seems to have done a good job so far -- she has the support of the teachers' union, and district employees say she's raised morale. She may very well be the best choice for the job. But because of the way the board majority chose to hire her, she'll always face questions on that score. (Not that a national search and more open process made much difference for Roy Brooks.)
The board majority is making the same mistake they say Brooks did: Believing they can ignore a significant part of the LRSD community. Just check the application numbers at the e-STEM charter school if you don't think there's a price to pay for that.