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Brady resigns as Providence superintendent

March 29, 2011

Continuing the parade of superintendents who have led Providence’s public schools over the last dozen years or so, Thomas Brady today revealed his resignation. Here’s his resignation letter, dated yesterday, as provided by the Providence schools:

It is with mixed emotions that, pursuant to my contract with the Providence School Board, I provide you this letter of my intent to resign July 15, 2011.

My three-year tenure as Superintendent of Providence Schools has been professionally challenging and rewarding. I do not make this decision lightly. The work accomplished in Providence Schools since 2008 is a source of deep personal and professional gratification, and the experiences are ones that I will take with me as I embark on a new direction and embrace new career opportunities in public education.

Particular points of pride for me have been:

• The development and implementation of the District’s Aligned Instructional System to support the Providence School Board’s strategic vision of Aligned Instruction. This work included a guaranteed and viable curriculum in four core subject areas and improved, targeted professional development for both teachers and instructional assistants.

• Improved student achievement on NECAP exams at the elementary level, which evidences the quality of the curriculum and its promise for future gains in student achievement.

• The design and full-scale implementation of a Criterion-Based Hiring and Needs-Driven Assignment system designed to make student need the topmost priority in leveraging the skills of our teaching professionals.

• The landmark collaborative planning and the early stages of execution to address the academic and support needs of four schools identified as Persistently Lowest Achieving with the support and co-leadership of the Providence Teachers Union.

• A significant increase in Providence’s four-year graduation rate over recent years, from 59% in 2007, to 68% in 2010, growth attributed to numerous initiatives designed to encourage student persistence and help them to succeed.

• The notable, collaborative work with the American Federation of Teachers and the Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith as well as four other Rhode Island urban districts toward the grant-funded development of a viable and effective educator and administrator evaluation model.

• The development and deployment of the district’s first electronic applicant tracking system, PATS, a significant step toward realizing efficiencies and best practices in Human Resources.

• The development and expansion of a national-model Full Service Community Schools program to support students and their families with broad social services and other supportive functions.

• The cultivation of strategic approaches to community support and engagement to meaningfully support the district’s student achievement goals.

• The growth of Providence’s nationally-recognized extended day learning program, in collaboration with PASA and City Year, across all middle schools and into high school programming with PPSD and foundation support.

• The creation and implementation of a Breakfast in the Classroom program targeted to ensure that elementary students are well-fed and ready to learn, while increasing participation rates and revenue streams associated with federal meals program reimbursements.

I would be remiss if I did not credit the exceptional leadership team and staff behind each of these initiatives. I believe that the collective will of PPSD staff to do the right thing for children will continue to drive these and other initiatives forward. I will be pleased, at the pleasure of the Board and the Mayor, to assist in a smooth transition in order to maintain the momentum of the District.

It has been my honor and privilege to serve the children and families of Providence for these three years. Likewise, it has been a pleasure working with the dedicated individuals who comprise the Providence School Board, and with both the Cicilline and Taveras administrations. I wish all of you ongoing success as you continue the pursuit of the highest quality education for all Providence children.

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