“DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson and I announced that she will be leaving her role on September 30”

by Prince Of Petworth June 30, 2016 at 2:15 pm 32 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user rockcreek

From Mayor Bowser:

“This morning, DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson and I announced that she will be leaving her role on September 30, 2016. I am incredibly grateful to Kaya for her nine years of service to our students, our schools, and our city.

Without a doubt, DCPS is a very different place today than it was when Kaya joined our school system in 2007. DCPS is the fastest improving urban school district in the country. After decades of decline, DCPS has also seen consistent, annual enrollment growth since Kaya became Chancellor—growing from 45,000 students in 2010 to nearly 49,000 students this year. While we will miss Kaya, we can all be proud of her team and her tenure as the second longest-serving leader of DCPS.

This is also an incredible opportunity for our city to continue to improve how we are delivering high-quality education to our students. I remain committed to pushing the envelope even further on education reform. That’s why this year we made the largest investment in public education in our city’s history – with a $75 million increase over last year to meet the needs of our growing student body. That means more funding for instruction, and focused programming in both our traditional public schools and our public charter schools. We are also investing $220 million more city funds to accelerate the full modernization of schools.

Over the next several months, we will work hard to ensure a smooth transition. I am pleased to announce that John Davis will serve as Interim Chancellor. With his extensive experience as an education leader, most recently as DCPS’ Chief of Schools, I am confident that John is the right person for this role. We will launch a nationwide search in the fall and follow the selection process outlined in the law as we determine a permanent Chancellor for next school year. Please stay tuned for additional information on opportunities to engage with us on the selection of the next Chancellor.

In closing, I want to reiterate how thankful I am for Kaya’s service to our city and her steadfast resolve to improve education for all of our students.”

  • siz

    woah, didn’t really see that coming

    • Anon

      There has to be a backstory that we’re not currently privy to.

      • siz

        yeah, i would imagine. the post story says that she has publicly stated she would stay on until “at least” 2017 – not that plans can’t change, i’m sure it’s an exhausting job.

  • Eric

    No clue who that is. What has she done of relevance, is this a significant loss?

    • Anon


      • divebar311

        No lie I had to Google what this meant…!

        • shawsomesauce


          • dcd

            I didn’t know it either, but I guessed wrong about what the FY meant.

      • Eric

        Just googled her. Doesn’t seem like a huge loss, I think everything will be fine

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      HEADLINE: DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson and I announced that she will be leaving her role on September 30”

      There’s your answer!

      • Anonamom

        Don’t you just love it when the assholes come out to just be assholes? Because nothing is relevant unless it pertains to ME.

  • neighbor

    So what has she done other than direct several capital improvement projects with massive cost overruns and be lucky enough to preside during a period of rapid gentrification in the city?

    • Anon

      Well, she collected a couple million in salary – that ain’t nothing!

      • Whop

        A couple million? PLEASE somebody prove me wrong but doesn’t she pull down 200-300K annually?

        • HaileUnlikely

          I assume the post above yours meant cumulatively over nearly 6 years in the position. Last I saw (2-3 years ago), her annual salary was slightly under $300K.

    • anon

      this is…definitely a vast oversimplification of things

      • neighbor

        Oh right… she massively mismanaged the school lunch program and covered up lead is several public school drinking fountains.

        • anon


  • CRosedale

    The growth of students enrolled in DCPS isn’t on par to the growth DC experienced in overall population in that time period. Way to celebrate less than standard.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Irrelevant comparison. What has been the growth in school-aged children over the same period. That is a comparison that arguably is actually relevant. The numbers on that one might still support your point, but the data to which you are alluding in support of your point are irrelevant to your point.

      • dcd

        And given the continuing explosion of charter schools, I’m not sure that’s a relevant comparison either.

        • anon

          “explosion” is the wrong word for charter enrollment growth in DC. It’s mostly peaked and leveled off somewhat in past few years. Charters had 44% of public education student enrollment and that % is steady from 2014-15. The biggest growth area involves small net gain for 5th grade for charters

        • HaileUnlikely

          They appear to be attempting to gin up a statistic that supports the notion that more families are choosing to send their kids to DCPS schools, or something like that. If that is the case, the proportion of DCPS-eligible kids who are enrolled in DCPS is about the best metric I can think of that would actually be plausible to track (we don’t have and probably can’t get good data on the number of kids who might have been DCPS kids but aren’t because their families left DC before or shortly after their birth.) I’d settle for tracking the proportion of currently-DCPS-eligible kids who are enrolled. If they aren’t enrolled in DCPS because they’re in charters instead (i.e., taking advantage of other options), that doesn’t make the statistic irrelevant or invalid, it just pulls it downward.

      • anon

        that’s correct. the numbers overall mean far less than the projected numbers of children which slightly lagged behind projections for school aged 10 years ago but has increased in past 5 years.

  • AdMo Resident

    The real benchmark for city hall will be millennial retention (buying homes, starting families, etc.) and for the school district, it will be what % of “new” DC families actually enroll in the public school system.

    Hate on gentrification all you want but the schools need those families enrolling if they want sustainable change.

    • Truxton Thomas

      No doubt about it. The question is whether that’s what D.C. wants (families and decent schools) or is more than satisfied with high-income young people who pay massive rents and bar tabs and then bail to the suburbs within a few years. We’re planning on sticking around and trying D.C. schools, but I think a lot of young parents feel unwelcome.

      • SassyinDC

        Huh–plenty of young families here in Hillcrest (East of the River), many who have moved from the Hill and have every intention on staying. Currently kiddos we know are either in public school or charter schools. Our daughter attends Capitol Hill Montessori @Logan which an application DCPS, and accepts children from Pre-K3-8th grade from all the city’s wards.

      • ANC

        My husband and I are leaving within the next year. We are the exact people the district wants to retain, but crime is sending us packing before our kids start school. I really love this city, but I can’t justify the safety threat to my kids.

        • ETF

          Same here. We love living in DC and bought in Brightwood/Takoma, but now that we have an infant the anecdotal robberies and shootings are making us more nervous. We had to call the police last week because there were about a dozen gunshots fired in the alley behind our house in the middle of the day. We could have been taking out the trash… I would love to stick it out and I know a lot of neighborhood families who are happy with Whittier, but the suburbs are looking pretty attractive right now.

  • Philippe Lecheval

    I suspect that she’s taking off before it’s revealed that she was complicit in covering up the lead-in-the-drinking-water issue.


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