Deputy Mayor for Education De’Shawn Wright leaves post for new job in New York

October 19, 2012

Update: Full story is here.

D.C. Deputy Mayor for Education De’Shawn Wright is leaving his post for a new job in New York state, Mayor Vincent Gray announced in a statement Thursday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) appointed Wright as deputy secretary for education, a top state education post. Wright’s chief of staff, Jennifer Leonard, will begin serving as the interim deputy mayor for education in November.

“De’Shawn is a brilliant educational innovator and a tireless public servant, and our loss is definitely New York’s gain,” Gray said in the statement. “He has done a spectacular job serving the children, families and educators of the District of Columbia, and we will miss his extraordinary gifts sorely.”

Wright’s new job is something of a homecoming. He began his career in the late 1990s as a Teach for America corps member in New York City and later worked for the New York City Department of Education.

The departure comes at a critical moment for education in the city, as officials and community members struggle to envision how to plan for the future of both neighborhood schools and fast-growing charter schools.

Wright was charged with leading that planning effort. In January, his office released a controversial study that recommended turning around or closing dozens of D.C. Public Schools and for opening more high-performing charters.

This post has been updated. The original version said Wright began his career with Teach for America in the late 1980s. In fact, it was the late 1990s.

Emma Brown writes about national education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.
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