Organizations Urge Extension To Schools Director Search

Earlier today, a wide range of organizations representing the business, religious, ethnic and worker diversity in our community collectively sent a letter to the Metro Nashville Board of Education asking that the board extend the search for a new director of schools until after the election of Nashville’s new mayor.

The school board has outlined a distinct set of criteria for the next director, and in the opinions of the organizations whose leaders signed the letter, the slate of four candidates submitted to the board by its search firm, with a couple of exceptions, doesn’t meet that standard.

With a new director of schools, a new mayor and a significant number of new members of Metro Council, the decision regarding who will lead our school system comes at a pivotal time. Nashville is a city experiencing tremendous growth and progress. For that progress to continue will require significant skill, experience and  leadership on the part of the schools director and a search process that enjoys the confidence and support of the broader community.

Extending the search until after the mayor’s election would allow the new mayor to assist the board in recruiting the additional high-caliber candidates to fill out the finalist pool. Extending the search would also give board members additional time to resolve some of the differences that have so deeply divided them in recent months. With an interim director already in place, there’s no reason for Metro School Board members to rush their decision.

The organizations represented by this letter may have different perspectives on other issues, but on this, we share a common concern. The future of Nashville’s children and the choice of leadership for our public schools is one that should unite our community. We hope the Metro Board of Education will take our concerns to heart and continue the search.


In the media:

Metro school board reverses decision to pick Jay Steele as interim

Four finalists on list to lead Metro Nashville schools

Controversy follows Metro schools chief finalist

Teachers union: Reference opposes Metro schools chief finalist

Delay Metro's superintendent hire? Mayoral candidates weigh in

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