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Add Cleveland to the list of cities seeking superintendents.

The Plain Dealer: “What happened? Observers cite several reasons for [Superintendent] Byrd-Bennett’s plummeting public image and Friday’s resignation announcement: the district’s crushing money problems, voters’ resentment over her high salary and other perks, intense media scrutiny of her missteps, and a sometimes chilly relationship with Mayor Jane Campbell.

Another view: “‘She expects her principals and teachers to work hard, and that has caused problems,’ said Arnold Pinkney, campaign chairman for a number of school campaigns. ‘She’s very disciplined.'”

Meanwhile, Boston is gearing up for its own search.

“‘This is a great job, and it’s a terrible job,’ said Tim Quinn, director of the Broad Superintendents Academy, financed by the Broad Foundation of Los Angeles. ‘It’s a great job because the system is not broken. The system is functional. It is on the right track. . . . The tough thing about the job for someone new to the superintendency is they have to follow Tom Payzant, and he is revered around the country.'”

“The job has its challenges. Reilinger said that the ”number one issue’ for the next superintendent will be to close the achievement gap that separates whites and Asians from blacks and Hispanics. Last year, 33 percent of black 10th-graders and 31 percent of Hispanic 10th-graders failed the math portion of the state MCAS test. Just 14 percent of white students failed, and 11 percent of Asian students failed. Reilinger also wants the new schools chief to improve work with the city’s parents. In addition, the dropout rate remains high, with roughly 1 out of 5 ninth-graders never making it to graduation, according to school system figures.”

– Guest blogger GGW

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