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Jackson, Miss., Chief Resigns, Ending Weeks of Uncertainty

Superintendent T.C. Wallace of the Jackson, Miss., schools has resigned, ending two months of uncertainty about whether he would remain in the district.

The superintendent's status was first called into question when he failed the general-knowledge section of the core battery of the National Teachers Examination. The school board voted in June to void the remaining two years of Mr. Wallace's three-year contract if he did not retake and pass the exam by June 30. Passing the test is required for administrative certification in Mississippi. (See "District Chief Is Fired After Failing Exam," June 19, 1996.)

Mr. Wallace passed the exam in late June. (See "Miss. District Chief Keeps Job After Retaking, Passing Exam," July 10, 1996.) But the board voted on July 2 to terminate his contract after Mr. Wallace filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the board from "arbitrarily and capriciously" voiding his contract. The board later reversed the termination vote, allowing the superintendent to resign with a $175,000 settlement, and Mr. Wallace withdrew the suit.

The board appointed Dan Merritt, a former deputy superintendent in the district, to serve as the interim superintendent while the board begins its search for a new chief.

K.C. Search Is Over

The Kansas City, Mo., school board has finally ended its search for a new superintendent.

The board last month hired Henry Williams, who most recently headed the Little Rock, Ark., district. Mr. Williams, 54, begins the $190,000-a-year job as the 37,000-student district faces an end to state funding of its court-ordered desegregation program.

The previous superintendent, Walter Marks, was fired in April 1995 after a television crew filmed him lifting boxes in Florida while on leave for chronic back pain. Mr. Marks, in turn, filed suit against the district for $500,000 in lost pay and pension benefits. The lawsuit is expected to be heard in the fall. (See "N.Y.C. Narrows Chancellor's Search to 3; K.C. Nears Choice," Sept. 27, 1995, and "Superintendent Woes," Nov. 8, 1995.)

Vol. 15, Issue 41

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