Fairfax County Public Schools

Fairfax County NAACP Raises Concerns About Search for FCPS Superintendent

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The Fairfax County NAACP raised concerns to the school board with two finalists for superintendent.

The NAACP revealed the finalists are Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan, who withdrew from consideration a week ago, and Dr. Michelle Reid, who heads a 20,000-student school system in Washington state. 

“We want to make sure that the superintendent is not going to use the first year or two as a learning curve but be able to hit the ground running,” Fairfax County NAACP President Karen Campblin said. “We are at a very crucial time right now.”

Campblin says the next superintendent must have a proven track record of closing the achievement gap, improving graduation rates, meeting the needs of English language learners. She says her organization, which was not represented on the selection committee, spoke up after being contacted by whistleblowers on the search committee. 

At least one student group is also expressing concerns. Members of the Pride Liberation Project sent a letter complaining students have not enough of a say in selecting the new superintendent. 

Aaryan Rawal says the 11 students who weighed in behind closed doors can’t possibly represent the voices of 180,000 very diverse Fairfax County students. 

“Just give students the opportunity to share their thoughts and share their opinions before the county locks themselves into a decision that’s going to shape our schools for years to come,” he said. 

The school board acknowledged the controversy but stood by the selection process that began in January. There were multiple town halls and surveys offered to students, parents and the community.

“We have benefitted from a strong pool of applicants who have demonstrated qualities and track records aligned with those identified during the community engagement part of the process and outlined in the job posting,” the board said in a statement.

The board says it intends to announce a final candidate in the next few weeks. 

The hiring of the next superintendent will come in a public vote by the school board.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand will leave his position after the end of the school year.

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