Lack of public comment prior to Hargens appointment angers NAACP - News, Weather & Sports

NAACP angered by lack of public comment prior to Hargens appointment

Raoul Cunningham Raoul Cunningham
Kathryn Wallace Kathryn Wallace
Dr. Christine Johns Dr. Christine Johns
Dr. Donna Hargens Dr. Donna Hargens

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Jefferson County Board of Education called a news conference for Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 to announce on a decision in the search for a superintendent, naming Doctor Donna Hargens.

The board gathered in a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the two candidates for superintendent. Seconds after starting, the Board of Education took the meeting behind closed doors for executive session, angering members of the NAACP who hoped to learn more about how the board went about picking its next leader.

"You could have stayed behind and we could have too," said NAACP Louisville chapter leader Raoul Cunningham.

"All of us could have done something different, but the fact that we care enough to be here, we want to be included in the process," said the chapter's Education Chair Kathryn Wallace. "I want to hear the discussion because I want to see how they reached their conclusion."

The NAACP is one of several groups that called last week for the board to reopen its search for superintendent, saying they want a candidate with experience in both student achievement and desegregation issues.

'I'm not saying the two people they've selected are not qualified," Wallace said of the finalists, Hargens and Doctor Christine Johns. "I think they are, but are they qualified for this district?"

Organization leaders say they were similarly ignored four years ago when they had concerns over Sheldon Berman's lack of experience in a large urban school district prior to be hired as JCPS superintendent.

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