The culture of the Asheville City Schools is strongly based upon the idea that ACS is somehow unique, somehow different. “We are a special case; we have special needs and requirements. We are not like other school districts.”
A translation of this is, “We are dysfunctional and like it that way,” and, “We can make bad decisions and get away with it because we are a special case.”
“We need a school board that understands our special circumstances.” The way to maintain this crippled school system is to hire persons within the present system.
The Asheville City Schools school board must be composed of persons from the outside. We need people on the school board from outside. As far as I am concerned, the more outside, the better. A retired teacher from Minneapolis, an ex-superintendent from Boston, a business owner from Charlotte.
Asheville is human resources rich! In a heartbeat, the City Council could put together a school board stronger than anything that could ever come out of an election.
This really needs to be in the regulations of the Asheville City Council: “Only applicants independent of the school system will be considered for the positions of school board.” The very clear exclusion is present employees and past employees.
But this is a fairly immediate situation. Three positions are coming vacant even now, and this needs to be considered even now.
Most of City Council has been recently elected. They heard about problems related to the school board during their campaigns for City Council. This is their job.
The school board selects the superintendent. After filling that position, the role of the school board is to support this person. With Gene Freeman as the superintendent, that basic structure is in place.
— John Brigham