Statement from state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) on the search for a new DPS Superintendent
“As a former DPS teacher, I worked very closely with teachers during the sickouts for their voices to be heard and included in the legislative process. During the speedy departure of emergency manager Darnell Earley, as the lead on DPS matters with the Detroit Caucus, I worked with the governor’s office and local stakeholders to ensure we would stabilize our district by giving teachers the assurance that they were being heard by selecting leadership from within. Selecting interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather to be the academic lead to work alongside Judge Stephen Rhodes as the interim emergency manager, with support from the entire administrative team, was critical to that stabilization process.
“We worked closely, holding joint town halls to provide the community with needed policy and budget updates. We all understood that as a temporary strategy, and upon transition to an elected board, that bifurcated governance model would not be adequate to take our district forward. With two months in office, the Detroit School Board selected a reputable firm, Ray & Associates, with a proven track record of community and civic engagement, to set a benchmark and recruit the best candidates for this position, with three emerging as finalists.
“School board members voted based on established criteria and according to legislation specified, and they are moving forward to select a leader with the certification, as well as academic and financial acumen needed to reboot, retool and restore DPSCD.
“That outlying interest seeking to insert itself in the process is disheartening. Detroiters voted for an elected board, and we firmly believe that it must be given an opportunity to govern without corporate, state or any other intervention. As a master’s level educator, we cannot afford to have uncertified teachers in Detroit, nor uncertified administrators leading our district if we are to ensure true transformation for a world class school district. We applaud the work of interim superintendent Meriweather and hope that her academic leadership remains a key role within DPSCD.”