Schmoke on Hunter

December 20, 1990

Excerpts from the news conference at which the mayor announced he has asked the board not to renew the superintendent's contract:

I asked Dr. Hunter to meet with the principals individually. He has not done that. Dr. Andrews [Dr. J. Edward Andrews, the deputy superintendent] has, and there have been improvements a result.

I asked for a vocational education action plan from Dr. Hunter. I didn't get one. The members of the board had to push for it. That shouldn't be their role. The board should set broad policy. . . .

I believe in restructuring. I believe in school-based management. I am profoundly skeptical of Dr. Hunter's commitment to the direction. Even today he will say he agrees with school-based management, but I look at his actions. The mayor shouldn't have to chair a meeting with the school board, superintendent and union. I was put in that role because others were concerned he wasn't moving. . . .

I said I would give him until noon yesterday to submit a letter [saying he would not pursue a contract renewal]. He didn't show up at the Cabinet meeting [Tuesday morning]. I didn't hear from him by noon.

He spoke to a large number of people about our conversation and it got into the public domain. He never called me until 12:30 a.m. [yesterday], and that was because someone else asked him to. I have serious reservations about his ability [to run the school system] in light of what happened in the last 36 hours. . . .

This is not personal. I like Dr. Hunter a great deal. . . .

I tried to avoid making this recommendation.

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