It was an impressive beginning for the first meeting of the 23-member unified Shelby County School Board and the 21-member team that's been appointed as the merger transition commission.
By impressive, I mean every one showed up for the meeting on time, the discussion was civil and the attitude was hopeful. That's not an insignificant accomplishment, but it pales in comparison to the task of actually merging these two school systems and preserving, or preferably improving, the quality education for all Shelby County public school students.
After the meeting, Memphis School Superintendent Kriner Cash made an interesting comment that there's a reason why most governing boards have only seven or nine members.
His observation underscores the difficulty of getting the 44 people on these transition teams all pulling together to make the best possible decisions. And the clock is ticking. While the final merger is still two years away, a completed plan is due in less than a year. Godspeed.