Mississippi’s incoming superintendent of education, Tom Burnham, says lawmakers should considering allowing the state board of education to consolidate the low-performing districts that it takes over and to establish charter schools in those districts.
Mr. Burnham’s suggestion came during a meeting of a task force on low-performing schools. He said he was making the recommendation because “in my mind you don’t give [the school system] back to the people who allowed it to fail to begin with.”
Under Mr. Burnham’s concept, the state board would not be able to consolidate a low-performing district with another district unless the neighboring district agreed to the merger. The governor has formed a commission to study school district consolidation that is supposed to make a recommendation by April 1.
A version of this article appeared in the January 06, 2010 edition of Education Week as Mississippi Superintendent Calls for Charters in Troubled Districts