NewsEducation / May 17, 2019

IPS Superintendent Search Closes, Board To Choose From 11 Applicants

IPS Superintendent Search Closes, Board To Choose From 11 Applicants

Commissioner Evan Hawkins called for all the applicants' names to be made public. The board decided to only release the names of the final candidates so as to not deter interested applicants.

File photo: WFYI

The application window closed on Friday for Indianapolis Public Schools' open superintendent position.

The IPS school board received 11 applicants for the position. One of them is current IPS interim-superintendent Aleesia Johnson, who announced she would apply for the permanent position last month. 

The rest of the names of the 11 candidates will remain confidential as the school board heads into closed meetings next week. But the final three candidates will conduct public interviews with the board. Last month, the board said they wanted to select a final candidate by mid-June.

The continued implementation of innovation schools in the district became a point of tension in the superintendent search, which was noted in a report about the search from the IUPUI School of Education.

In its report IUPUI surveyed community members, asking them to name the district’s biggest challenge – the most common answer was “equity.” Recent data shows the district’s enrollment in high-demand magnet programs does not mirror its overall demographics.

“So that was very loud and clear, that they want someone local, or at least was very much familiar with the different challenges facing Indianapolis,” IUPUI Dean of Education Jesse Mendez said at a meeting last month.

Former superintendent Lewis Ferebee left IPS earlier this year, to lead Washington, D.C. public schools.

During IPS's superintendent search in 2013, a private search firm suggested 40 applicants to the board. For its new search, the district opted out of using a private firm.

The next superintendent is expected to face decisions about school closings, the district's deficit and partnerships with charter school operators.

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