IPS board could name an interim superintendent as early as Friday

The Indianapolis Public Schools board is set to discuss Friday afternoon who will temporarily lead the district as members search for a successor for Superintendent Lewis Ferebee, who is leaving to lead Washington, D.C.’s public school system.

But the board will not vote on a permanent replacement or decide on details about the search process, according to a district statement Wednesday night.

The district won’t choose a new superintendent until after three new board members are sworn in next month, incoming school board member Susan Collins said.

Ferebee was selected Monday to be the next chancellor of D.C.’s public schools. He is slated to start Jan. 31.

The selection of a new IPS superintendent could prove challenging because of the new board's composition. Two of the new board members are not in lockstep with Ferebee’s philosophies, particularly about innovation schools—the group of charter and charter-like schools managed by outside operators that was one of Ferebee’s main achievements. It’s unclear how easy it will be for the new board to reach a consensus.

A big question will be whether the board chooses to look internally or locally for its next leader, or whether it will launch a national search.

Chalkbeat is a not-for-profit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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