A majority of the members of Washington's school board said in inteviews yesterday that they intend to vote next Monday to reappoint school Superintendent Vincent Reed to another 3-year term.
"We have all had individual-type problems with him," said Alaire Rieffel, the school board member from Ward 2. "But it would be fair to say he had enough support on the board and he will be reappointed."
Las month Reed, whose current term ends in March, asked the board to make a decision on his reappointment by the middle of this month to allow for a smooth transition if the board decided to appoint a new superintendent. Afterwards, several board members expressed concern that the academic performance of city pupils had not improved significantly under Reed. Some said they were concerned also about what they described as Reed's condescending attitude toward the board.
After reports of the board's criticism were published, there was widespread public support for Reed, who is generally credited with bringing administrative order to the School system. Editorials, in newspaper and on television, as well as letters from civic groups all have given strong backing to Reed.
Since then board president Conrad Smith has scheduled a special meeting of the 11-member board for Monday morning to vote on Reed's reappointment. The vote is to follow a closed conference between the board and the superindent during which Reed's three-year tenure as superintendent will be discussed, according to Smith.
In interviews yesterday and last week, seven board members said they would vote to give the superintendent a second three-year term.
Those seven board members are Ward 3 representative and board vice president Carol Schwartz. Rieffel of Ward 2; Victoria Street, Ward 4; Minnie Woodson, Ward 7; Betty Ann Kane, at-large; Betty Benjamin, Ward 5; and Barbara Lett Simmons, at-large.
Reed needs only six votes to be reappointed.
Board member John Warren, who was the only board member to oppose Reed's appointment as superintendent three years ago, said he is leaning towards voting for Reed because of strong support for Reed among persons who live in Ward 6. But Warren said he is still considering Reed's reappointment because he said there is some opposition in his ward to Reed.
"People in my ward have been writing to me in support of him, "Warren said," adn I am responsive to my constituency. But there are people in my ward who don't like Reed, too, and I'm going to have to explain what I do to them."
R. Cavin Lockridge, Ward 8, said he is uncertain if he will vote or abstain when Reed's reappointment comes before the board.
Lockridge and several other board members expressed concern over board president Smith's decision to hold a vote on Reed's reappointment only tow-and-a-half hours after the board is scheduled to begin a conference on Reed's three years in office.
Frank Shaffer-Corona, an at large member of the board, said he is undecided.
Smith said yesterday that he also is undecided about his vote on Reed's reappointment.
"I've made a tentative decision but I'm going to wait until Monday and give it a chance to firm up," he said.