School & District Management

Boston Mayor Appoints City’s First-Ever ‘Chief of Education’

By Lesli A. Maxwell — September 05, 2014 1 min read
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Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh this week named the city’s first-ever “chief of education,” a new Cabinet-level position tasked with coordinating school improvement efforts across public schools, charter schools, parochial and private schools, as well as colleges and universities.

Mayor Walsh has tapped Turahn Dorsey, an evaluation director for the Boston-based Barr Foundation, to serve in the new post. Walsh touted the new position as a first-of-its-kind in the nation, though other big-city mayors’ offices—the District of Columbia, Los Angeles, and New York City—also have high-level advisers focused on education issues.

Dorsey, who will not have direct authority over any of the school systems, told the Boston Globe that his role will be to “identify the four or five big things that we’re trying to revolutionize in education” and “build consensus around what those four or five things are going to be.”

Walsh, who took office in January and quickly appointed a committee to identify candidates to become the next superintendent of the city’s schools, later agreed to delay the search for a permanent schools chief. The mayor has opted to keep John McDonough at the helm. McDonough has been serving as the schools chief on an interim basis since Carol Johnson retired more than a year ago.

The mayor said his new chief of education would help advise on the selection of a new superintendent. Under the city’s revised timeline, a new schools chief would likely be hired early next year and begin the job by July of 2015.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.