Grand Rapids Schools' superintendent - to stay, or go? | Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids Schools' superintendent - to stay, or go?

Jul 1, 2011

Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Superintendent resigned yesterday, but today he hinted that he may not want to leave.

Superintendent Bernard Taylor has been lobbying state lawmakers to pass teacher tenure reform. Yesterday, lawmakers did that. 

Taylor says the reform means everyone’s focus has to be on student achievement.

“It’ll rest now, not only of the superintendent but on principals, upon everybody who’s affiliated with instruction. Now everybody has skin in the game. And that’s a, that’s a seat-change. I mean this is huge!”

Taylor resigned hours before state lawmakers passed the tenure reform. Taylor says that may have impacted his decision.

"I don’t know how else I can say this, I wasn’t psychic yesterday."

He says there’s a lot of things lawmakers have talked about doing for years.

"This came to fruition after I made a decision. If this had happened maybe the day before, my decision may have been different."

His contract runs through June of next year.

It’s unclear if the school board would be interested in renegotiating the deal.

Seniority-based layoffs resulted in one specialty school (the Grand Rapids University Prep Academy) losing nearly all of its teachers in one year. Taylor says the tenure reform bills would prevent that from happening in the future.