Letter: Meriweather deserves consideration
We want to see DPSCD students succeed. As a DPSCD stakeholder, we’re concerned that the search process has been unfair.
The qualifications that were initially required to apply for superintendent were changed after the application deadline. Those changes disqualified the current superintendent, Alycia Meriweather. We believe that this constitutes a tainted, prejudice, and unfair process that should be immediately abandoned and recommenced.
It appears that nearly every segment of our community, including parents, community leaders, prominent business leaders, leaders of educational interest groups, labor leaders, and even the school board treasurer believes that minimally Meriweather deserves a chance to compete if not the job outright. The others on the board are more wedded to process than to fairness.
Why should we care about the process established by the board? The only thing that matters to most is results. However, if present leadership is in the process of emerging results, which I and others believe to be true, then the board’s process is set to fail already failing students.
Since being named interim superintendent, Meriweather has been a consistent advocate for our children. Alycia Meriweather is by far the best candidate to move the district forward and help Detroit students thrive. Meriweather has earned the respect and trust of the community. She has clearly proven that education not board placation is her No. 1 priority. The Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO) and myself are proud to support her.
In a letter sent to Dr. Iris Taylor, Detroit Board of Education president, DABO urged the DPSCD board of education to keep Meriweather as superintendent. DABO recommended the DPSCD board of education to halt the current superintendent search and retain its current superintendent for a minimum of two years. After which, based on performance the board can either conduct a national superintendent search or vote to renew Meriweather. The board has yet to respond to our recommendations.
We don’t have the luxury or the time for another experiment with DPSCD leadership. Why waste valuable time that we don’t have, hoping that an unknown candidate can do what we already know Meriweather is best suited to do?
Horace Sheffield, III
Executive Director, Detroit Association of Black Organizations