Kauffman Scholars Exec is the New Interim Kansas City Superintendent

Friday, September 2, 2011

In one week ? one incredible week ? the Kansas City School District emerged from the storm with a new superintendent.

Steve Green, 57, a former superintendent of a New York City sub-school district and most recently the chief executive of the Kauffman Scholars program in Kansas City, accepted the post of interim superintendent and was introduced by the school board Wednesday night.

?I come ready, willing and able to send the Kansas City School District to the next echelon of excellence,? he said.

One week almost to the hour after the board was stunned with a resignation letter from Superintendent John Covington, Green took his seat at the board table. He sat beside Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro as board members made their case that the district has earned the right to continue its reforms with the confidence of the state.

?I applaud your efforts?,? the commissioner said. ?It speaks well of your ability to come together.?

It hasn?t been easy. Nor is everyone sure the board has made the right move. The speed of the decision is unnerving to some.

?I understand they felt pressured,? parent leader E.B. Wiltz said. ?But it was a bit too hasty. There isn?t enough understanding of what happened to know what is necessary to go forward.?

Green and the school board still have to finalize a contract, but both parties were sure enough of a deal to bring Green publicly into the fold.

Covington, when he resigned, was less than two weeks into his third academic year as superintendent in a tenure that brought massive change to the district.

The district is provisionally accredited and is nearing a judgment day with the state, when the commissioner will make a recommendation on the district?s accreditation status to the state school board.

In the wake of Covington?s announcement, board members scrambled to deal with cross accusations and warnings that the events might lead to state intervention.

There have been casualties. Airick Leonard West submitted his resignation as school board president Tuesday night and voted with a majority that accepted it. The board convened again at the end of Wednesday?s meeting to reconsider that vote, but the board split 4-to-4, leaving the resignation in place. West is staying on the board.

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