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Carey Wright named chief academic officer for DCPS

A former Maryland teacher, principal and associate superintendent has been named chief academic officer, D.C. Public Schools announced Wednesday. Carey M. Wright, who reports directly to Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, will be responsible for the quality of instruction across the system, overseeing the offices of Teaching and Learning, Professional Development, Youth Engagement, School Innovation, Federal Programs and Grants, School Restructuring, Strategic Academic Initiatives, and School Support.

The announcement finally completes a reshuffling of Rhee's senior staff that included the departures last year of Chief of Schools Tracy Martin and Chief of Teaching and Learning Sherry Ullery. They were part of the trio that Rhee imported in 2007 from Cleveland, where they served under former school district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. Only chief of staff Lisa Ruda remains. Their posts were folded into the newly-created chief academic officer's job, which had been filled on an interim basis by consultant Michael Moody, a key figure in developing the IMPACT teacher evaluation.

For the last year or so, Wright has served as deputy chief in the Office of Teaching and Learning. She spent most of her career in Howard County Public Schools, where she was a teacher, principal and director of special education and student services. She also worked as an associate superintendent in Montgomery County before coming to DCPS.

Read the official announcement here.

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By Bill Turque  |  July 7, 2010; 5:16 PM ET
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Glad to see she's not some TFA wonder with 2 years' teaching experience, an EdD from Harvard and under 30, often the favored profile of our chancellor. Dr. Wright is a career educator and I wish her well.

Posted by: chelita | July 7, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

From the DCPS announcement: "“After an extensive search, we concluded that Dr. Wright had all the qualities and characteristics we wanted in a chief academic officer,”

In other words, "after getting no decent applicants outside the system willing to pick up stakes and move to DC to work for Firin' Michelle Rhee, we settled for the obvious in-house candidate."

Posted by: efavorite | July 7, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse hit it right on the nail. Here we have Rue McClennehan (sp.?) "look-a-like" who's been here for almost a year...and after an extensive NATIONAL search...we're gonna keep Blanche. Now the plot wonder Eastern almost had a 30 year veteran at the helm of the school...merely because birds of feather flocked together...honestly that lady looked like a minature Bea Arthur. In retrospect I am assuming that Rhee's favorite cable-tv show is the Golden Girls.

Thank you for being my friend....(sing-along).

First impression of Wright; I liked her...seemed very personable, quite stylish and professionally acute on academic issues.

I am sensing an Estelle Getty look-alike will assume the next vacancy within DCPS. LOL

Posted by: PowerandPride | July 8, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Carey Wright was my kid's elementary school principal in Howard County and I liked her. She ran a tight ship, she was personable and the staff seemed to like her as there was little staff turnover. I hope she brings her traditional educator classroom background to her new job and I hope she remembers it when making decisions.

Posted by: musiclady | July 8, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Finally, someone in central with experience. I sincerely wish her luck. She may be exactly what DCPS needs. The problem is she brings experience and "wisdom", the very thing central lacks. Question is: Will she be able to put up with all that they have to catch up? Maybe the next chancellor?

Posted by: candycane1 | July 8, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Candycane: I don't know about Wright being the next got Henderson and Tata waiting in the wings. Believe me the next Superintendent will be the chick who left us and went to Rhode Island.

Posted by: PowerandPride | July 8, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

DCPS has had a complete turnover of the hand-picked senior staff in 3 years and a national search that ends up with the in-house candidate. Added to the huge turnover in principles hired under Rhee (I believe Shepard Elementary went through 4 in 3 academic years), it becomes apparent that Rhee is not only completely ignorant of education issues, unable to understand budget and financial issues, a complete narcissist, but also a completely incompetent manager of people. Never mind her lack of qualifications to run a school system, is she competent to perform any job?

Posted by: mcstowy | July 8, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

No more chancellors for DCPS, please!! We need someone who is a true, CREDENTIALED EDUCATOR, not some fly-by-night, (recent) public policy or business grad with a self-promoting agenda. Hiring rhee was one mistake the District cannot bear repeating.

Posted by: schooletal | July 8, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

efavorites succinct post captures it. No telling how many resources --time and money -- are wasted on national searches for DCPS vacancies.

Now, for Bill Turque to use FOIA requests to find out the terms of these at-will contracts, including relocation expenses and severance agreements. Who can afford to uproot and resettle here.

Not that all the talent necessary isn't already available in excellent surrounding school districts.

Posted by: incredulous | July 9, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

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