Miami-Dade Superintendent on public schools, immigration, and the FCAT

It’s hard to imagine more than a handful of jobs more difficult than that of Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the Huffington Post reports. The nation’s 4th-largest school system faces challenges far beyond the usual budget woes and teacher merit pay squabbles: students from 160 countries speak 56 different languages, the district is tasked with providing quality education for all in a city with jaw-dropping income disparity, there are 53,000 employees to manage, and Dade County’s history of managing anything effectively is, well, let’s just say it’s checkered. But Alberto Carvalho, who had worked his way through university after immigrating from Portugal, leapt at the chance in 2008 after the plagued district’s previous leader was ousted amid much controversy and financial drama. And though MDCPS still faces their fare share of battles — crumbling facilities, for one — the results have been impressive: 13 failing ‘F’ schools have been reduced to none, math and reading scores show MDCPS students rank above their peers in other large, urban districts, and the county just celebrated its highest graduation rate of all time

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