« Former Boston Schools Chief Heads Home to Nation's Oldest High School | Main | Pittsburgh Votes to Keep New Schools Superintendent Despite Résumé Concerns »

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson to Step Down

UPDATED

District of Columbia public schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Wednesday that she will step down from her post in the fall after five years at the helm.

Henderson came to the District of Columbia schools in 2007 to serve as a deputy to former Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Henderson was appointed as interim and then permanent chancellor after Rhee's fall 2010 resignation.Kaya-Henderson-blog.jpg

Under Henderson's leadership, a growing number of students have reached proficiency in reading and math on both the city's annual exams and the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, but achievement gaps between white and non-white students have persisted. During her tenure, enrollment in the district has also been on the upswing after decades of decline.

Henderson carried on many of the efforts her predecessor launched, including a controversial teacher-evaluation system, IMPACT, that led to widespread teacher and principal firings. But she managed to continue Rhee's policies with a less combative approach that often allowed for more focus on the change rather than the person behind it.

As my colleague Catherine Gewertz detailed in a 2013 Education Week series, Henderson led the the District of Columbia's aggressive and early adoption of the Common Core State Standards. The district was among the first to overhaul its math and reading curriculum to meet the standards, and train teachers to teach them.

Now, after more than nine years in Washington, she's leaving the district, one of the nation's most closely watched school systems. Her last day on the job is Sept. 30.

"Simply put, I am ready to take on new challenges, and I have complete confidence that the team we have built at DCPS is prepared to drive our work forward under new leadership," Henderson wrote in a letter to parents and community members.

John Davis, the school system's chief of schools, will serve as interim chancellor after Henderson's departure, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced. A national search for a permanent chancellor will begin later this year.

"Without a doubt, DCPS is a very different place today than it was when Kaya joined our school system in 2007. DCPS is the fastest improving urban school district in the country. After decades of decline, DCPS has also seen consistent, annual enrollment growth since Kaya became Chancellor—growing from 45,000 students in 2010 to nearly 49,000 students this year. While we will miss Kaya, we can all be proud of her team and her tenure as the second longest-serving leader of DCPS," Bowser wrote in letter to District of Columbia residents.

"This is also an incredible opportunity for our city to continue to improve how we are delivering high-quality education to our students. I remain committed to pushing the envelope even further on education reform."

  Chancellor Henderson Letter to DCPS Community

 

Related Stories

Straight-Up Conversation: DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson

D.C. Announces One-Year Pause of 'Value Added' for Teachers' Evaluations

Common Core: A Steep Climb

Future of D.C. Reforms Is Uncertain Following Rhee's Plan to Resign

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments