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Indianapolis Chief Bound for Alabama or South Carolina?

Eugene White, the superintendent of the 31,700-student Indianapolis school district since 2005, said that he is a candidate for superintendent in Mobile, Ala. and Greenville, S.C. From an article in the Indianapolis Star:

White said he was contacted by recruiters in both cases and agreed to allow them to put his name forward. He said he is not unhappy in his job, but instead has for some time considered seeking a job in the Southeast with an eye toward retiring in that part of the country. He is an Alabama native.

"I haven't made up my mind I want to leave IPS yet," he said, "but I am considering going back to my home area of the country."

The 63,000-student Mobile system announced on Monday its three finalists for the superintendent's position. In addition to White, the system also named A. Dale Robbins, the associate superintendent for teaching and learning for the 161,000-student Gwinnett district in Suwannee, Ga., and Peggy H. Connell, the chief academic officer for the 32,000-student Muscogee district in Columbus, Ga. The board plans to decide by March 30.

The school board of the Greenville district, a 69,800-student system and the largest in South Carolina, plans to interview candidates this week and announce its final selection March 24, an article in the Greenville News said.

A nonprofit organization in Indianapolis called The Mind Trust announced a plan for remaking Indianapolis schools that would involve placing the district in control of the city's mayor and turning the system into a network of "Opportunity Schools" that would compete for the district's students. The organization said that the changes were necessary to reverse enrollment declines and to strengthen the district's academics. Tony Bennett, the state's superintendent of public instruction, said in an recent Education Week article that he was supportive of the proposals in the plan. The state paid for most of the Mind Trust report.

However, White, the superintendent, said that the district was already demonstrating improvement and that the report was driven by politics. "They have to make us look as dysfunctional as possible," he told Education Week.

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