FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Broward County Public Schools’ superintendent stated her case on why she should keep her job, days before the school board is once again scheduled to decide whether she stays or goes.
It has been a tumultuous few months for Dr. Vickie Cartwright as she fights to keep her job.
7News captured the superintendent at Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale on Friday for the groundbreaking of a new $21 million cafeteria.
On Tuesday, Cartwright will present this and a list of other accomplishments to the Broward County School Board before they decide to retain or fire her again.
“The evidence is very clear to me, because when you’re starting to take a look at work under my leadership and what we’ve been able to accomplish, goodness gracious, take a look at our graduation rate that just came out last week on Friday,” she said. “We grew more than twice the rate of the state average in our graduation rate. We went from five schools all the way up to six schools now that have 100% of their students graduating on time, and so, the results speak for themselves.”
Cartwright was hired in August 2021, first as an interim. When her position became permanent in February, she became the first woman to lead the nation’s sixth largest school district.
As a former teacher, Cartwright fought for teachers. She said it’s a mission she continues to pursue.
“We’re giving one of the largest raises to our teachers in almost nearly 20 years,” she said. “I want to say that again: almost 20 years. That means that you have to know how to run your budget.”
Cartwright’s troubles began last year when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended several board members after a scathing grand jury report.
In all, he appointed five Republican board members. They voted to fire Cartwright.
However, after the November election, a new crew of elected board members decided to rescind the firing, saying a decision would be made in January. That is set to happen on Tuesday.
“The board, they have to make a decision. I don;t know what that decision is going to be,” she said. “I’m hopeful that they will look at the body of the work that has been occurring, that they will see that we have kept students first, which is my guiding principle on everything that we do, and that they will make a decision objectively, based upon the facts that were given to them.”
The MSD Commission, a group formed after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, praised Cartwright’s job performance, saying that she has been quite effective in her year and a half holding the position. It begs the question whether or not the most recent move to oust her was political in nature.
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