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Hopson hires former Memphis City Schools chief to oversee academics

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson has hired former Memphis City Schools leader Carol Johnson to serve as the district’s interim academic advisor while he searches for a Chief Academic Officer, he announced Monday.

Hopson has been criticized by the public and by school board members for not having an educator on his cabinet in recent weeks although the district has been searching for one. During the last year, Roderick Richmond, a former teacher and principal, served as the district’s chief academic officer, but left his post June 30.

The district is at risk of losing control of a large portion of its schools to the state-run Achievement School District because of low test scores.

Johnson served as Memphis City Schools’ superintendent from 2003 to 2007. She later served as superintendent of Boston and Minneapolis public schools and received the Council of Great City Schools’ Richard R. Green Award.

Johnson will advise Shelby County Schools for the next 60 to 90 days.

Hopson also announced that the district will no longer have regional superintendents. Instead, a group of principal coaches will work together to guide principals and teachers to oversee three areas of growth – academic support, programming and operations.

Contact Tajuana Cheshier at tcheshier@chalkbeat.org and (901) 730-4013.

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