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Special Master Appointment Expected Soon

Lol Fearon tells New London Board of Education that person appointed in state intervention will have authority in several areas

A representative from the Connecticut Department of Education told the Board of Education on Thursday that a special master will likely be appointed for the in the next few days.

Lol Fearon, chief of the Bureau of Accountability and Improvement, said he did not have any details on when the appointment will be made, but the department is looking to act quickly in the matter.

“We know there are some very specific issues that the district is trying to resolve and work its way through, especially in regards to coordinating with the city,” said Fearon.

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The State Board of Education to approve a special master for the district and have the seven members of the New London Board of Education to “undergo training to improve its operational efficiency and effectiveness as leaders of the district’s improvements plan.” The resolution approved by the state will appoint a special master to begin a year of work on July 1, with the possibility of an additional one-year extension.

The vote followed a for a state intervention in the district last month. Fischer made the request in response to a state , which said the Board of Education has not placed adequate focus on student achievement and has at times been hostile to school administrators.

Fearon said the authority of the special master may cover several different areas. He said this includes managing or allocating local, state, or federal funds; directing the assignment or reassignment of teachers and principals; and determining whether additional audits are required regarding the schools’ finances, curriculum, and instruction.

Fearon said the department will determine a short list of candidates for the special master from suggestions offered by several different agencies. Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor will make the final choice.

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NewLondonSource June 15, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Let us hope the board is receptive to whomever the special master is; I'm sure Nick will welcome him/her with open arms, but I question the expected rationality of some of our board members in this situation.
Lisa Beth June 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Just some of them? You have more faith than I do!
Thomas Cornick June 15, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Just remember - if you fail as a superintendent and the school board begins to hold your feet to the fire- you can run to the state and preserve your position.
Debbie June 15, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Priority should be training ALL board members and administration on their duties and responsibilities, and to also remain silent long enough to learn a thing or two. Role of the special master is limited and available for a short period of time. What remains will rest with each and every board and administration member. Best wishes as you make new discoveries and learn to work together as a team.
Joyce Pearson June 15, 2012 at 09:09 PM
I think it is time to get to work to improve New London schools with this special master. Board of Ed members. You were voted in by the people but you can't cling to those positions promoting your own agenda. Start working together. Think of New London's children. That is for whom you work. Parents, work with your children, read with them every day, do some math with them. Just show your children that you care about their education. Bd of Ed and parents, remember you have an obligation to teach your children and encourage their academic successes. We want New London students to be proud of their schools and proud of themselves when they do great things.

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