The Washington Post reported on Monday that Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy was one of “three finalists to fill the Prince George’s County schools chief vacancy.” According to the Post story by Nick Anderson, “The nine-member county school board, which culled the three from a group of about a half-dozen semifinalists after a nationwide search, introduced one finalist today. He was John Deasy, currently superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District in southern California. The board plans to introduce another finalist tomorrow and a third Wednesday.“Board members refused to identify the other two finalists in advance…[all three] will meet this week with elected officials, educators and others with a stake in improving the uneven record of one of Washington’s largest suburban school systems. “Board members who spoke privately and publicly about the search expressed optimism that a credible leader would emerge soon for a 199-school system that serves more than 133,000 students. Most are African American, with Hispanic students a fast-growing second among other groups. Test scores show wide racial and ethnic disparities in academic performance.“It’s a candidates’ market, has been for awhile,” said Paul D. Houston, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators in Arlington. “There’s fewer people available coming from big districts.“The Prince George’s job is advertised as paying a minimum of $250,000, plus benefits and incentives. That was the annual pay of Andre J. Hornsby, who resigned as schools chief in May amid an ethics controversy.“What Prince George’s craves,” officials said, “is a school leader with staying power who can rally teachers and principals to build on recent achievement gains. Although the school system’s scores are the second-lowest in Maryland, after Baltimore’s, they have risen in each of the past two years.”
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