D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson has resigned after breaking school policy to benefit his daughter.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced in a Tuesday Wilson Building news conference, she has accepted the resignation of Wilson.
“After listening to many community members, families and stakeholders, it became very clear to me over the last several days Chancellor Wilson would be unable to successfully lead the schools having not been able to regain the community’s trust,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
Last Friday, Mayor Bowser revealed Wilson had bypassed the school lottery process to transfer his daughter to Woodrow Wilson High School in NW D.C. In doing so, he essentially jumped over the 639 students DCPS says in on the school’s wait list as of March 31, 2017. Other reports say that number is now even higher.
Last year, Wilson signed-off on a policy banning children of public officials from jumping the transfer lottery, known as a "discretionary transfer."
Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles resigned on Friday for her involvement in the violations, but Mayor Bowser did not demand Wilson to step down right away.
Bowser told reporters she had learned about the lottery issue on Monday, when the General Inspector had informed her they were planning to open an investigation into Wilson’s daughter’s transfer.
She called the action “indefensible,” but later defended him.
“Chancellor Wilson is an extraordinary educator and he is a human being who made a mistake. I felt very strongly about giving the chancellor the opportunity to explain that mistake and to regain the trust he needed to lead,” Mayor Bowser said.
Taking Wilson’s place in an interim role will be Dr. Amanda Alexander, the Chief of the Office of Elementary Schools for DCPS.
She first joined DCPS in 1998 as a kindergarten teacher. Mayor Bowser called Alexander a “seasoned educator” and veteran of the District’s public school system.
D.C. Council’s Education Committee Chair, David Grosso, said he would not use the word “pleased” to describe the Mayor’s announcement. Instead, he told reporters he is “okay” with it.
"To be honest with you, we had a very strong-working relationship and it's going to be hard to repair that and it's going to be hard to rebuild it, but we will,” he said.
Speaking directly to the more than 48,000 DCPS students, Grosso said, “Personally, I would just say, keep plugging away. You know, this is important that students show up to school."
Both the Mayor and Mayor and Grosso basically said hiring a chancellor is a lengthy process that involves both parties.
As of Tuesday, no plans have been mentioned to change that process.