In what appears to be a pretty unprecedented move Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors called off the search for a permanent replacement for former superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton and named interim supe Dr. Darienne Driver to the post, beginning today.
Hey, Dr. Driver, no pressure.
But, Driver now has what can clearly be called a mandate. In fact, after she’d served just a few months as boss, the school board was downright giddy as Director Meagan Holman made the motion to offer the position to Driver Tuesday night and as at least two fellow board members jumped to second.
Some board members were so eager to have Driver ink the deal then and there that they had to be reminded they were still on the air at 88.9 FM. It was an encouraging moment of enthusiasm in a city where most conversations about schools are often heated and heavy.
The first woman to hold the post of permanent MPS superintendent (there have been assistants and interims dating back to 1919) Driver knows the district. Before being tabbed as temporary top dog in June, she worked as the district’s chief innovation officer and was instrumental in rolling out the district’s MPS-GEF Demonstration Schools, funded by a grant from the industrial giant.
She also led the district’s implementation of Common Core standards. Driver’s background includes teaching in Detroit Public Schools and was deputy chief of Philadelphia’s Empowerment Schools.
So, she knows what she needs to do -- did I mention she recently earned her doctorate in Harvard's Urban Superintendency program? -- and I suspect she at least has a sense of how to do it. And it sure sounds like that, at least for now, she has the board on her side.
With enrollment appearing basically stagnant this year -- very slightly down, though no official numbers have yet been released -- after a slight tick upward last year, reversing a decades-long trend of falling enrollment, Driver must repeat Thornton’s mantra of growin…Read more...