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San Francisco schools chief accepts Houston job

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Richard Carranza Nancy Pelosi
Richard Carranza, superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District (second right), is flanked by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, chef Tom Colicchio (left), and Revolution Foods CEO Kristen Groos (right) at Mission High School in 2014 for an event highlighting nutrition in public schools.

San Francisco Unified School District superintendent Richard Carranza announced Wednesday that he has accepted an offer to lead the Houston Independent School District.

Carranza, who has served as SFUSD’s superintendent for four years, will likely leave in September for the new job in Texas and deputy superintendent Myong Leigh will serve as interim superintendent in his place, according to the school district.

SFUSD board of education president Matt Haney said in a statement:

“We are committed to ensuring a smooth transition and continued positive momentum for our school district.”

District officials said Carranza has led a shift toward more compassionate and less punitive response to student behavior, with a 50 percent drop in suspensions since 2012.

SFUSD’s high school graduation rate has also increased 7.7 percent since the 2009-10 school year when Carranza first began serving as deputy superintendent, according to the district.

Carranza said in a statement:

“San Francisco Unified has the most talented team of professionals I have ever had the honor of working with, and Deputy Superintendent Leigh is among the best of the best.”

Leigh has worked for the district since 2000 and is currently the deputy superintendent for policy and operations. Prior to working for SFUSD, he was the budget director for the District of Columbia Public Schools.

The school board will hold a public meeting at a date yet to be scheduled to provide details on the search and selection of a new permanent superintendent.

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