Madison County Schools to hire new Director of Equity and Innovation

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Madison County Schools will soon hire a Director of Equity and Innovation. The Madison County Schools Board of Education approved a job description for the position at a meeting Monday night.

The job is a new position, created in part to manage the strategic plan and also guide the district through its process to come out from under a Federal desegregation order.

Court documents show the district is still negotiating with the plaintiffs: the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, on the terms of a joint consent order that would lay out the path toward unitary status. Unitary status is when the district will have achieved equitable education for every child in categories like transportation and course offerings.

Most recently, terms are still being drafted and reviewed between the parties before they will present the joint proposed consent order to a federal judge.

"It's really a good time to have, really, somebody leading that effort that's tying in all the different departments in our district, communicating with stakeholders, and getting input from that. And making sure that we are getting done what we need to get done," Superintendent Matt Massey said of the new position.

Superintendent Matt Massey said this job is also necessary to help out with coordinating the many reports the district needs to submit to the court in response to various requests for information.

"Hundreds of pages of data, from what classes students are taking in every classroom, how many students are in the honors program, what is the demographic makeup of that," Massey listed. "It is going to be a big effort, and so we need some help to be able to do that."

He also addressed board concerns that this job is inflating administration and staffing at the district's central office.

"We're staffed, at our central office, about half of what is normal for a school system. We are already extremely lean," he said. "We are going to view this as a positive process. We aren't giving up any big things. It's about making us better."

Massey said ultimately, the person who takes this job will be leading the way through a monumental time for the school system.

"I don't think it's going to lighten the load," he said, "it's really going to be a torch bearer through that process. And it's a big responsibility and everybody is going to have to pitch in."

He told WHNT News 19 the job would be posted on Tuesday morning, and the application period will be two weeks. After that, the superintendent's office will coordinate interviews to make a recommendation to the board by the end of December. The district will review the applicants with the hopes of having someone in place at the beginning of 2019.

The job description approved Monday night includes:

  • Working in partnership with the Superintendent and system representatives to implement the Madison County School System's Strategic Plan
  • Facilitating and monitoring the implementation of the MCSS Consent Order and coordinating reports to all required parties
  • Writing, revising, updating, and guiding the implementation of district policies and administrative regulations relating to educational equity

The applicants must have a master's degree or higher in the education field, ALSDE administrative certification, and communication skills.  The position would report directly to the deputy superintendent.

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