School & District Management A National Roundup

Anne Arundel County, Md., Schools Chief Resigns

By Catherine Gewertz — September 13, 2005 1 min read

Eric J. Smith, who has led the Anne Arundel County, Md., schools for three years, said last week he would leave the district superintendency on Nov. 23.

Mr. Smith has accepted a one-year position at Harvard University’s graduate school of education as a visiting superintendent-in-residence, a spokesman for the school said.

The superintendent said in a statement that “recent public disputes” have created “a considerable distraction” from his work in the 75,000-student school district and contributed to his decision to leave. Mr. Smith has overseen an increase in student test scores, his spokesman noted, and an expansion of more-rigorous coursework.

An audit of the district’s human-resources department, released in early August, questioned some bonuses and pay raises, and suggested that scores of district employees might not have had proper criminal-records checks performed before starting work.

Around the same time, a survey of Anne Arundel teachers showed widespread unhappiness with Mr. Smith’s leadership. But a district poll of parents, teachers, and central-office personnel, released in May, showed that most were content with the district.

Mr. Smith, 55, gained a national reputation for improving student achievement as the superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district in North Carolina from 1995 to 2002. (“Agent of Change,” July 9, 2003.)

A version of this article appeared in the September 14, 2005 edition of Education Week

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