Dr. Thornton named CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools

MILWAUKEE — Baltimore City Public Schools announced today Dr. Gregory E. Thornton, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools, will become the new Chief Executive Officer of the district, pending successful contract negotiations.


Dr. Thornton with a student from MPS’ Garland School on the first day of school in September 2013

The announcement was made in Baltimore by Dr. Shanaysha M. Sauls, Chair Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Details of Dr. Thornton’s transition to Baltimore City Public Schools are being developed.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Thornton for his tireless efforts to improve outcomes for students in Milwaukee Public Schools,” said Milwaukee Board of School Directors President Dr. Michael Bonds. “MPS has made significant progress under Dr. Thornton’s leadership. He is one of the top superintendents in the nation and has done a phenomenal job. He will be missed.”

Thornton came to Milwaukee in July 2010 after a nationwide search to select a new superintendent. He has served as superintendent of Chester (PA) Upland School District, as Chief Academic Officer in Philadelphia Schools, Deputy Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools and in leadership positions in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools. He began his career as a teacher.

Under Dr. Thornton’s tenure, Milwaukee Public Schools saw an increase in its graduation rate and an increase in the number of students attending college and receiving college scholarships. Scholarships for the Class of 2013 topped $24 million, up from $18 million the year before. MPS students also saw scores trend up while outpacing U.S. growth in math and reading on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress Trial Urban District Assessment. The district has also developed and implemented comprehensive literacy, mathematics and science plans aligned to the Common Core State Standards; developed a Montessori school program that is the largest public school program in the nation; and, grew Project Lead The Way, a hands on science and technology program, to the largest urban footprint in the country.

Dr. Thornton made significant progress in creating a more efficient, more transparent district office. He instituted financial changes that reduced pension liabilities by half – from $2.8 billion to $1.4 billion – and initiated other financial efforts that helped stabilize district finances. Suspensions are down by cultivating positive school climates. Art, music and physical education specialists were restored to classrooms. Dr. Thornton’s work in external partnerships has resulted in nearly $79 million in grants to MPS since FY12 and exclusive scholarship programs with numerous schools, including Morehouse College.


About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin’s largest school district, is expanding college and career readiness efforts and continuing to implement innovative reforms that give every student the opportunity to succeed. MPS’ high-quality school options for 3-year-olds to high school seniors feature school climates in which positive behavior is reinforced; certified, highly-trained teachers; 21st-century learning technology for students; and curriculum aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards, which set a clear, high bar for the topics students must master at each grade level. MPS’ Class of 2013 earned $24 million in scholarships and the district is home to some of the state’s best high schools according to the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report. More MPS news is available at http://mpsmke.com/news.