Editorís Note: The following letter was sent this week to members of the Franklin County School Board. At its April meeting, the school board voted unanimously to table the matter of re-hiring Mr. Bidwell as principal, and is expected to take it up again at the May 8 meeting.

I am extremely disappointed in your decision not to rehire Eric Bidwell as Franklin County School principal for the coming year.

While I am sure your decision must be legal, I believe that you have made that decision based on limited information and opinions. I am also reasonably certain that you made your decision without having access to significant student performance data, because the results of our annual testing have not yet been released.

Finally, I believe that you made your decision without giving the larger community of Franklin County the opportunity to share its opinions and insights with you, and I think that the input that you missed would have been critical to your making a balanced, constructive decision.

I believed that with its selection of Mr. Bidwell as its next principal the district had finally moved toward stability and long-term growth, but I fear that your decision is strong evidence that little has changed, and that we must be prepared for another painful period of transition.

Mr. Bidwell has served the school, the district, and its communities with intelligence, clarity, and courage. I wish him well.


Charles Wilkinson


Franklin County School