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Going back, New York will consider sitting superintendents for roles

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Going back, New York will consider sitting superintendents for roles

When New York Chancellor David Banks announced in March that he would force 45 superintendents to re-run for office, he also promised to make the process of selecting new county leaders broader than before.

This promise seems to have had the opposite effect, with parents protesting after some favorite overseers were laid off before the public was able to weigh who should run their districts.

But after this resonance, the education department is now backing down: officials announced Monday that all incumbents have been asked to join a round of public candidate forums after some initially failed.

“If I make the final determination of who will best serve all students in each constituency, that decision will combine passionate feedback from parents and community members and each candidate’s ability to articulate a comprehensive vision for the future,” Banks said in a statement Monday.

Superintendents are often the public face of the central education department, attend regular meetings of the Board of Education and supervise principals.

Banks said they would play an even bigger role as long as he is chancellorexpanding their budgets and giving them more staff to better support principals and serve as a point of contact between parents and the country’s largest school system.

Banks On March 2, it was officially announced that managers would have to re-apply for jobs. Candidates who went through the process said they were asked to answer an essay question on how they would improve literacy in their area.

The hiring process determined by state law and education department regulations, dictating that executives must have at least seven years as a tutor, including at least three as a principal. It is also expected to consult with parent leaders and union representatives after selecting a finalist.

Banks have promised to go beyond the regulations, asking local parent groups to hold public forums of candidates in each district. On Monday, officials released the dates and times of each forumstarting this Thursday.

“I will be firmly guided by what the community says. I don’t want to be a person who chooses only leaders, ”he said at a March meeting at City Hall with parent leaders in Manhattan District 3. “I’m going to listen to parents and families and give them a real voice.”

Parents and educators declined last week when word began circulating that some incumbents had been laid off even before the public was even given a chance to express their views. Scream was especially high-profile in the 30th District of Queenswhere an online petition to preserve longtime superintendent Philip Compost has garnered thousands of signatures.

Elected politicians also weighed what could be inconvenient when Banks and Mayor Eric Adams try to persuade the state legislature to extend the law, which gives the mayor the most decision-making power in the school system. Assembly member Katie Nolan issued a statement in support of Compost, saying she “saw the impact of his service”.

“Mayorial oversight should not have ruled out the voices of parents, and this situation is an example of how important genuine community activism is for the success of our students,” Nolan said in a statement.

The shutter above the guards followed other mistakes: Adams, who became mayor in January, struggles to maintain control over school system.

He failed to appoint a full group on educational policy, resulting in two loud – and rare – votes in favor of rejecting some of his administration’s proposals. He also had to cancel its own action in support of the mayor’s control after flight delays delayed him in Los Angeles, where he made a funded campaign trip to speak at a panel hosted by the Milken Institute on “digital transformation”. The mayor’s term of control ends on June 30, Adams reportedly postponed this week a trip to Albany to lobby state lawmakers on the issue.

Christina Weig is a reporter covering New York City schools with a focus on school diversity and early childhood education. Contact Christina at cveiga@chalkbeat.org.

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