by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Last week, Larry Cartner resigned as superintendent of Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools (ECPPS). The resignation came two weeks before the district starts classes. The ECPPS school board refuses to discuss the circumstances of his resignation because it is a personnel matter.
Cartner became ECPPS superintendent in 2015 after working for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. The Daily Advance indicates that, although student achievement was awful, the school board was content with his performance.
Pasquotank Board of Commissioners Chairman Cecil Perry expressed surprise at Cartner’s resignation, praising his job performance even as he acknowledged ECPPS needs further improvement.
“I thought things were fine,” Perry said Monday afternoon, referring to the school district.
When state testing results were announced last fall, ECPPS was designated a “low-performing” school district because half its schools were designated at grade “D” or below. P.W. Moore Elementary School was assigned a grade of “F” in the state’s report.
Test scores will be released on September 5, so perhaps he saw the writing on the wall. Regardless, even local residents can’t figure it out.
Apparently, not everyone in Pasquotank County is lamenting his departure. For example, Cartner hated charter schools.
Pasquotank Commissioner Jeff Dixon, a board member of the NEAAAT charter school, said he, too, was satisfied with Cartner’s performance. He credited Cartner with pursuing not only the early college, but the “1:1 Initiative” that’s put tablet computers in most ECPPS students’ hands. Dixon said he and other commissioners strongly supported expanding classroom technology.
In one “negative,” however, he said NEAAAT administrators often found it difficult to get Cartner to release funding to them. It’s clear Cartner dislikes the charter school, Dixon said.
Don’t feel too bad for ol’ Larry. He will receive $318,000 under his “resignation agreement” with the district.