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Halifax schools superintendent resigns

Posted August 18, 2009

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— Geraldine Middleton, the superintendent of the troubled Halifax County Schools district, resigned Monday to take a position with the Chicago Public School System.

Her resignation takes effect Sept. 18.

State education officials are working with teachers and school administrators in the county to boost student achievement.

More than 71 percent of the district's elementary school students aren't proficient in reading, and 74.3 percent of middle school students aren't proficient, according to state figures. At the high school level, about one-third of the students are considered proficient on end-of-course tests, compared with 68 percent statewide.

The performance prompted Superior Court Judge Howard Manning to call in March for a state takeover of the district, equating continued poor performance with "academic genocide." Manning has long overseen the academic performance of state schools after a ruling several years ago in a case that sought to get more state support for school districts in low-income and rural areas.

Gov. Beverly Perdue, state education officials and Halifax school administrators said the effort – the first of its kind in North Carolina – isn't a state takeover. Instead, they view it as a partnership to ensure local students keep pace with their peers statewide.

Middleton has led the Halifax County school district for two years. In Chicago, the nation's third-largest school district, she will oversee 30 to 40 schools.

She said in a statement that she worked tirelessly for the district and defended the "difficult decisions" she made.

"I was vigilant in my attempts to raise test scores, create positive learning environments, implement new programs and create the financial stability of the district," she said. “Difficult decisions are not always popular; however, if they are made in the best interest of children, they become challenges you cannot, should not and must not ignore."

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  • Amruby Aug 18, 2009

    She may have only worked as Superintendent for two years but she was part of the bigger problem at the administrative level for years. I say good riddance. Halifax County will do just fine without her. Now if they get her predecessor to cough up the money that is missing the school system might make it.

  • cameragirl Aug 18, 2009

    Good Luck Chicago. I guess they won't be producing any Pulitzer Prize Winners. She couldn't do it here in a small district, what makes her think she can do it in a large district. POOOOOOOOR Chicago.

  • timothycapwell Aug 18, 2009

    Chicago is missing a bad community organizer.

  • Killian Aug 18, 2009

    Hey, at least NC is getting rid of a problem. Just don't look for too much brotherly love from Chicago when they realize what they're getting!

  • gandalla Aug 18, 2009

    For the ones blaming parents, I have family in that area, and they work very hard to make sure their children are able to do well. They are looking into private school, but it is so expensive.

    Those parents need to be commended for trying to do something about their childrens education.
    You should have them contact the school. I know the private school my kids go to they offer financial aid, scholarships, and even give discounted tution for parents willing to volunteer at the school.

  • miketroll3572 Aug 18, 2009

    "I was vigilant in my attempts to raise test scores, create positive learning environments, implement new programs and create the financial stability of the district," she said. “Difficult decisions are not always popular; however, if they are made in the best interest of children, they become challenges you cannot, should not and must not ignore."

    Aparently she has no clue what she was doing, pretty much like the whole state.

  • time4real Aug 18, 2009

    watch out, she'll probably end up working for Del!

  • Piratefan Aug 18, 2009

    For the ones blaming parents, I have family in that area, and they work very hard to make sure their children are able to do well. They are looking into private school, but it is so expensive.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Aug 18, 2009

    This is just hillarious. She's overseeing a troubled school system, and one of the country's worst areas hires her to help with their problems. I guess Chicago really isn't interested in improving.

  • gandalla Aug 18, 2009

    Don't blame this lady...

    They're right we forgot to place blame on the incompetent teachers working in these schools. Based on their performance record they shouldnt even be able to get jobs at PETCO being pet instructors.

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