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SFUSD Alumnus, Landon Dickey, Joins District Leadership to Help Improve Outcomes for African American Students

Press Release

January 27, 2015 (San Francisco) - After a national search, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Richard A. Carranza has hired Landon Dickey, an SFUSD and Harvard Business School graduate, to serve as his Special Assistant for African American Achievement and Leadership.

Dickey will support SFUSD staff with implementing key goals of SFUSD’s African American Achievement and Leadership Plan and work with city and community partners to implement President Obama’s initiative, My Brother’s Keeper.

“I believe San Francisco has not only unprecedented conviction but also more capability than ever before to make a difference for our African American youth,” says Superintendent Carranza.  “We are taking bold steps to ensure all of our African American children are prepared to graduate from high school and pursue higher education and economic opportunity in this city or wherever they choose.”

“Mr. Dickey grew up in our public schools, and has held a wide variety of roles in the education field nationally,” Carranza added. “SFUSD is fortunate to have him.”

Dickey attended Lakeshore Elementary School, A.P. Giannini Middle School, and Lowell High School. 

“As a graduate of the San Francisco Unified School District, along with my mother and two sisters, I strongly believe our public school system can engender the success of our African American students,” says Dickey.  “I enthusiastically join the district to ensure that all of our African American students receive high-quality instruction, services, and supports that will prepare them for college and career.”

African American students have made some gains; however, as a subgroup, there is still a large gap in academic achievement between African American students and other subgroups. In this last school year, 77 percent of 10th grade students passed the English Language Arts portion of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) on their first attempt, only 54.8 percent of African American 10th grade students did. Also, while 83 percent of 10th grade students passed the Math portion of the CAHSEE on their first attempt, only 51 percent of 10th grade African American students did. 

In 2013 Superintendent Carranza convened a team to evaluate African American student outcomes, look at past efforts to support African American achievement, and chart a course to improve outcomes. The result is the SFUSD African American Achievement and Leadership Plan.

In July, 2014, Superintendent Carranza joined dozens of school superintendents to sign President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. This week, Carranza, along with Mayor Ed Lee, Fred Blackwell, CEO of San Francisco Foundation, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris from the Center for Youth Wellness, gathered with city and community leaders for a My Brother’s Keeper Local Action summit to help guide and strengthen work across the city.

“We know that in order to help our children be successful in this city, we need to offer them a support system leading up to and through these critical milestones in their lives,” said Carranza. “This is the spirit behind My Brother’s Keeper and the commitment we must make to our students.”

About Landon Dickey

Dickey recently earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where he was also co-president of the Harbus Foundation, the only MBA-led foundation in the country. Landon also has a Master of Science in Education from Hunter College and a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Government from Harvard University.

Prior to joining SFUSD, he served as an advisor to Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and as the Interim Education Advisor to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. In these roles, Dickey advised the mayors on issues including standardized testing policy, education technology, school facilities management, and high school reform.

Most recently, he was a senior project manager for Jobs for the Future, supporting the development of career pathways and work-based learning opportunities for students in California, Arizona, and Colorado. Before entering business school, he was a member of Teach For America, where he taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders in the South Bronx, New York. He also served as an Education Pioneers Fellow and consulted for the Marcus Foster Education Fund in Oakland and The Gates Foundation in Seattle.

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Page updated on 01/27/15