Bernadeia Johnson to lead Minneapolis schools; no other candidates considered

There was no formal job search, and two members abstained from the vote, but the Minneapolis school board approved Bernadeia Johnson as the city's new schools superintendent last night. She takes over from Bill Green in July.

In the name of stability -- the system is reeling after a sweeping reorganization plan was approved in the fall -- no one else was ever considered for the position except Johnson, the deputy superintendent, the Star Tribune reported.

Whether anyone else might have been more suitably qualified to lead the third largest school district in the state is anyone's guess. And board member Lydia Lee, who, with Jill Davis, abstained from a vote on Johnson, didn't sound pleased.

More from the Strib:

"The public has told us they want stability, continuity and focus," Madden said last month of the decision.

But those qualities "do not speak to qualifications," Lee said on Tuesday, arguing that those who believed a broad search would not yield better candidates were "making assumptions." Lee added that her abstention should not be interpreted as a vote against Johnson.

Before joining MPS in 2005, Johnson was deputy superintendent of Memphis City Schools, the largest school system in Tennessee. Prior to that, she was a principal at Elizabeth Hall Community School in Minneapolis, and a teacher in the St. Paul school system. She quit her job as a financial analyst in 1991 to start her career in education.

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