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Superintendent Carlos A. Garcia Announces Plans to Retire

Press Release

School Board Enters into Negotiations with Deputy Superintendent Richard Carranza

(San Francisco) March 14, 2012 – Superintendent Carlos Garcia announced today that he will retire from the San Francisco Unified School District in July 2012 after five years at the helm of SFUSD and 37 years in education. The SF Board of Education has entered into negotiations with Richard Carranza, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice, to be his successor.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this great community and work with the great educators and elected officials on our school board and in our city to make sure children come first,” said Superintendent Garcia. “Our work at SFUSD has restored my faith in the excellent opportunities that do exist in public education. School systems can stand for social justice and we can mobilize as a civil rights organization to close the achievement gap for our most underserved students. The work we have started still has a long way to go, but if the SFUSD maintains this course I have no doubt that it will achieve its mission of diminishing the power of demographics in determining student academic success.”

Board of Education commissioners lauded the superintendent for his ability to build a strong culture of collaboration focused on shared goals both within the district and between the district, the city of San Francisco and the community.

“On behalf of the board, we are sad to see Superintendent Garcia leave as we’ve made great strides under his leadership. As much as we would love for him to stay, we respect his decision to spend more time with his family,” said School Board President Norman Yee.

Mayor Ed Lee joined the school board president in thanking Garcia for his contributions to the city.

"It's been my honor and pleasure to work side by side with Superintendent Carlos Garcia in a continued cooperative spirit to make our schools and community a better place for all our students and their families," said Mayor Lee. "His bold, no nonsense, do it for the kids attitude has been a strong foundation for SFUSD and his leadership in preparing our youth for the 21st century innovation economy will leave a lasting legacy in our City."

Next Superintendent for SFUSD

Board president Yee announced that the Board of Education will enter into negotiations with Richard Carranza who has served as SFUSD’s Deputy Superintendent for Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice since 2009.

“The board carefully deliberated about this decision and decided we wanted to continue with the vision, goals and implementation plans that have started to improve our schools. Deputy Superintendent Carranza has contributed to important academic gains over the past two years. We’re looking forward to negotiating a contract so that the important work can continue,” said President Yee.

As Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice, Carranza oversees the district’s pre-K through 12 school area teams as well as the district’s student and family support services and academic departments. He is responsible for implementing the SFUSD strategic plan to achieve more equitable educational results for all students.

“Richard has brought so much to our district as an instructional leader, a community builder, and a father of two SFUSD students,” said Superintendent Garcia. “He is deeply committed to social justice and knows how to keep moving the district toward the goals and vision of our strategic plan.”

Carranza said he is looking forward to the opportunity to continue to serve San Francisco’s children.

“I look forward to continuing to build upon the remarkable academic achievement trajectory of the SFUSD. My family and I are proud to live in a city that values children.”

Changes in SFUSD Since 2007

Carlos Garcia began his tenure as superintendent in SFUSD in July 2007. Over the past five years the district has increased student achievement test scores across the board and narrowed the achievement gap. The school board expanded access to curriculum that prepares students for college and careers, including changing graduation requirements to meet the course sequence students must take to be admitted to a California state university. Numerous other new programs, designed to increase the number of SFUSD graduates continuing on to college, have begun in partnership with the city and local colleges, including Bridge to Success, SF Promise, Kindergarten to College, and Plan Ahead.

Garcia and Deputy Superintendent Carranza reorganized several key centralized departments to improve services to schools, including the creation of Superintendent’s Zones in the Bayview and Mission neighborhoods where the largest concentrations of historically low-performing schools are located. They also called for an external audit of the district’s special education services and increased inclusion practices for students with disabilities across the district.

The district has improved instruction for students who are just learning English while continuing to expand the availability of language immersion programs for native English speakers and English language learners alike, including opening a new K-8 Spanish Immersion school in the Mission (Buena Vista Horace Mann) and new Chinese Immersion School in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood (Chinese Immersion School at D’Avila).

Over the past two years SFUSD has been at the forefront nationally in preparing teachers to use the new Common Core State Standards just adopted by 48 states, including California.

Throughout some of the worst fiscal times in recent California history, SFUSD has remained fiscally solvent and maintained high credit ratings. Superintendent Garcia has been a leader in advocating for more adequate state funding, with the district helping to bring forward two recent lawsuits against the state in support of education funding adequacy. SFUSD was able to bring in millions in local support for schools through voter-approved measures and competitive grant funds, including a parcel tax to support salary increases and technology infrastructure, Bond funding to modernize and renovate schools and rebuild a state of the art middle school in the Bayview, and millions in federal dollars to turn around low performing schools.

When Carlos Garcia arrived in 2007, he was shocked by the lack of technology infrastructure in the district, resulting in teachers and students having limited entree to the benefits of using technology in the classroom as well as lost revenue for the district as a result of less efficient operating systems. Now all SFUSD schools are on the district’s Wide Area Network while teachers and principals have better access to data to improve student outcomes through a new system called Data Director. In addition, parents can now pay for school meals online, see their child’s assignments and grades online, and find enrollment and other vital information on a new website.

About Carlos A. Garcia

Before joining SFUSD, Mr. Garcia was Vice President of Urban Advisory Resources for McGraw-Hill Education, an educational materials publishing company. Previously, he served as superintendent of several school districts, Sanger Unified School District (Sanger, CA), Fresno Unified School District (Fresno, CA) and the Clark County School District (Clark County Nevada), which was the fifth largest and fastest growing school district in the nation during Mr. Garcia’s tenure, averaging one new school opening per month.

Before being a superintendent, Mr. Garcia taught at Rowland Unified School District (La Puente, CA) and Chaffey Joint Union High School District (Ontario, CA) before going on to serve as a principal for schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (Watsonville, CA) and SFUSD’s Horace Mann Middle School. During his time at Horace Mann (1988-91), student achievement significantly improved, and the school was designated a California Distinguished school.

Mr. Garcia is a graduate of the Los Angeles Unified School District and received his B.A. from Claremont Men’s College with a major in political science in 1974 and a M.A. in education from Claremont Graduate School in 1976. In 1979, he completed requirements for his administrative credentials at California State University at Fullerton; and in 2011 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree from Claremont Graduate University for his lifelong contribution to education. In addition, he is the recipient of the 2005 Nevada Superintendent of the Year Award and the 2010 Ferd Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award from the Association of California School Administrators.

About Richard Carranza

Prior to his work with SFUSD, Mr. Carranza was Northwest Region Superintendent for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he oversaw 66 schools and over 66,000 students. Under his leadership the Northwest Region made significant strides towards improving student achievement including an increase in the number of middle schools and high schools making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and double digit reductions in the percentage of special education and Limited English Proficient (LEP) students performing below proficiency levels in mathematics and language arts.

He has also served as a high school principal in Tucson, Arizona, and in Las Vegas, Nevada; high school assistant principal; and a teacher of bilingual social studies and music. Mr. Carranza earned a B.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona and a M.Ed., with distinction, in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He has also completed doctoral coursework through Northern Arizona University and is currently pursuing an Ed.D degree through Nova Southeastern University in Educational Leadership.


Page updated on 03/14/12