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Trip to Holyoke finds strengths, concerns with Mpls. superintendent pick 'confirmed'

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With the vote on whether to officially name Sergio Paez the next superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools possibly just days away, the board has released a report from the district he used to work oversee.

Paez was chosen last month to be the next leader of Minneapolis Public Schools. A former superintendent of schools in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Paez beat out two other finalists.

But within a week, a report alleging abuse at a Massachusetts school during Paez's tenure was released, and the negotiations with him were paused.

Since then, two directors on the Minneapolis school board traveled to Holyoke to figure out whether what they learned during the interview process matched up with "reality on the ground" in Massachusetts.

The report

You can read the report here – it's just four pages long, and includes what is essentially a list of positives and negatives.

The two board directors (Tracine Asberry and Josh Reimnitz) met with a dozen people in a series of meetings during that day in Holyoke.

They found that, in general, people cited the same strengths (and areas to work on) that prompted the school board to select Paez as the preferred superintendent choice .

The reports the board got about "an increase in graduation rates, a strong early literacy program, and a change in the educational climate were confirmed," the document says.

It also noted there is a difference in the size and racial makeup between Holyoke and Minneapolis schools, and said Paez sometimes struggles with the politics of the job.

As for the claims of abuse at a Holyoke school while under Paez's guidance, the directors on the Holyoke trip couldn't get any real information because of the ongoing investigation.

Paez this week admitted his own investigation of the abuse allegations was inadequate, MPR News reported, and he insists he is cooperating with authorities.

Paez woos Minneapolis residents

Paez continues to work on winning over the community.

He wrote a column in the Star Tribune, published Friday evening, arguing he has the "experience and passion needed" to help the district reach "greatness."

That comes after meeting with parents and other residents earlier this week, to answer questions and address any issues.

The Minneapolis School Board is expected to vote Tuesday, Jan. 12, on whether it will move forward with Paez as superintendent, or if it will start the search process over again.

You can read more about the process here.

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