Skip to main content

Minneapolis schools superintendent abruptly resigns

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Bernadeia Johnson, the superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools for the past four years, resigned her position Tuesday.

The school district said in a news release late Tuesday afternoon that Johnson would leave her position at the end of January 2015.

The school board accepted Johnson's resignation at its meeting Tuesday evening, and named Chief Executive Officer Michael Goar as interim superintendent effective Feb. 1.

In a letter to be sent to all families in the district Wednesday, Johnson said her departure was spurred in part by family commitments that have become more challenging.

"In order for MPS and our schools to continue making progress, they need a leader with a level of intensity and focus which I am unable to give at this time. My commitments to family – specifically the care of elderly grandparents – are increasingly in competition with the extraordinary demands of this position. Without question, the work of educating our children must move forward, and at this time, I must put my family first."

You can read Johnson’s entire letter here.

School Board chair Richard Mammen called Johnson "an exemplary leader and champion" for Minneapolis school students.

"We all share responsibility for the complexities of our enterprise and the results achieved so far. Her sense of urgency, ambitious goals and strong leadership team will continue to guide the school district moving forward," he said in a statement.

As the Star Tribune notes, however, Johnson has been under fire in recent months for not having much success in addressing the district's achievement gap between white students and students of color.

Just a few weeks ago, the school board told Johnson it was concerned about the “lack of academic progress, particularly among low-income students of color who are the majority of Minneapolis public schools.”

Johnson rolled out a new academic plan called Acceleration 2020 this school year in an attempt to address the racial achievement gap more aggressively. She also instituted new and controversial policies to address perceived inequality in student suspension rates.

Last month, Johnson announced that she would review all school suspensions of children of color to ensure that discipline was being fairly administered. That plan was criticized by some who claimed it was biased against white students.

In a commentary published by the Washington Post, Johnson took on her critics, saying "minority students do not misbehave more than their white peers; they are disciplined more severely for the same behaviors."

The initiatives begun by Johnson may be put on hold or scrapped as she leaves her office, and as new members join the school board in January.

Johnson did not attend the Tuesday board meeting and was not immediately available for comment. She was not asked to resign, school district officials told the Star Tribune.

As part of her separation agreement, Johnson is entitled to to a position as a principal in the district, according to the Star Tribune.

Next Up

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren dominates in NBA Summer League debut

The No. 2 overall pick looked the part in the Thunder's win over the Jazz.

Reader-submitted video taken of people throwing fireworks at people and cars on July 4, 2022.

Frey: Police faced 'whack-a-mole' situation on chaotic Fourth of July

The mayor says law enforcement resources were being pulled all over the city as violent scenes unfolded.

image

Body recovered from Mississippi River near hydro plant in St. Paul

Authorities say the body appeared to have been in the river for months.

Braxton Sorenson

Charges: Lakeville driver didn't call 911 after fatally striking teen on bicycle

The 15-year-old boy was killed while riding his bike along a route he frequented.

Crystal Lake in Robbinsdale

Body found along shoreline of Crystal Lake

Police identified the body as a male Tuesday afternoon.

ATV

Little Falls man killed in ATV crash over holiday weekend

The 55-year-old apparently lost control and was partially ejected from the vehicle on Sunday.

Ellie Ragin

Police chief reveals new details in 'heartbreaking' search for Elle Ragin

Police reveal new details that led investigators to Stearns County.

Subway Series new menu

Subway overhauling menu, offering 1M free subs on July 12

The "Subway Series" menu change is set to take over beginning July 12.

Reader-submitted video taken of people throwing fireworks at people and cars on July 4, 2022.

Watch: Fireworks fired at people, buildings in downtown Minneapolis

Footage shared widely on social media shows chaotic scenes downtown on Fourth of July evening.

Ellie Ragin

Search for missing Elle Ragin shifts to park in Stearns County

Mississippi River County Park is closed to the public until further notice.

storm, severe weather, derecho

Developing derecho likely to blast southwest Minnesota

Damaging winds up to 90 mph are the main threat.

Screen Shot 2022-07-05 at 12.29.03 PM

Two Minneapolis restaurants announce closures

It's the end of the line for Pie & Mighty and Bunny's Bar & Grill.

Related