Instructional superintendent Wayne Ryan, the former principal at Noyes Education Campus who drew acclaim from DCPS for dramatic test score gains and then investigative scrutiny for suspicious levels of answer sheet erasures, has resigned.
In an e-mail to colleagues Friday evening, Ryan did not specify a reason for his departure, effective Monday.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to pursue new options and old interests,” he said. He also thanked Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson for “many years of support, encouragement and friendship.”
Ryan became a literal poster boy for D.C. school reform under former Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee after DC CAS scores spiked dramatically at Noyes from 2007 to 2009. The District ran principal recruitment ads with his picture asking “Are you the next Wayne Ryan?” Rhee promoted Ryan in 2010 to instructional superintendent, where he supervised a group of principals.
But a USA Today investigation published in March found an extraordinarily high rate of erasures on answer sheets in which wrong answers were changed to correct answers. The newspaper reported that on the 2009 DC CAS reading test, seventh-graders in one classroom averaged 12.7 wrong-to-right erasures per student on answer sheets. The citywide average that year was less than one.
Henderson asked the D.C. inspector general to investigate USA Today’s research, which found that classrooms in more than 100 D.C. public schools had elevated erasure rates at least once since 2008.