Board members held a news conference to explain how the district plans to move forward without Covington at the helm. Board president Airick West says Covington gave acting authority over the district to a member of his leadership team Friday morning, before leaving for Detroit.
"That person will continue serving as acting superintendent for the time being while the board convenes to determine how we move forward with selecting an interim superintendent, and how we move forward with the selection of a permanent superintendent," West said.
West said all of the progress the district has made over the past two years will continue with the leadership team implementing the district's strategic plan. We're told the entire leadership team will remain in place.
In a closed door meeting after the press conference, board member Arthur Benson, who had pledged to resign from the board with Covington, withdrew his resignation and ripped the paper it was written on.
Benson says he feels pain by having been "ill used" by Covington and said he asked Covington if he was under consideration for another job, and Covington told him he was not.
"I asked him, 'Are you under consideration for the job in Mobile, Alabama.,'" Benson said. "He said, 'No.' 'Are there any other school districts where you name is in contention?' He said, 'No.'"
Board members say what has happened at the leadership level will not have a negative impact in the classroom. While there was some speculation that Covington's departure was related to his relationship with the board, Benson says he won't deny there were governance problems. But he says Friday's developments have unified the board.
"Unfortunately once again we're looking for a new superintendent," says Andrea Flinders, President of the Kansas City Federation of Teachers and School-Related Personnel.
In Detroit there's a feeling of confusion over the circumstances surrounding Covington's hiring.
While Dr. Covington accepts the job, an editorial writer for the Detroit Free Press warns the Education Achievement System should check into why Covington left Kansas City so quickly.