Oakland superintendent leaving for DC job

Oakland Unified School District superintendent Antwan Wilson said Monday that he is leaving the district in February to become the next chancellor for District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, D.C.

Wilson, who was appointed as OUSD’s superintendent in April 2014 after serving as assistant superintendent for Denver Public Schools in Colorado, wrote a letter to district staff announcing his departure.

“I am proud to have been a part of the OUSD community and to work alongside such innovative, thoughtful, progressive, passionate and good people,” Wilson said. “OUSD students are now better positioned to succeed than in any other year in Oakland’s recent history.”

The OUSD board of education this morning announced that a closed session board meeting is planned for later this month to address plans to search for a permanent replacement and name an interim superintendent.

“I am proud of what’s been accomplished under Antwan’s leadership and I am personally happy for Antwan,” board president James Harris said in a statement. “This is a loss for us, but an excellent OUSD team is in place to continue the district’s work in service of Oakland’s children and families.”

During Wilson’s tenure as superintendent, OUSD negotiated multi-year labor contracts for the first time since 2009 and provided salary increases for every labor union, according to the district.

Wilson worked with other city officials on Oakland Promise, a “cradle-to-career” initiative aimed at tripling the number of Oakland college graduates within a decade.

He also supported the district-wide implementation of a teacher and leader evaluation system and led efforts to complete all outstanding financial audits for the first time in over a decade, district officials said.

Ash Solar, executive director of GO Public Schools Oakland, an advocacy group for the city’s public schools, issued a statement following the news of Wilson’s departure.

“Our network of parents, educators and community members appreciates Superintendent Antwan Wilson’s hard work,” Solar said. “Under his leadership, there have been increases in high school graduation rates and college readiness as well as decreases in school suspension rates.”

“While we are disappointed by Antwan’s departure, we know that he has left a strong foundation for the district to maintain the progress that it is making. We call on our school board to move quickly in finding the right next superindent,” Solar said.