In June 2012, Bernard Taylor, Jr., Ed.D., became superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, an urban public school district with a student enrollment of more than 43,000 students in grades pre-K-12 at 85 school sites and about 6,250 employees.Prior to this position, Dr. Taylor served six years as superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS), Michigan’s third largest public school district and the second largest employer in the city of Grand Rapids.
While at GRPS, Dr. Taylor worked aggressively on implementing academic, instructional and financial reforms to increase student achievement and high school graduation rates and bring the district’s finances in line with revenue and enrollment.During his tenure, GRPS reported dramatic growth in academic achievement. For example, the number of schools meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) increased from 26 in 2006 to 49 in 2011, which wasjust eight schools shy of every school in the district meeting AYP. Over the same period, the number of schools earning a “B” grade or better on the Michigan Education Yes! Report more than tripled from seven to 27. In addition, for the first time since No Child Left Behind was enacted, three of the district’s comprehensive high schools met AYP, and five schools that had failed to meet AYP for more than five consecutive years dropped off the state’s watch list.
Prior to his time with GRPS, Dr. Taylor served as superintendent for the Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri, a district representing a student population similar to that of GRPS. He also served as executive director for School Leadership while with the Kansas City Public Schools.In addition, he previously was a principal and a teacher for Pittsburgh Public Schools. Dr. Taylor earned his Doctor of Education, master’s in Public Administration and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Taylor is a member of the American Association of School Administrators, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Education Research and Development Institute and the National Superintendents Roundtable.The Roundtable is limited to an invitation-only membership of 50 superintendents to help school leaders develop a national voice, while providing practical, hands-on training to improve learning outcomes. This group particularly is interested in broad systemic approaches aimed at closing the racial achievement gap.
In addition, Dr. Taylor is a past member of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club, the Michigan Association of School Administrators and the Michigan Association of African American Superintendents. In January 2008, he was the recipient of the Mayor’s Champion of Diversity Award in recognition of his contributions toward making Grand Rapids a community that embraces the challenges of promoting equity and diversity.