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Providence schools chief stepping down

March 29, 2011

Providence Superintendent Tom Brady has announced plans to resign effective this July. Brady came to the Providence Public Schools in 2008 and says the decision to leave was a difficult one.

“It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to tender my resignation to the Providence School Board, effective July 15,” Brady said in a written statement. “My three-year tenure as Superintendent of Providence Schools has been professionally challenging and rewarding. I do not make this decision lightly.”

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says he will begin the search for a new superintendent of schools immediately and hopes to avoid any disruption for staff and students.

“I commend Superintendent Brady, our teachers, and the district’s staff for the progress made during his tenure,” Taveras said. “I look forward to working with the School Board to recruit a dynamic, thoughtful leader who will advance the transformation of Providence’s public education system.”

National and state officials have praised Brady’s close collaboration with teachers’ union leaders on reforms that include interview-based teacher hiring. During his short tenure, the district has also moved to standardize its high school programs and developed new Math and Science curricula.

But Providence has consistently struggled to raise student performance. Five city schools were singled out last year for drastic intervention, and this year state officials called another four schools “persistently low-achieving,” a designation that triggers extra funding and a complete school overhaul.

Providence Mayor Taveras, who is himself a graduate of the Providence Public Schools, has pledged to make improving schools a priority.

“There is still a significant amount of work to be done to offer every student in Providence the education they need and deserve,” he said.

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