New Minneapolis schools superintendent prepared to take on challenges

Minneapolis has a new schools superintendent. Nearly a year after Bernadeia Johnson resigned, the school board voted to give the job  to someone from outside Minnesota.

His name is Dr. Sergio Páez. He was most recently the superintendent of the Holyoke School District in Massachusetts.

The former CEO, Michael Goar, has been the interim superintendent and a candidate for the permanent job.  But the school board moved in a different direction.

The board has decided to negotiate a contract with Páez. In a statement Tuesday, Páez says the district has a lot of challenges ahead that he's prepared to take on.

"The graduation rate will improve,” Páez said. “The achievement gap can and will shrink.  And all of the children in [Minneapolis] classrooms must be able to read at grade level or better."

He has a Herculean task ahead of him. The latest graduation rates from the Minnesota Department of Education show huge disparities between white students and students of color.

“My goal is not just to increase results in this district, but to create a sustainable, long-lasting culture of student achievement, community support and educational quality in Minneapolis,” Páez added.

Páez said he's not going to make any promises today beyond being fully committed to Minneapolis schools to embrace the belief that all children can and deserve to learn.