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Baltimore City District Names New Schools Chief

Baltimore education officials this morning announced a new chief executive officer for the city school system: Gregory Thornton.

Thornton, a veteran urban-district leader who has been superintendent in Milwaukee, replaces Andrés Alonso, who stepped down last year. Thornton had recently signed a contract extension to stay on as superintendent in Milwaukee, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore officials conducted a national search before settling on Thornton, who was the second-in-command in Philadelphia for several years before taking the top job in Milwaukee. Thornton also worked as a deputy superintendent in the Montgomery County, Md., school system in suburban Washington.

With 80,000 students, Baltimore is similar in size to the 78,000-student district in Milwaukee and faces similar challenges in terms of raising student achievement for low-income and minority students.

It's not yet clear when Thornton will take the reins in Baltimore. Alonso's former chief of staff, Tisha Edwards, has been the acting schools' CEO in Baltimore since last summer.

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