School & District Management

Four Education Leaders Join Chiefs for Change

By Denisa R. Superville — May 15, 2017 1 min read
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Chiefs for Change continues to expand into the ranks of school district leaders, with two urban schools chiefs among the four new members.

The district leaders are William Hite, the superintendent of Philadelphia Public Schools, and Paymon Rouhanifard, the superintendent of New Jersey’s Camden school district.

Kunjan Narechania, the superintendent of Louisiana’s Recovery School District, a state-run system that oversees charter schools in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is also a member of the new class. The lone state chief in the group is Candice McQueen, Tennessee’s commissioner of education.

Chiefs for Change, once part of the former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education and comprised solely of state education chiefs, has spun off as an independent organization. It now focuses on leadership, personalized learning, and the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new federal K-12 law.

The organization has been steadily adding urban school district chiefs: Of the 26 members, only seven (counting the District of Columbia) lead state education systems.

Chiefs for Change has also added efforts to grow a diverse pipeline of district education leaders. Narechania, who was part of the organization’s “Future Chiefs” program, was appointed to run Louisiana’s Recovery School District in March. She is also the first member of the “future chiefs” program to make it to full membership.

The organization also recently hired former Newark superintendent Cami Anderson as one of its “chiefs in residence.” Anderson will be part of a work group on school redesign and will help district and state leaders work on personalized learning, social-emotional learning, school discipline reform, and career-and-technical education.

From top to bottom: Candice McQueen, Tennessee’s education commissioner; Kunjan Narechania, superintendent of Louisiana’s Recovery School District; William Hite, superintendent of Philadelphia public schools; and Paymon Rouhanifard, superintendent of the Camden, N.J., school district. Photos courtesy Chiefs for Change

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