In an abrupt change of plans, Denver school board members put off the announcement of finalists for the superintendent job at least until the end of the week.
Board members had planned to announce a finalist or multiple finalists for the position Monday, but then, in a one-sentence press release Monday afternoon, postponed the announcement until Friday. Board members did not give a reason for the delay.
Earlier in the day community activists who have been critical of the district said in a Facebook video that one person whose name has been mentioned as a likely finalist had withdrawn, leaving a sole finalist. Chalkbeat is not naming the person alleged to have withdrawn because we could not independently confirm the information.
Board member Lisa Flores said earlier this month that the board had interviewed seven candidates: two superintendents, two deputy superintendents, one state superintendent, and two non-traditional candidates. She did not reveal any names.
Parents, teachers, and residents have repeatedly called on the board to pick more than one finalist — preferably three — and to give the community a chance to meet and question them. Parent Brandon Pryor, a vocal critic of the district, called on the board Monday to reopen the search but involve community members in choosing finalists this time.
Flores didn’t say how many finalists the board would choose, and Monday’s press release is vague. It says the announcement of the “finalist(s)” has been delayed. It does not give a reason.
Calls to board members and district spokespeople did not turn up a reason, either. Board members said they couldn’t comment beyond the one-sentence press release.
The seven-member school board, which is tasked with choosing the next superintendent, has been searching since late July, when longtime leader Tom Boasberg announced he was stepping down after nearly 10 years at the helm of Denver Public Schools. Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova is widely thought to be a front-runner for the position.
Denver Public Schools is Colorado’s largest school district with nearly 93,000 students, the majority of whom are Latino and black and come from low-income families.