by Max Brantley
Little Rock School Board member Melanie Fox has proposed a couple of board policies worth watching. One would give Board approval over any outside consultant work worth more than $10,000 chosen by the superintendent. Another assures final Board control over curriculum frameworks and new courses. (This second one has now been revised on account of a question in wording raised by a blog reader. Fox notes this is just a proposal and subject to further changes.)
These are not strictly speaking new polcies, but sharpening of existing policies to guarantee more board oversight, particularly in the case of consulting work tht goes to sole-source consultants and are not subject to a bidding process. Her accompanying letter mentions recent concerns about outside consultants hired by Superintendent Linda Watson.
UPDATE: The School Board met in private session Thursday night for an evaluation of Watson. As I'd predicted in a column a couple of weeks ago, she was given objectives to meet. She was not given a contract extension. Message from, and this is significant, a majority of the board: Needs improvement.