UPDATE: You can find the full story about his selection here.
Board member Jumoke Hinton Hodge said the board spent hours deliberating about the finalists and that, after 10:30 p.m., it finally took a unanimous vote to tap Smith for the post.
“We’re really proud that the superintendent search taught us how to be a team,” Hinton Hodge said, describing the end of the intense meeting as “a love fest.”
“I think he’s willing to take risks around some of our big issues,” she said, referring to the district’s achievement gap and other challenges.
Those involved in the small schools movement were pulling for Smith, an Oakland resident who once worked for the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools, one of the organizations central to the reform (His wife worked there as well, and she still might).
Smith, 42, said at Wednesday night’s town hall meeting that he was “a pretty big fan of the charter movement,” but he also said non-charter schools should have the opportunity to enjoy some of the same freedoms as charters. “If you don’t trust people in schools, then you’re going to centrally manage, you’re going to say, `I know better than you.’”
I’ll write more tomorrow. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this pick and your hopes and expectations for the school district under Smith’s leadership. If you’d like to share your opinions for the news story (attributed, of course), call me at (510) 208-6424, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo of Smith before Wednesday’s town hall meeting by Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group Staff