Education in Oakland

Kimberly Statham Resigns, Vincent Matthews Appointed interim State Administrator

Posted by novometro on September 14, 2007

Update: Jack O’Connell, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, appointed Vincent Mathews interim State Administrator. He has spent the past five months serving as Ms. Statham’s chief-of-staff.

She never looked comfortable in the job. And she had lost the confidence of the school board. It was obvious over the last few weeks that the governing board would never hire her once they have their powers restored. Ms. Statham did not want to be the last Viceroy, so she announced her resignation Friday. Here is her letter.
To the People of Oakland:

I joined the Oakland Unified School District 28 months ago with a great hopefulness accompanied by the mixture of anxiety and anticipation typical of anyone who endeavors to take on great challenges. At the time I was not, as you know me now, head of OUSD, but rather its Chief Academic Officer. Yet, even in this supporting role, I was aware of the awesome responsibility before me, one that has grown exponentially since my own appointment as State Administrator almost exactly one year ago today.

In the intervening months, my experience at OUSD has been constantly challenging, occasionally thrilling, at times a bit daunting, but always rewarding and indisputably worthwhile. The people of Oakland are bursting with a spirit and energy that is wonderful to behold and the promise of their children is as rich and diverse as the community itself.

It has been a tremendous privilege to serve this remarkable city and every day I awoke to my position as State Administrator I thanked the parents of Oakland for entrusting me with the education of their children. That is a sacred trust and one I was honored to uphold.

So, it is with both sadness and regret that I announce my resignation as State Administrator of the Oakland Unified School District, effective today. This is not a decision I reached easily, but one which I was compelled to make due to personal circumstances which can no longer exist in conflict with my professional duties.

During my time as State Administrator, I have emphasized the active role that a nurturing family can play in ensuring high levels of student achievement. Now, I must attend to my own family. I can do so knowing that the children of Oakland are in a better position to not only expect, but attain success as a result of the academic initiatives we have implemented at Oakland Unified.

The countless good works carried out by the men and women of OUSD are too numerous to list here, but as I reflect upon our accomplishments one fact in particular brings me special satisfaction. Since 2003, OUSD has nearly doubled the percentage of students qualified to attend University of California and California State University schools. For our African-American and Latino students, that percentage more than doubled. We can achieve, and we have achieved.

This is a tremendous testament to Oakland Unified’s invaluable staff, its principals and teachers who have devoted their lives to bettering those of their students, and the students themselves who have embraced the challenge put before them. I thank all of you for your heroic efforts and for allowing me to play a role in them. The battle is not won by any means, but we have claimed an important fight. More Oakland students are prepared for success in college and career today than on that morning 28 months ago when I first arrived at OUSD. For that, we can all be grateful.

It is now my fondest hope that whomever follows me will be able to accelerate the progress we have made in Oakland and speed the city closer toward that day when all its students graduate prepared to thrive in college, the workplace and in life.


Dr. Kimberly Statham, State Administrator, Oakland Unified School District


3 Responses to “Kimberly Statham Resigns, Vincent Matthews Appointed interim State Administrator”

  1. Incredibledaze said

    And she’s off!
    After “holding ground” or whatever bunk she offered forward when tests score hadn’t improved, she’s leaving in the typical “spend more time with family” line that so many use.
    It’s more like “See ya later suckas”.
    It would have been nicer to see her go to another job than retreating to Big Momma’s House in Maryland. This makes her job, the State Administrators, look unrewarding. 2 office holders within 3 years?

  2. Caroline said

    Vince Matthews was last in the news running Edison Charter Academy in San Francisco, back when Edison Schools were being hailed as the next miracle in education. His biggest stunning success was conning the press into describing Edison Charter Academy as “a successful school in a failing district” in a year when it actually scored dead last among San Francisco’s schools. Well, that shows a real talent of one kind or another. Welcome back to the spotlight, Vince.
    (Edison is, of course, now treated by its former cheerleaders like an embarrassing odor in the room.)

  3. […] encouraged that the interim administrato has a history of working with FCMAT, and likes that the current state administrator is much more hands-on that his predecessor was. She said she’s optimistic that we will have a […]

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