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School & District Management Video

Amid Flint’s Water Crisis, Schools Chief Is a Calm Force

February 22, 2017 3:12

Bilal Tawwab, the superintendent of schools in Flint, Mich., refuses to use the city’s lead-water crisis as an excuse from keeping his team of educators focused on improving student achievement in a long-struggling school district. Since Tawwab ordered the district to shut off its taps in fall 2015, students are still relying on rationed bottled water and eating only fruit they can peel. Even as he grappled with the widespread fallout from the water crisis, Tawwab has insisted that the district would improve teaching and learning for students. This past fall, Flint stemmed its long enrollment decline and posted modest gains on achievement tests for 3rd and 6th grades. “[Parents are] not giving us a pass. They’re not giving us an out,” Tawwab says. “With the water crisis, it’s probably just a greater sense of urgency.” This video was produced as part of Education Week’s Leaders To Learn From project, recognizing outstanding school district leaders from around the country. More at http://leaders.edweek.org

Coverage of leadership, expanded learning time, and arts learning is supported in part by a grant from The Wallace Foundation, at www.wallacefoundation.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.

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