Hopson Says Lack Of Education Experience Not An Issue

Hopson Says Lack Of Education Experience Not An Issue

Once they work out a contract, Shelby County Schools will have a superintendent who has not spent a minute teaching.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Once they work out a contract, Shelby County Schools will have a superintendent who has not spent a minute teaching.

Dorsey Hopson was named as the full time super by the school board Tuesday night.

He is a lawyer, with no background in education.

Hopson said, however, he brings strong management skills, that he listens to others, and that it would be irresponsible for him to walk away from the job.

There are school systems run by people who aren’t professional educators. Broward County, Florida is one. It is not as unusual as it used to be. But Hopson will be the first superintendent in Tennessee who was a lawyer and not a teacher.

“My main focus wants to be on literacy. It's a big issue across the state and country. We're going to be suggesting to the board that we simplify in some respects the curriculum and focus with a laser like focus on literacy,” Hopson said.

He knows what people are saying about him.

Every other superintendent in Tennessee started their careers in schools.

Dorsey Hopson said he has other strengths.

“When there's so many moving parts, so much uncertainty. I think there's a lot to be said about consistency. I think there's a lot to be said about building relationships with people and working with people,” Hopson said.

When asked if he would give himself a passing on the job he has done so far, he said you have to look in the right context.

“Well, I would ask for the proper context to be placed on that. We just finished the largest merger in US history. We cut $75 million. We did the best we could with what we have,” Hopson said.

Hopson will be an interim superintendent until a contract is signed. He is not expecting any problems.
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