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D.A. investigation into Porter reveals thought process of school board members


Emily Jerman April 10th, 2008

According to board member Gail Vines in Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater's investigation report, former Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent John Q. Porter tried to create positio...

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According to board member Gail Vines in Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater's investigation report, former Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent John Q. Porter tried to create positions or grant raises outside board involvement from "day one."

The board explained to him the procedures and policies "numerous" times, which she assumed he understood but apparently did not, she told Gazette.

"We were all ready for new leadership," she said. "We were welcoming a change " that's why we hired him " but there were still legal policies that we had to go through the proper channels."

'URGENCY'
The district's then-communications director, Mark Beutler, on board since April, told Gazette he knew the writing was on the wall when he attended an all-staff meeting July 2 and Porter introduced his "new" communications head. Within an hour, Beutler said he was told he could resign or be terminated in 30 days.

Porter told Gazette he perhaps could have taken more time in implementing change.

"I thought I was brought in here to try to turn around a school district that was failing, and that had been failing not for one year or two years or three years, but for years," he said. "And so I had an urgency about trying to do what's best for these kids. That's what I said the day I came here, I was going to be about children. We've been about adults too long, and we need to be about the children." "Emily Jerman

More Porter coverage:
School's superintendent's suspension causes heated board meeting
OKCPS' votes to suspend superintendent
Report: Council member questioned bid process in Porter's former district
School board will meet again Hudson offers to resign if Porter does the same
 
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