Little Rock School Superintendent Kurrus Assesses District

May 14, 2015

Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Newly appointed Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus gave a report to the State Board of Education Thursday on his assessment of problems in the district. 

Kurrus said poor communication, budget issues, and a lack of respect between employees had led to a dysfunctional culture in the district.

“That's the way it's always worked. Somebody very up high in the chain of command makes a decision, pushes it down, deflates everybody in the organization by taking their authority away from them and their responsibility away from them. The thing that does that's devastating is there's no accountability," he said.

Kurrus told the board he will distribute authority throughout the district, and use data to make better decisions than his predecessors. He added that curriculum and instruction experts in the district weren't being fully utilized or listened to regarding student learning.

"It's almost like throwing notes over a wall," he said. 

Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key appointed Kurrus to the job last week. Former Superintendent Dexter Suggs resigned last month amid allegations he plagiarized his Ed.D. dissertation.

 The district has been under state control since January because of its six schools in distress.