Friday, April 5, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Oakland Schools Chief Tony Smith Resigns

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Tony Smith, the superintendent of Oakland public schools, announced his resignation today, citing the poor health of his wife's father. Smith said his last day will be June 30, and that his family is moving to Chicago to take care of his father-in-law who was recently hospitalized. Smith was the district's first superintendent after local control was returned to Oakland schools.

"I am proud of the incredible work we have accomplished together and believe the Board, with your leadership, will continue on a positive trajectory," Smith said in a letter to Oakland board of education President David Kakishiba. "Since the district returned to local control four years ago, we have made great strides in academic outcomes, fiscal solvency, community engagement, and organizational coherence."

Update 11:54 a.m.: A statement from the OUSD Board of Education, which said it was "surprised" by Smith's "unexpected" announcement and that Smith handed in his resignation yesterday:

"After four years, the Superintendent will be leaving a legacy that Oakland can be proud of: stable district leadership, a strong and unified Board, committed families, and new partnerships with community leaders, strong philanthropic support, and nationally recognized initiatives in service of student learning.

We have no doubt that Oakland is ready for the work ahead and will continue to become the strong public school system that Oakland students and families deserve. As the Board of Directors, we commit to supporting the Superintendent in his transition and to standing with the community of staff, students, and families in this new chapter for the Oakland Unified School District."

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