4-10-2020: MTI Board of Directors Requests BOE Secure a High-Quality Superintendent Replacement ASAP // News // June 1st, 2020

April 10, 2020

Members of the MMSD Board of Education,

We were surprised to hear that Dr. Gutierrez decided to rescind his acceptance of the MMSD position. We can respect his decision to stay in his current district given the drastic change in conditions over the past few months. We also know that this decision has a significant impact on the staff, students, and families of MMSD.

The MTI Board of Directors believes that the MMSD Board of Education should work to find a high-quality replacement as quickly as possible. We understand that there will need to be an interim superintendent and want clarity around who will fill that position immediately. However, there are too many critical issues facing our schools, staff, students, and community for us to have another year without a permanent leader in place. While it is difficult to predict what the future holds and what the new “normal” will be, we know that our public schools will be a critical part of the recovery efforts in Madison. A permanent superintendent is necessary for that work to move forward effectively.

We believe that the district should reopen the search and not offer either of the two finalists from the earlier search the position. The focus of the new search should be on candidates who understand our community and who have connections locally. The Madison community is going through a traumatic experience that is impacting all areas of our lives. We need someone who knows Madison and who believes in the staff who work so hard for all of our students.

Last spring, we shared our members’ feedback around the key characteristics they wanted in a new superintendent. These still hold true and in many ways are more important as we work to recover from the pandemic. Our members said a superintendent:

•    Needs to advance the work around racial equity and maintain high expectations for everyone who works and learns in our schools
•    Needs to make staff feel respected and supported
•    Needs to be present in the schools on a regular basis
•    Needs to be committed to shared leadership and meaningful collaboration with staff
•    Needs to be transparent in decision making
•    Needs to propose fewer initiatives and top-down mandates
•    Needs to have a strategic plan to build trust in our community overall, with a specific focus on trust between educators and administration

We are happy to continue this conversation with you and look forward to continuing to collaborate as we serve the students and families of the Madison public schools.

In Solidarity,

MTI Board of Directors