Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roosevelt to Leave Pgh Public Schools

After more than five years as Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent, Mark Roosevelt told the School Board today that he will resign this year.

Roosevelt will leave the position December 31 and plans to become the next president of Antioch College in Ohio. Roosevelt says he is the only finalist for the job.

As superintendent, he oversaw many changes in Pittsburgh’s education policy, including the establishment of the Pittsburgh Promise, a $100 million higher education scholarship fund for Pittsburgh Public Schools graduates.

Last year, Roosevelt helped secure grants totaling $77.4 million to support a teacher effectiveness program. The district achieved Adequate Yearly Progress for the first time in its history in 2009.

The former Massachusetts politician also worked closely with John Tarka, head of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, to complete a five-year contract that rewards effective teaching.

Roosevelt says he doesn’t think he’s leaving his work unfinished.

“You could make that argument at any point, when any superintendent leaves any job in urban America, right? The business, the work is never done. This is not a job you can declare victory in, and say, ‘Whoa! We’re at the finish line!’ Not going to happen. Not the nature of the work.”

School Board President Theresa Collaizzi says Roosevelt will leave a legacy in Pittsburgh. Collaizzi says the Board must now discuss how to choose the district’s next superintendent.

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