S.F. schools superintendent Carlos Garcia to retire

Reporter - San Francisco Business Times
San Francisco Unified School District
Superintendent Carlos Garcia will
retire at the end of the school year.
San Francisco schools Superintendent Carlos Garcia will retire at the end of the academic year, the district announced Wednesday.

As recently as earlier this month, the 60-year-old Garcia sounded defiant against the teachers union leadership as the school board backed his “Superintendent’s Zone” initiative to protect teachers with less seniority at 14 San Francisco Unified School District schools. Most of those schools are in the Mission and Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhoods.

SFUSD Board President Norman Yee said the district will enter into negotiations with Richard Carranza, who since 2009 has served as deputy superintendent for instruction, innovation and social justice, to become superintendent.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this great community and work with the great educators and elected officials on our school board and in our city to make sure children come first,” Garcia said in a press release. “Our work at SFUSD has restored my faith in the excellent opportunities that do exist in public education.”

Garcia has led SFUSD for five years, battling through an economic downturn that has forced the district to cut millions of dollars, reduce school busing, pink-slip teachers, increase class sizes and cut the number of school days.

High schools in San Francisco have an average class size of 35 to 40 students, Garcia said at a recent forum with business leaders.

Yet the district has seen test scores rise and is the No. 1 urban district in California, he said.
“Every day when I go to work, I think I hear the ‘Mission: Impossible’ theme,” he joked.

SFUSD should receive $6,500 per student from the state, he said, but instead gets $5,000.

“People say, ‘Money’s not the solution,’” Garcia, an educator for 37 years, told the business leaders. “I say, ‘How do you know? We’ve never tried it.’”