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LEARNS can take down coaches, teachers


Well, it is the end of the school year.
In just one quick year, Arkansas’ educational system went from near last in America to about the same position.
Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her merry band of gray-haired men have transformed Arkansas education. Well, she said that they did.
The only transforming was giving teachers a starting salary raise (some districts, because some were over the cap) and allowing those small districts to pay for them; and she was is responsible for getting rid of the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act that gives superintendents complete power over who will stay and who will go.
That second part is what scares me the most.
This means that a school employee can be dismissed for no reason.
A teacher can be dismissed despite not having a write-up or any correctional behavior at all.
Let’s look at the most visible position in the school district — the coach.
Now a coach can be fired at any point by a superintendent.
It doesn’t matter that the coach is producing wins and trips to the state tournaments. It doesn’t matter that the coach is producing athletes that will be useful members of society. It doesn’t matter that the coach brings school pride to the campus.
All that matters is if the coach is liked by the superintendent. That’s it.
If there is no love between the two, then hit the road, Jack.
While we are here, let’s be honest — and I hate to admit this. Schools are not known for their academics. They are known for their performance on the field or court.
Can you tell me which Arkansas high school had a Jeopardy teen finalist in the last three years? Can you tell me which school has won several Class 5A state football titles before being moved to Class 6A? Most know the answer to the second question.
Most people know how far their school made it in the state tournament this year. They don’t know how many students exceeded the state minimum on state test scores.
However, the coaching position becomes one that will be examined more than most.
The coach has so many people pulling at his chain. Did he play the school member’s kid enough? Did they make everyone happy? Is someone going to rush to the superintendent about his actions?
You know some coaches must yell at their players which is understood by anyone that has been involved in sports. So, non-athletic background parents may not understand this. Will they complain?
The superintendent likes his job and his paycheck, so when a school member calls and says, “I want the coach out,” there is the pressure of this relationship.
It will be interesting to see how the school year ends. Will a superintendent remove a coach because he doesn’t like him/her?
I don’t think that we have any petty school leaders in this area, but if we do, the superintendent who dismisses coaches and leaders without reason may be kissing their own career good-bye.
Thanks, SHS and your band of grey-haired (bald) men. Re-election is coming soon.

Jeff Brasel is the sports and managing editor of the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at jeffb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/jeffbrasel.