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Rumors Swirl About City Schools CEO Heading To Chicago

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—There is still some speculation that city schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso may be a top candidate to take over another school district miles away.

Gigi Barnett reports Alonso’s contract expires soon.

Alonso took over the cash-strapped Baltimore City School System back in 2007. Since then it’s been on the mend. Other school systems nationwide are noticing the turnaround.

Will he stay or is City Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso leaving Baltimore? After nearly four years at the helm, is Alonso planning a move to take over the Chicago school system?

WJZ asked the CEO and he responded: “To the extent that there are people who think that I’m a viable candidate someplace else is a reflection of the amazingly hard work of people here in Baltimore.”

The work — in and out of the classroom — has been hard.

In 2007, Alonso inherited a beleaguered school system. The budget deficit was large. Test scores were some of the lowest in the state, and the graduation rate was even lower.

Since then there’s been a turnaround on most major fronts.

“I do feel more connected and I do feel more informed,” said Leslie Kamali, parent.

“A lot of people are taking their kids out private schools and putting them into public schools just because of the system,” said Josh Berlow, parent.

It’s the kind of change new Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel says he wants for that city.

Alonso’s four-year contract comes to an end on June 30.

“If our teachers were not doing a great job, if our schools were not doing a great job, then no one would be talking about me going anywhere,” Alonso said.

He’s one of Baltimore’s longest-serving school superintendents, and Alonso says there’s more work to do here.

“We still had 1,000 kids who dropped out of high school last year. That’s 1,600 fewer than last year. But as long there is a single kid dropping out of school in Baltimore City, we have a hard task ahead,” Alonso said.

Ultimately Alonso would not say if he is being considered for the job or not. But WJZ contacted the school system in Chicago, and the school leaders are tight-lipped there as well.

The school board announced back in July that it wants to resign the CEO to a new contract that would end in 2014.

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