The Perry County Board of Education this week made a positive step forward in its search for a new superintendent, particularly by agreeing (albeit with a 3-2 vote) to contract with an outside agency to handle a big part of the search.
Officials with Perry County Schools are not in an enviable position. The county’s largest high school, Perry Central, is under daily scrutiny from state observers after being included in a list of persistently low-achieving schools. Only three of the 11 schools in the county achieved proficient status in the latest round of accountability scores, while Chavies Elementary in particular was among the lowest scoring in the state.
And that’s not to mention the district’s image in the wake of a testing scandal in 2010 in which a national testing organization voided several tests after an investigation found that cheating had taken place.
In short, the board, officials at central office, and everyone in the district have their work cut out for them in turning around the Perry County School District for the better. And hiring an outside agency not affiliated with the district and using employees not related to anyone in the county is a good sign that the board is serious about hiring the best superintendent possible.
We were especially heartened by comments made by board member Charlene Miller when she said, “After what we’ve went through, we have got to get this school system straightened up.” Getting the school system straight begins at the top, with an able superintendent leading the district in a new direction.
We have little doubt that there will be a plethora of able candidates, with at least one from here in Perry County, who will be able to take the reins and provide leadership from day one. But the board’s task, and no one else’s, will be to ensure that the candidate ultimately chosen is the right one for Perry County’s students.
— The Hazard Herald