Tommy Chang Is Boston's New School Superintendent

Nearly two years after Carol Johnson announced her retirement, she has an official replacement as chief of Boston schools.

The Boston School Committee on Tuesday evening picked Tommy Chang to be Boston Public Schools' new superintendent, on a 5-2 vote. The other two votes went to Pedro Martinez.

Tommy Chang (Courtesy of BPS)
Tommy Chang (Courtesy of BPS)

Chang is currently a superintendent in Los Angeles, where he oversees 135 schools. (Read his bio and BPS application here.)

"I want to congratulate and welcome Dr. Tommy Chang as Boston's selection for the new superintendent of public schools," Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. "Dr. Chang will provide the leadership that our school system needs and I am confident that his innovative views on education will move our students forward. We need a transformative leader and that is Tommy Chang."

Earlier Tuesday, The Boston Globe reported, according to unnamed sources, that Chang was Walsh's pick.

Chang beat out three other finalists, including Martinez, for the superintendency, though Dana Bedden withdrew his name from consideration Tuesday evening, choosing instead to stay as a superintendent in Richmond, Virginia. The four finalists — all men — faced public interviews last week in Boston.

Tuesday's school committee decision has been long-awaited for Boston.

Johnson announced her retirement in April 2013. The day after his inauguration, in early 2014, Mayor Walsh began dialogue about finding her replacement, but longtime administrator John McDonough has served as interim superintendent since Johnson's departure.

Chang takes over Boston's 57,000-student school system. The system has seen a rising graduation rate and improved MCAS scores in recent years, but stubborn achievement gaps remain for minorities.



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