State intervention should have taken place years ago. After years of watching the district flail and founder, it now comes almost as a relief. Last week, State Education Commissioner D. Kent King expressed regret that the state hadn’t acted sooner on behalf of the district’s 33,000 students. "The guilt I feel is that I should have done something more before this," Mr. King told Post-Dispatch reporter Steve Giegerich.
Schools Superintendent Diana Bourisaw has claimed for months that the district is turning around. But she missed her opportunity to ward off state intervention by failing to provide the state with data to back up her assertions of progress. In the tumult of the last 10 years, there have been many other missed opportunities, many missteps, many millions of dollars squandered and far too much collateral damage.
But now it’s time to look forward. Mr. Sullivan is an accomplished businessman who, judging by his activities, genuinely seems to care about kids. He is known as a consensus-builder, a strong manager and a visionary. School Board candidate David Lee Jackson described him as "a no-nonsense kind of guy." That’s just what the school district needs. Let’s give him a chance to do the job that lies before him. It is not an overstatement to say that the future of 33,000 children, the city and the region will be affected profoundly by how well or how poorly Mr. Sullivan meets this challenge.
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