Movers and Shakers

Ferebee’s second in command to leave Indianapolis for D.C.

PHOTO: Dylan Peers McCoy

Superintendent Lewis Ferebee’s chief deputy is leaving Indianapolis Public Schools for a post with the D.C. Public Schools.

Wanda Legrand, who joined the administration along with Ferebee in 2013, is currently the IPS deputy superintendent for academics. She will take on the position of deputy chancellor for social, emotional and academic development in D.C., according to a statement from the district.

A tweet from the official IPS shared the news Tuesday:

breaking news

Tennessee down to two finalists to lead its school turnaround district

PHOTO: Caroline Bauman
Memphis is the home of most of the Achievement School District's turnaround work.

A Memphis-based education consultant and a Rhode Island school innovator have emerged as the two finalists to lead Tennessee’s school turnaround district.

Keith Sanders is the CEO of his own consulting group in Memphis and is the former chief officer of school turnaround at the Delaware Department of Education. He was a principal at Riverview Middle School in Memphis before leaving in 2007 to co-found the Miller-Mccoy Academy in New Orleans, an all-boys charter school that shuttered in 2014.

Stephen Osborn is the chief for innovation and accelerating school performance at the Rhode Island Department of Education. He previously was an assistant superintendent with the Louisiana Department of Education and a chief operating officer with New Beginnings Charter School Network in New Orleans.

Their deep experience with charter schools would be a must for the next leader of Tennessee’s charter-reliant Achievement School District, which launched in 2012 with the charge of turnaround around the state’s lowest-performing schools.

The two finalists emerged on Wednesday from a list of four candidates released last week by Tennessee’s Department of Education. Gone are Brett Barley, deputy superintendent for student achievement with the Nevada Department of Education, and Adam Miller, executive director of the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice at the Florida Department of Education.

The new superintendent will succeed Malika Anderson, who left the job last fall after almost two years at the helm. Kathleen Airhart, a longtime deputy with the Tennessee Department of Education, has been serving as interim leader.

The job will require overseeing 30 low-performing schools — the majority of which are run by charter organizations in Memphis — at a time when the Achievement School District has much less authority than when it launched during the Race to the Top era.

Editor’s note: This story will be updated throughout the day.

You can view the finalists’ resumes below:



Aurora’s superintendent will get a contract extension

Aurora Public Schools Superintendent Rico Munn. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

The Aurora school board is offering superintendent Rico Munn a contract extension.

Marques Ivey, the school board president, made the announcement during Tuesday’s regular board meeting.

“The board of education believes we are headed in the right direction,” Ivey said. Munn can keep the district going in the right direction, he added.

The contract extension has not been approved yet. Munn said Tuesday night that it had been sent to his lawyer, but he had not had time to review it.

Munn took the leadership position in Aurora Public Schools in 2013. His current contract is set to expire at the end of June.

Munn indicated he intends to sign the new contract after he has time to review it. If he does so, district leaders expect the contract to be on the agenda of the board’s next meeting, April 3, for a first review, and then for a vote at the following meeting.

Details about the new offer, including the length of the extension or any salary increases, have not been made public.

Four of the seven members currently on the board were elected in November as part of a union-supported slate. Many voiced disapproval of some of the superintendent’s reform strategies such as his invitation to charter school network DSST to open in Aurora.

In their first major vote as a new board, the board also voted against the superintendent’s recommendation for the turnaround of an elementary school, signaling a disagreement with the district’s turnaround strategies.

But while several Aurora schools remain low performing, last year the district earned a high enough rating from the state to avoid a path toward state action.