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Baltimore City Public Schools' New CEO

On July 1st, Sonja Santelises will take over as CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. Her predecessor, Gregory Thornton, served less than two years in the position, facing criticism for poor communication and calls for his resignation from parents, education advocates, and state lawmakers. We speak to Sonja Santelises about her plans and her prior experience as the city’s former chief academic. And we hear from current and former school board members about the replacement process, including what makes a strong candidate and why the search for Thornton’s replacement was not publicly announced. Plus, how much of an impact do school CEOs have on student achievement? One study debunks the myth of the “rock star” superintendent.

Our guests: 

Dr. Sonja Santelises, Baltimore City Public Schools' new CEO

Marnell Cooper, chairman of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners

David Stone, former  member of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners

Russ Whitehurst, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies for The Center on Children and Families at The Brookings Institution


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Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is Senior Supervising Producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.