by Chris Haire
Former Charleston County School District Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson has passed away.
Earlier this year, I had a chance to talk to Goodloe-Johnson about her time in the Holy City. Here's the blip:
For some strange reason, Charleston County School District Board of Trustee meetings have become something of a spectator sport. More often than not, it seems that many of the board members, as well as the usual gang of critics, care less about improving our schools than in dismantling the entire school district. And nobody knows this better perhaps than former Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson, the first African American to serve in that post. Despite her successes — improving SAT scores, the Plan for Excellence — she earned the wrath of critics because she had become pregnant out of wedlock. A cabal of candidates — a.k.a. The A-Team — entered the School Board race in 2006 reportedly for the sole purpose of ousting the African-American superintendent. But the A-Team's effort came to naught, when their candidates didn't take over the board like they hoped. However, by 2007 Goodloe-Johnson had jetted off to Seattle. These days, she works for the Education Achievement System in Detroit, and looks back at her Charleston years proudly. "The Charleston Plan for Excellence guided our work and established an academic structure that set up success for students," she says. "At the end of the fourth year, academic achievement increased in all areas and the upward trend was very positive and exactly what we anticipated. The capital building plan was also a huge success during my tenure." She adds, "When I left Charleston, the work was not finished, but the foundation was laid."
Current CCSD head Nancy McGinley issued a press releaser earlier today about her predecessor. McGinley writes:
“As we mourn the loss of our friend and former leader, I hope you find comfort in knowing that she was an unwavering advocate for education, and committed to ensuring that all children were afforded the opportunity to the best education possible. We are forever indebted to her for building a strong foundation for change. Dr. Goodloe-Johnson will truly be missed."