Updated 11:30 a.m. –Education Commissioner Dwight Jones and the State Board of Education spent about 15 minutes this morning talking about the possibility, the likelihood – whatever you want to call it – that Jones will soon leave to become superintendent of the Clark County School District in Las Vegas.
“Nothing official has happened to date … the process is still ongoing” Jones said of his contract negotiations with Clark County. Jones thanked the board, CDE staff and educators around the state for their support and kind words, but said, “This is certainly not any kind of goodbye speech. … I am still giving my full-time attention to being the commissioner … until the final contract is agreed to.”
Board Chair Bob Schaffer, R-4th District, said, “I anticipated at some point today we’d touch on process” and stressed that the board isn’t going to rush into a search until it’s certain of Jones’ status.
If Jones does leave, “the second thing we need to consider highly is the commissioner’s recommendations.” Schaffer said. “I assume that would involve an interim commissioner.” The chair said he also assumes the hunt for a replacement would involve “a national search.”
Two board members, Republicans Randy DeHoff of the 6th District and Peggy Littleton of the 5th, are leaving the board after the election. Both stressed today they have no interest in helping choose a successor. “The new board is the one that has to deal with that,” DeHoff said. “Absolutely,” said Littleton.
Schaffer and member Elaine Gantz Berman, D-1st District, praised Jones. Schaffer said, “We believe it’s in the state’s best interest for him to stay.”
Later today state board members also take up the matter of the charter Community Leadership Academy’s claims that Adams 14 school district officials denied them funding. State finance officials looked into it and found that, in fact, CLA owes Adams 14 officials nearly $2,000 for costs the district incurred in 2008-09. The state also wants CLA to cover the $2,986 that it spent on the investigation. See the state’s report here. The board recently denied a request by CLA to revoke Adams 14’s exclusive chartering authority. That story is here.
Today is International Walk to School Day with several metro-area school districts planning activities to mark the occasion. So keep a sharp eye in school zones.
What’s on tap
Adams 12 Five Star Schools is hosting “a community conversation about 21st Century Learning” tonight from 7 to 8:30 at Legacy High School, 2701 W. 136th Ave. Before the community talk, the board plans to meet with Legacy students from 5:30 to 6:30 to ask questions such as “Have teachers notified you that you were not working up to your potential? If yes, was it in enough time to correct problems?” and “Would you be more comfortable asking for help in math if girls and boys had separate classes?” The agenda is here for tonight’s meeting, which also includes a presentation by Legacy staff about their efforts.