As I have been reporting, the disgraced former Chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority John Covington was a finalist to become the new superintendent of the Richland One School District in South Carolina.
The good news is that another candidate was chosen at their Board of Commissioners meeting this evening. Instead of Covington, they chose Dr. Craig Witherspoon, a former superintendent in Birmingham, Alabama. The bad news is that Witherspoon comes with some baggage of his own:
Witherspoon endured a stormy four-year tenure in Birmingham beginning in 2010, where he survived two attempts by the school board to fire him in 2012. Witherspoon and the board clashed over workforce reductions and personnel hires. The Alabama Department of Education, which took over the Birmingham schools that same year, thwarted the second firing.
Witherspoon’s contract was later extended through 2018 but Witherspoon announced his resignation in October 2014, shortly after he revealed the discovery of an improperly bid $65,000 curriculum department expenditure.
All of that being said, Richland One dodged a bullet in my estimation. Congratulations to them for making the right decision.