How did we get here? The search for a new Minneapolis superintendent started in early 2015, after the surprise resignation of Bernadeia Johnson. Michael Goar, her chief executive, has been interim superintendent since. In late winter, the school board decided to conduct a national search. In November, Goar and Sergio Paez emerged as the board's favored candidates from among six semifinalists. On Dec. 7, Paez won on a 6-3 vote. A week later, the board suspended contract talks because of a troubling report from Massachusetts. On Tuesday, Jan. 12, the school board changed its mind and disinvited Paez.
What was the problem? Two days after Paez was selected, a critical report was released about his former school district in Holyoke, Mass., alleging that students in a special education program were improperly restrained, slapped and otherwise abused in the 2013-14 school year. A district attorney launched a criminal investigation. Paez said he assigned staff to investigate incidents brought to his attention, and questioned the timing of the report.
Just before their Jan. 12 vote, school board members learned that Paez's replacement in Holyoke, Stephen Zrike, had been a principal in Boston at the time that Goar was a top administrator there. Goar said he did not supervise Zrike and had to Google him to remember who he was. But some school board members wanted to know why that connection was not disclosed. Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds called for a new search.
What's the latest? On Jan. 12 the board voted against Paez and voted against a new search, but tabled a vote on Goar after protesters disrupted the school board meeting.