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Hiring an MPS superintendent: Let's move forward together

Jenny Arneson
MinnPost photo by Craig Lassig
Jenny Arneson

The search for a new Minneapolis Public Schools superintendent has been one of the most intensely scrutinized education issues in the past year. This shows how invested we all are in figuring out how to best serve Minneapolis' diverse community of students and families and provide the leadership our kids' schools deserve.

Our first search failed to give us the result we intended. The board is committed to completing a successful search, and we have spent significant time discerning what went wrong, what went right, and how we can do things better. We remain as committed as ever to taking the time to listen to our community's voices and values and integrate them into our work as we move forward intentionally and efficiently.

On Feb. 16, the board will be voting on an improved superintendent selection process that has been designed to better guide us toward success. It builds upon the original search process by adding the outside expertise and perspective of a search team to assist in searching for and evaluating candidates, then helping the board narrow the candidates down to a short list of finalists. Once finalists are chosen, much like in the original process, we will incorporate ample opportunity for the community to get to know the finalists and offer perceptions to the board. As the process concludes early this summer with the board's selection of a superintendent, we believe that the community will have felt fully invested and empowered in the process and join us in working with and supporting our schools' new leader.

In the end, we all want the same thing: world-class educational opportunities and results for our children. Our schools are filled with committed, skilled teachers and bright students ready to learn. Our community is fortunate to have parents and partners who help support and supplement students' classroom experiences. My colleagues on the Minneapolis School Board and I are committed to using our community's collective strengths to find the best superintendent possible. So let's move forward together. 

Jenny Arneson is the chair of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education.

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Comments (1)

I would hope ....

there be created by either the Board or the next Superintendent a Teacher's Cabinet. This structure would have representation from across the profession, pre k elementary, each of the special Ed segments and high school. City geography should also be considered. Career level should be thought through. Cultural and gender issues also should play a role. The union exits as a barraging agent. It's role needs to be separated from the cabinet's educational role. The Teacher's cabinet needs have open meetings with the public as well. Until the teachers professional ideas, opinions and feelings are integrated into the process which is now done at best haphazardly they can only see themselves as incidental to either the admisitrative or the union bargaining processes. I education children is to be the priority this is where it should begin - with the professional education staff. And not the political process that it always attempting to reeducate itself.