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Former English-Language Learner to Lead Texas' Largest School District

This post first appeared on Education Week's District Dossier blog

San Francisco Unified Superintendent Richard Carranza is the lone finalist for the top job in Houston, the nation's seventh-largest school district, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The Houston school board on Wednesday announced Carranza as their pick to lead the 215,000-student district, the newspapers report. As required by Texas law, the school district will wait 21 days before making his appointment final. 

Carranza would step in as the permanent replacement for former superintendent Terry Grier, who stepped down in February after six years at the helm. Houston's deputy superintendent and chief financial officer Ken Huewitt has served as interim school chief since Grier's departure. Huewitt applied for the permanent job.

Carranza has led the 53,000-student San Francisco Unified since 2012. He was among Education Week's 2015 class of Leaders to Learn From for his work with English-language learners.

That experience may have helped Carranza, a former ELL, land the job in a district that has already had success with helping students to learn English. Houston has the sixth-largest enrollment of ELLs in the nation, according to a 2015 Migration Policy Institute report. According to the report, Texas has the second highest ELL K-12 enrollment in the nation, trailing only California.

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