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Duo must give schools chief reason to stay

James Bostic Jr. and Brad Bryant should adopt a cool nickname, like the Dynamic Duo or the A-Team.

With their appointment this past week to swoop into Warren County to help rescue the school system's accreditation from the county's school board, the two are taking on the second such task at the behest of Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Perdue previously picked the pair in 2008 to serve as "special liaisons" to help Clayton County schools restore their accreditation when that system's school board tried to run them in the ditch. They managed to straighten things out and get the system re-accredited.

Maybe those two members of the state board of education will be able to get through to the members of the Warren County Board of Education whose misdeeds caused the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to threaten to revoke the system's accreditation.

Meanwhile, there's a possible complication: Carole Jean Carey, the Warren County Schools superintendent, says she is eligible to retire April 1.

When I first heard this news, I hoped it was an April Fool's joke. Sadly, it turned out to be true. Carey says all the paperwork is ready, and that she's just "waiting to see how things develop here."

"If I see some light at the end of the tunnel, I will stay longer," she says.

Please, Dynamic Duo: Find that light and give Carey a reason to stay. Her departure now would end on a down note the amazing 10-year tenure she's had in the Warren system.

Worse, it could perpetuate one of the system's major problems if the current school board applies a racial litmus test for a successor, making it clear that no white candidates need apply.

If any candidate other than the best person for the job is chosen for such reasons, not even Sonny's A-Team could rescue Warren from themselves.

(Barry Paschal is the publisher of The Columbia County News-Times.)

Web posted on Thursday, February 11, 2010

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