Louisiana State Superintendent search update: BESE president approves narrowing search to list of seven candidates

Mar 20, 2020, 14:27 PM by BESE Admin

On March 13, 2020, Governor Edwards issued Proclamation JBE 2020-27, which declared a Public Health Emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In the proclamation the Governor ordered and directed various actions and prohibitions, including a restriction regarding the size of public gatherings between March 13 and April 13, 2020.

In light of the restrictions outlined in the Governor’s proclamation and in lieu of convening a special called meeting of BESE to narrow the list of candidates, BESE President Sandy Holloway, under interim authority, has approved the request of the Superintendent Selection Work Group Chair Kira Orange Jones to move forward a proposed list of candidates for the role of State Superintendent. This approval was granted in an effort to proceed with the BESE timeline for the superintendent selection, approved by BESE at the January 29, 2020, meeting. The letter linked here details the request and approval to narrow the search to a list of seven candidates, excluding applicants who withdrew from the original 21 applicants, subject to ratification by BESE at its next meeting, enabling the Board to move forward with next steps during this time of uncertainty.

The Superintendent Selection Work Group optimized the administrative screening process by individually reviewing resumes, analyzing and conducting general individual discussions, as it pertains to the pool of candidates holistically, and assisting the Chair in creating a diverse list of candidates in an effort to determine who best meets the criteria specified in the job description. 

Below is a statement from Kira Orange Jones regarding the process:

"BESE’s first priority is the safety and well-being of Louisiana’s students, educators and citizens in the wake of the threat caused by COVID-19. Today’s request and subsequent approval honors BESE’s commitment, as elected and appointed members of this board. We will adapt as new information is made available, and conduct business as best we can. This accomplished list of candidates proposed is based on the careful review of applicant information, focusing on key skills and experience that individual members of the Work Group and BESE have emphasized in defining the most qualified candidates."

For more information, contact:
Kevin Calbert

BESE is the administrative policymaking body for elementary and secondary schools in Louisiana. The Board sets key education initiatives and works to outline an education agenda to achieve continuous improvement of public education as measured by student and school achievement.