Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Baltimore schools CEO to be replaced by former academics chief

...The decision ends Thornton's divisive tenure less than two years into a four-year contract. State lawmakers, religious leaders and education advocates have said he lacks vision, direction and follow-through, and a growing number of lawmakers and community activists in recent months have called for his ouster.

Thornton, who came to Baltimore from Milwaukee in 2014, grappled with a litany of financial and operational mishaps as head of Maryland's fourth-largest school system. He leaves the district embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with more than a dozen charter schools...

...The board did not announce publicly that a search was underway. The board made its offer to Santelises on the last day of the Maryland General Assembly session in April, when lawmakers approved legislation that established a partially elected school board and required one lawmaker from the House of Delegates and the state Senate to take part in selecting the next CEO.
That bill has not been signed by Gov. Larry Hogan and has not become law.
Historically, superintendent searches in the city have been announced publicly but were kept confidential. The board that hired Thornton held public forums during the search process.
Cooper said the board did not announce the search, conducted by the local firm EntreQuest, because board members did not want it to become a distraction for teachers, students and administrators. Job candidates signed a nondisclosure agreement...

 Since Santelises left the district in August 2013, she has served as vice president of K-12 policy and practice at The Education Trust, a Washington-based think tank...

...The board is scheduled to vote next Tuesday on a four-year contract that would pay Santelises $298,000 a year.
Thornton's deal was worth $290,000 a year. He will receive his third-year salary under a separation agreement negotiated by the board, Cooper said.
On Tuesday, the school board also approved an annual budget that cuts central office staff, including school police officers, and funds literacy and math initiatives...

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