Masters to quiz headmaster

(March 2, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- The state's interim education director is being summoned by court-appoint special masters assessing the state's effort to make education reforms. The masters are expected to quiz Tom Courtway next week on specifics on reform measures adopted during a special legislative session. The masters -- former Supreme Court justices Brad Jesson and David Newbern -- have indicated they will ask Courtway about teacher salaries and how they compare with surrounding states, allocation of new education expenditures, new testing requirements and whether the department is prepared to implement the changes. In an order issued yesterday, the masters noted that it did not appear the state planned to offer Courtway's testimony at a March 10th hearing. That hearing is part of their effort to aid the state Supreme Court in determining whether the state has complied with an order to overhaul its unconstitutional public education system. The masters said they also wanted to know the status of regulations governing education reforms adopted in a special legislative session.