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Superintendent Brown says stay the course on her school efforts

Facing tough questions about the surprise hiring of her new deputy superintendent and the mayor’s consideration of taking over the city schools, Superintendent Pamela C. Brown said it is important for the district to stay the course she has put it place.

Brown made the remarks during a press conference today, the morning after she recommended the school board hire Mary E. Guinn as her deputy superintendent. Guinn has previously done consulting work for the city schools, but the board terminated her contract.

Brown said that Guinn has the experience and the qualifications for the position. Her time consulting for the city schools has also given her knowledge of the district and Brown’s plans for improving it.

“Her accountability and deliverables are peerless, and the proof, as always, is in the progress the district has seen since my arrival,” Brown said in her prepared remarks.

“She is a person who can assist me substantially and effectively in the task of providing leadership in developing, achieving and maintaining the best possible educational programs and services.”

The news conference also came a day after Mayor Byron W. Brown acknowledged he is considering taking control of the city schools.

Brown was vague when asked whether she would support such a takeover, saying that she knew the model had worked in some places but not others.

She said the community will have to decide who should ultimately have control of the school system.

“I would urge the community to look at our results and determine if now is the time to change course,” she said.