Former D.C. school superintendent Barbara A. Sizemore, who was seen as a likely candidate this fall for an at-large seat on the D.C. City Council, has been selected to be superintendent of a Michigan school system that currently is embroiled in a school desegregation suit.
The job as head of the 10,000-pupil school system in Benton Harbor, Mich., was offered to Sizemore yesterday by that city's board of education. The board voted 4 to 3 Tuesday night to hire her over 83 other contenders for the $38,500-a-year position.
Sizemore, reached at her home near the University of Pittsburgh, where she has been a visiting professor of black studies since September 7, said she had not decided whether to take the job in Benton Harbor, which is 90 miles east of Chicago.
But she said the chances that she would be a candidate for the D.C. City Council "are remote at this time."
D.C. City Council member Douglas E. Moore, who was Sizemore's main strategist in her unsuccessful bid last July for the at-large City Council seat vacated by the death of Julius W. Hobson Sr., said that he was disappointed that Sizemore probably would not be available to run for the seat a second time.
"Our struggle continues," Moore said. If Mrs. Sizemore cannot be a candidate, I would place my support behind Absalom Jordan to succeed me as an at-large member of the Council. He's a bright, fine young man."
Moore, who is regarded as the front runner for chairman of the City Council, said he would support Jordan because "the tradition of strong representation of Julius Hobson and myself would be greatly turned back" if someone else were elected.
D.C. school board member Betty Kane, a Democrat, has announced for the at-large seat. H. R. Crawford, a former assistant HUD secretary during the Nixon administration who also is a Democrat, is seen as a likely candidate for the post.
Jodan, 36, a community activist who led numerous demonstrations in support of Sizemore before she was fired as superintendent in 1975, is an advisory neighborhood commissioner and an aide to Moore. In 1975, Jordan ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the D.C. school board.
Sizemore, 50, was teacher and administrator in the public schools of Chicago for 25 years before she was hired as superintendent here in October 1973.
In Chicago, she had earned a national reputation as an educator and staunch advocate of community-controlled schools.
In D.C., her independent, sometimes abrasive administrative style generated friction between herself and some members of the school board, who branded her as an inept administrator. She was fired in October 1975.
Last year, Sizemore was among 10 persons who ran for the at-large City Council seat left vacant by Hobson's death.
Although Sizemore, who ran as an independent, lost her bid for the seat to Hilda Mason by 683 votes, her showing convinced many voters that, she could win the City Council seat a second time around.
Last December, Sizemore changed her registration from independent to Democrat. To many, the registration change represented preparation for another campaign for a Council seat. Democratic voters constitute three of every four persons registered to vote in the District.
A spokesman for the Benton Harbor school system said Sizemore was regarded as an attractive candidate for the superintendency there because of her diverse background.
"This school system is composed 70 per cent of black students and we have inner city problems and a 10-year-old school desegregation case," the spokesman said. "The board was looking for a candidate who would have some empathy with our majority-minority school situation."