News

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Talks Justice, Civic Engagement at Radcliffe Day

News

Church Says It Did Not Authorize ‘People’s Commencement’ Protest After Harvard Graduation Walkout

News

‘Welcome to the Battlefield’: Maria Ressa Talks Tech, Fascism in Harvard Commencement Address

Multimedia

In Photos: Harvard’s 373rd Commencement Exercises

News

Rabbi Zarchi Confronted Maria Ressa, Walked Off Stage Over Her Harvard Commencement Speech

Cambridge School Committee Asks Superintendent Victoria Greer to Resign

The Cambridge School Committee has asked Superintendent Victoria Greer to resign from her post at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year.
The Cambridge School Committee has asked Superintendent Victoria Greer to resign from her post at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year. By Elyse C. Goncalves
By Darcy G Lin and Emily T. Schwartz, Crimson Staff Writers

Updated April 4, 2024, at 11:05 a.m.

The Cambridge School Committee has asked Superintendent Victoria L. Greer to voluntarily resign at the end of the school year, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The specific terms of the offer and whether Greer had accepted it were still unclear as of Thursday morning.

The news caps off a tumultuous year for Greer, whose leadership had been viewed with increasing scrutiny from parents and Cambridge School Committee members alike, largely over hiring practices and her handling of allegations of toxicity and poor transparency at the Graham & Parks Elementary School.

In a statement Thursday morning, CPS spokesperson Sujata Wycoff wrote that there has been “no change in the status” of Greer’s contract, which lasts until through the end of the 2024-2025 academic year.

“Superintendent Greer is committed to continuing the impactful work of serving Cambridge students and families alongside each member of CPS’s dedicated staff,” Wycoff wrote.

Katherine Christo, executive secretary of the School Committee, did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment Thursday morning.

Concerns about Greer were expected to come to a head at a March 19 School Committee meeting, when Greer would present her midpoint evaluation and committee members would have an opportunity to question her about her leadership.

But the evaluation never came.

Instead, at the meeting’s onset, committee members unanimously voted to delay Greer’s evaluation to Tuesday’s meeting, while they met in two closed-door meetings to discuss whether to renew Greer’s contract. On Tuesday, the committee again postponed the evaluation.

“We expect to provide more information in the coming days,” Mayor E. Denise Simmons said at the meeting before hastily adjourning.

The first major indication of discontent with Greer among School Committee members came last summer, when she received a “needs improvement” rating on her annual evaluation from the committee. In individual comments, members had raised concerns about hiring processes at various elementary schools, particularly Graham & Parks.

Committee member David J. Weinstein wrote in his comment that the principal hiring processes for Fletcher-Maynard Academy and Morse School “has been problematic” and that “caregivers reported that the process was rushed” at Graham & Parks.

After parents raised allegations that Graham & Parks Principal Kathleen M. Smith fostered a toxic workplace environment, Greer hired an outside law firm to lead an investigation in January.

Statistics from a climate survey shared with parents Monday and obtained by The Crimson revealed that only 14 percent of Graham & Parks teachers reported a positive work environment — the lowest among elementary schools in the district.

Scrutiny toward Greer ramped up following Cambridge’s lackluster climate survey results for the 2023-2024 school year. According to survey results, metrics for CPS’ environment fell below nationwide medians for parents and staff.

Cambridge Public Schools was Greer’s second superintendent position in Massachusetts following a four-year tenure in Sharon. After the Sharon School Committee decided in July 2020 not to renew her contract, Greer alleged that the decision came as retaliation for complaints of racial discrimination she had made against Sharon School Committee members.

Greer filed a charge of racial discrimination against the Sharon School Committee after they placed her on administrative leave in September 2020, nine months before her contract was set to end. The two parties eventually settled, with Greer receiving a $750,000 settlement.

Greer returned to Cambridge to serve as interim superintendent in July 2021, after serving as a CPS assistant superintendent from 2013 to 2017. In February 2022, she officially became CPS Superintendent.

In her statement, Wycoff wrote that Greer “has demonstrated steadfast leadership and her tenure thus far has been marked with several key accomplishments.”

She lauded Greer for improving MCAS test scores to pre-pandemic levels, overseeing a decline in “chronic absenteeism,” and aligning math and literacy curricula across Cambridge schools.

Greer’s current contract is set to expire on June 30, 2025.

—Staff writer Darcy G Lin can be reached at darcy.lin@thecrimson.com.

—Staff writer Emily T. Schwartz can be reached at emily.schwartz@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @EmilySchwartz37.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags
City PoliticsCambridge SchoolsCambridgeFront FeatureMetroFeatured ArticlesFront Bottom Feature