San Francisco Schools Hire Mcgraw-Hill VP
After six months of interviewing applicants nationwide, San Francisco Schools district has filled its top position. Carlos Garcia, Vice President of Urban Markets for McGraw-Hill (educational publishers), has been selected as the next Superintendent of San Francisco Schools. Board members have been seeking a replacement since January after interim Superintendent Gwen Chan announced that she would not return to the post in the fall.
Garcia was voted in due to his experience in San Francisco Schools, strong results as Superintendent of other districts, and good reputation as a fiscal manager. Garcia served both Fresno, California and Clark County, Nevada as Superintendent. From 1988-91 Garcia was principal of San Francisco Schools Horace Mann Middle School. During his tenure the school improved its achievement scores and received recognition for its accomplishments.
According to Board President of San Francisco Schools, Mark Sanchez, “ We chose Mr. Garcia because of his past experience with San Francisco, his strong track record as a superintendent and his understanding of the challenges that our district faces.” The San Francisco Schools have dealt with issues like declining enrollment over the past few years, as families leave for better districts and private schools. Initiatives like the small schools program are one of many that the San Francisco Schools are implementing to reverse this trend. This change in leadership may bring some of these programs into question, although the school board seems confident that Garcia is in line with their priorities.
Thirty applicants were interviewed since January in an attempt to find a new leader for the San Francisco Schools. Garcia’s credentials includes a B.A. from Claremont Men’s College in political science, a M.A. in education from Claremont Graduate school, and an administrative degree from California State University at Fullerton. Parents in San Francisco Schools provided input to the hiring process in the form of both community meetings, and over a thousand surveys, to determine the criteria for their next leader.
Leadership of the San Francisco Schools will have a strong impact on financial spending and program funding. Given pressure to meet national No Child Left Behind standards, administrators in San Francisco Schools are constantly making decisions about how best to allocate funds. California’s poor reputation on educational priorities and spending was recently highlighted by a think tank study that claimed that the state’s educational priorities are in such disarray that the whole system needs an overhaul. While San Francisco Schools leaders may agree with the study, they still need state funding to run their districts.
The fact that Garcia led one of the nation’s largest districts, Clark County, gives the San Francisco Schools reasons to hope that he will use the same financial wisdom in this district. Six of the seven board members voted for Mr. Garcia’s appointment, with the seventh asking for more time to decide. Garcia will begin serving San Francisco Schools on July 16th, 2007.