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Grand Rapids school board meets for more than 8 hours to discuss superintendent’s future

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Grand Rapids Superintendent Bernard Taylor addresses the community during his annual 'State of our Schools' adress earlier this year.

Members of the Grand Rapids School board discussed their superintendent’s future with the district for more than 8 hours Monday night. The discussions were not open to the public.

Superintendent Bernard Taylor was a recent finalist for two open positions at other school districts. He says he wants to lead a school district that’s more prepared for aggressive reform to improve student achievement.

Grand Rapids resident Fred Dryg says he’d like Taylor to stay, despite the tension.

“Dr Taylor comes in here and he has a different view of the system because he’s had a broader view of it and a broader experience of it. And he immediately ran into trouble because he recognized that the system needed triage – it needed quick attention. And in the process got some people ticked off.”

Dryg says the problems the school board hired Taylor to fix aren’t solved yet. He thinks Taylor can succeed with the school board’s support.

The school board has a range of options – from extending the superintendent’s current four-year contract, to buying it out for about a million dollars and letting him go.

RPS issued a statement shortly after 1 a.m. this morning.

The Board had a "very productive discussion" according to Board president Senita Lenear. She indicated that the Board is "hopeful" that they will take action (regarding Taylor) at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting set for this Monday.

Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio’s investigative reporter. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor and West Michigan Reporter.
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