Baker plans to name new Pr. George’s schools chief by the end of the week

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), who was given the authority to name the county’s next schools chief under a recently enacted state law, plans to make his selection by the end of the week, according to county officials.

A search committee, which was charged with providing three candidates for the top post, recommended three finalists for the position.

The selection committee and Baker’s office did not release the names of the three finalists.

“Because of the potential impact on other school systems, we are exercising the right that we have to keep the names confidential out of respect to the applicants,” said Scott Peterson, a Baker spokesman.

The search committee reviewed 50 “solicited and unsolicited” applications from candidates, then whittled the list down to six before making its final cut to three.

Search Committee Chairman Charlene Dukes described the candidates as “highly motivated” educational leaders with a “deep interest” in serving the school system.

“The Search Committee is pleased to inform the community that the candidates represented a diverse group of highly qualified individuals, all of whom had superintendent experience and led educational systems in a variety of geographic areas across the country, including work in large urban and suburban school systems,” Dukes said in a statement.

The search committee said it focused its decision on the following needs: student achievement, parent and community engagement, equity in resource allocation and leadership stability.

Baker has wasted little time in remaking of the governance structure of the school system.

Under the legislation, which went into effect June 1, Baker was given the power to select the schools chief, appoint three members of the school board and name the board chair and vice chair.

On June 1, Baker named Segun Eubanks as the new board chair. Last week, he appointed Beverly Anderson and Daniel Kaufman to the board. All three members have experience in education.

The new law, which Baker views as vital to improving schools and making the county more attractive for economic development, reduces the power of the school board and expands the role of the schools chief. It also gives the county executive a direct line into the schools.

Ovetta Wiggins writes about K-12 education.
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