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State Takes Over Davenport Schools

A member of the district staff has been promoted to interim superintendent of the Davenport schools. Thursday the Iowa State Board of Education approved making T.J. Schneckloth the interim superintendent, a job he held briefly two years ago. 

The vote was nearly unanimous, seven to one, to approve recommendations from Amy Williamson, head of the education department's Bureau of School Improvement. 

"He will focus specifically on getting the corrective action plans done but he also has all the other authority that the superintendent would have - he is the interim superintendent. That means that he can direct the current superintendent to do whatever is necessary."
That means current superintendent Robert Kobylski will continue to be an employee, just not as leader of the district. 

But some parents from Davenport, including Lori Janke, told the state board they don't think Schneckloth is the best choice to fix the district's finances, and racial disparities.

"His reign as superintendent was unremarkable as in unremarkable that we did nothing really to address the citations except provide excuses and remind the state board that he was just a fill-in until the new guy was hired."

Williamson says the difference now is that he will report to the state board directly instead of just to the local school board.

In addition, the state board approved hiring Bill Decker, Chief Administrator of the Mississippi Bend Education Agency, and Shane Williams, its Director of Educational Services, to advise the interim superintendent. 

The board also agreed these appointments will last for six months and be reviewed in the spring. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.