Selma City School Board has one week to prepare its argument before state board

Published 7:48 pm Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We hope Selma Superintendent of Education Gerald Shirley and members of the Selma City School Board don’t treat a deadline like students treat assignment deadlines.

Next week, the Selma City School System will go before the Alabama State Board of Education and present its case as to why the state should not move forward with plans to intervene — or in simpler terms, takeover — the Selma City School System.

But, at this point, with all the missed deadlines, inadequate responses and reported lack of response, the expectations of the system’s case next week are pretty low. And, the chances of the state deciding to not take the system over are even lower.

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For some reason, the majority of the Selma City School Board has failed to take the problems that are reported to exist in the system seriously.

All of this goes back to what many consider poor choices on the part of the board.

There was the inadequate and lacksidasical response to the arrest of a teacher for having sexual relations with a student. A teacher, we might add, that remained on the payroll until just a few weeks ago; months after her arrest.

Then, there was the board simply dismissing the idea of an independent investigation into the school system.

That was followed quickly by the state conducting its own investigation, telling the board in no uncertain terms “if you’re not going to do what’s right, then we are.”

Even when the state report was issued, detailing scathing information about the school system, the board and school leadership failed to put together a response plan that met the criteria laid out by the state superintendent.

So, as we sit here a week away from the next State Board of Education meeting and the expected presentation of the Selma City School Board, we have a simple question “can anything be said to prevent a state takeover?”

And, unfortunately, based on the performance of this board over the past year, we might be asking a question we already know the answer to.