People News

April 03, 1991 1 min read

Deborah M. McGriff, deputy superintendent of the Milwaukee public schools, has been selected to succeed John W. Porter as chief of the school system in Detroit.

The Detroit Board of Education announced the appointment of Ms. McGriff, 41, as superintendent last week, hailing her as a leading authority on empowered and chartered schools, schools of choice, and multicultural curriculum.

“More than any American educator of her generation, she possesses the practical experience to realize these reforms in Detroit for the benefit of our children,” asserted Lawrence C. Patrick Jr., president of the school board.

Ms. McGriff, who is scheduled to assume her new post in the nation’s seventh-largest district on July 1, holds a doctorate in administration, policy, and urban education and has helped pioneer site-based management and schools of choice in Milwaukee, Cambridge, Mass., and New York City.

Of the nation’s 10 largest school districts, Houston and Philadelphia also have female superintendents.

David Bennett, superintendent of the St. Paul, Minn., public schools for the past seven years, has announced that he will resign this summer to become president of a private educational consulting firm.

Mr. Bennett, 46, will head Education Alternatives Inc., a Bloomington, Minn.-based firm that developed and operates several “Tesseract” schools. Next fall, the firm is slated to open in Dade County, Fla., the first such school designed and managed completely by a private business.

Mr. Bennett said one reason for his departure is the lid the state legislature placed on school superintendents’ salaries. Mr. Bennett’s salary was reduced two years ago in compliance with a state law that says no public employee may earn more than 95 percent of the governor’s salary.

The second of three hemophiliac brothers barred from attending their Florida school in 1986 because they were infected with the aids virus has developed the disease.

Ricky Ray, 14, was found to have the disease last month. His brother, Robert, 13, developed the disease last April. Their 11-year-old brother, Randy, remains healthy.

The boys were infected during treatment with tainted blood-clotting products in the early 1980’s. The DeSoto County school board barred them from the classroom, but a federal judge ordered that they be allowed to return in 1987.

A version of this article appeared in the April 03, 1991 edition of Education Week as People News