Cooper: School board, public must work together

The Hamilton County Board of Education must work hand in transparent hand with the public in the selection of a new superintendent.

If ever there was a time for nine members of the Hamilton County Board of Education to confer with the public and to seek outside help in a search for a new superintendent, it is now.

Perhaps never before - and certainly not since the Chattanooga city and Hamilton County Schools systems merged in 1997 - have the schools been in such a crisis.

Smarting from continuing low standardized test scores, the pool cue rape and assault of high school basketball players, the handling of former Superintendent Rick Smith's contract and the hiring as interim superintendent of a member of Smith's top staff, the board desperately needs a win.

So as it begins discussion on the steps it will take in the process toward hiring a new superintendent, it should seek all the help it can get.