Baltimore City Public Schools announced this week Dr. Gregory E. Thornton, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools, will become the new Chief Executive Officer of the district, pending successful contract negotiations.
The announcement was made in Baltimore by Dr. Shanaysha M. Sands, Chair of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Details of Dr. Thornton’s transition to Baltimore City Public Schools are being developed.
“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Thornton for his tireless efforts to improve outcomes for students in Milwaukee Public Schools,” said Milwaukee Board of School Directors President Dr. Michael Bonds.
“MPS has made significant progress under Dr. Thornton’s leadership.
He is one of the top superintendents in the nation and has done a phenomenal job. He will be missed.”
Dr. Thornton came to Milwaukee in July 2010 after a nationwide search to select a new superintendent.
He has served as superintendent of Chester (PA) Upland School District, as Chief Academic Officer in Philadelphia Schools, Deputy Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools and in leadership positions in Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Public Schools and Charlotte- Mecklenburg Public Schools.
He began his career as a teacher.
Under Dr. Thornton’s tenure, Milwaukee Public Schools saw an increase in its graduation rate and an increase in the number of students attending college and receiving college scholarships.
Scholarships for the Class of 2013 topped $24 million, up from $18 million the year before.
MPS students also saw scores trend up while outpacing U.S. growth in math and reading on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress Trial Urban District Assessment.
The district has also developed and implemented comprehensive literacy, mathematics and science plans aligned to the Common Core State Standards; developed a Montessori school program that is the largest public school program in the nation; and, grew Project Lead The Way, a hands on science and technology program, to the largest urban footprint in the country.
Dr. Thornton made significant progress in creating a more efficient, more transparent district office.
He instituted financial changes that reduced pension liabilities by half – from $2.8 billion to $1.4 billion – and initiated other financial efforts that helped stabilize district finances.
Suspensions are down by cultivating positive school climates.
Art, music and physical education specialists were restored to classrooms.
Dr. Thornton’s work in external partnerships has resulted in nearly $79 million in grants to MPS since FY12 and exclusive scholarship programs with numerous schools, including Morehouse College.