Cooper: Schools chief should be dispassionate

Dr. Kirk Kelly was elected the new interim superintendent of the Hamilton County Schools system.

The Hamilton County Board of Education voted Thursday to invite three candidates to interview next week for the job of interim superintendent.

What it did not do was move to revise the policy change it made in 2011 when it declared that an "interim" superintendent "shall not become a candidate" for superintendent unless the board specifically allows that person to do so.

That's how the board got around to installing Rick Smith, who it had named as interim superintendent, as the schools chief several weeks after the policy changes were made.

In the situation of an ailing school system where every move is critical, the decision was particularly unfortunate because two of the three candidates - co-acting superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly and Normal Park Museum Magnet School Principal Jill Levine - are part of the current system.