Parents voice their expectations about the next superintendent

Saturday afternoon, it was the school board's turn to listen to lifelong Memphians like Alma Moore, "A great leader has charisma. And a great leader knows how to delegate responsibility. You can't sit and do everything." Transplants to the Bluff City, like Emma Devine had their say, too. "I work at Federal Express and people who move here from Atlanta, or Chicago, or New York it's a culture shock when you reside in Memphis." Retired educator LaVerne Buford wants the next superintendent to take better care of special education children: "Our special children gets throwed up against the curb. Year after year, day after day." Snowden Principal, Dr. Cathy Battle says conducting focus groups with the district's principals can help the next superintendent focus on his or her priorities. "Because whoever this leader is they've got to understand that we're out here where the rubber meets the road." And parents, teachers and principals know what they DON'T want for children in the school system. As outlined by the head of the Memphis Urban League. "Unsatisfactory academic achievement. Political conflict. Inexperienced teaching staff. Low expectations. And a lack of demanding curriculum." Also listening to the group, "Change does not take place overnight." Two private consultants, part of ProAct the superintendent search firm hired by the board. "We're very open to suggestions and names of people that you might know. Both traditional as in educators and non-traditional." Non-traditional meaning a CEO or business whiz could replace Johnnie Watson. Whatever the board decides it takes to put Memphis City Schools back on track.