Former Trotwood superintendent to lead Detroit schools
Connie Calloway was fired from Trotwood, and her hiring as superintendent was debated in Michigan.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Connie Calloway, who was fired as superintendent for Trotwood-Madison City Schools in 2003, was picked Thursday to lead Detroit Public Schools, one off the nation's biggest and most troubled urban school districts.
Calloway, 56, was fired by Trotwood for reasons that were never publicly explained in 2003. She came to Trotwood in 2000 as superintendent from Warrensville Heights, where she had headed the curriculum department.
In early 2003, teachers who had complained about Calloway's management style came to a school-board meeting to criticize a series of involuntary staff transfers. They told the board morale was at an all-time low. A few days later, the board placed Calloway on administrative leave for the rest of the year, then it terminated her contract and paid her a $200,000 buyout for the remaining year left on the deal.
After Trotwood, Calloway worked briefly as the director of the Dayton Academy charter school. Now she is superintendent in Normandy, Mo., a 5,700-student district about the size of the Northmont school district. Detroit, with an enrollment of about 116,000 students, is the nation's 15th largest school district.
Detroit's school board picked Calloway in a divided 7-3 vote at the same time it dumped interim Superintendent William Coleman. The moves were greeted by a mix of boos and cheers, according to a story in the Detroit News. The choice ended a controversial selection process during which some community groups urged the board to reject its three finalists and start over.
Detroit has struggled in recent years with declining enrollment, low test scores and budget problems.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2485