Nonprofit head picked to manage takeover of failing schools

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s statewide school board is tapping the head of an education non-profit to run an experiment giving charter operators a shot at turning around struggling elementary schools.

The State Board of Education said Thursday it hired Eric Hall to lead the new Achievement School District. Hall’s job allows him to choose charter-operating companies to take over five schools that have consistently shown poor growth and performance.

The companies could hire and fire who they want and would be exempt from oversight by local school boards.

Opponents say the project takes away local control. Supporters say it could invigorate schools where students face dim futures.

Hall has been president of Communities In Schools of North Carolina, which provides an array of support services to prevent students from dropping out of school.