Will D.C.’s new chancellor finally close the achievement gap?

Antwan Wilson, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s nominee to be D.C. Public Schools chancellor, during an interview on Nov. 21. PHOTO CREDIT: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

Antwan Wilson, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s nominee to be D.C. Public Schools chancellor, during an interview on Nov. 21. PHOTO CREDIT: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

According to Alejandra Matos and Perry Stein of the Washington Post, D.C.'s newest education chancellor, Antwan Wilson has a reputation for taking on challenging school districts.

While living in Denver, Wilson pursued the position of principal in the system’s worst school. He also took a position leading the Oakland Unified School District when it faced declining enrollment and financial disarray.

Wilson now wants to tackle D.C. Public Schools and it's achievement gap.

“I run to places where I believe I am going to be most needed,” Wilson said. “It’s 100 percent possible to educate every child. Sometimes people say that’s unrealistic, but I just don’t believe that.”

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) recently nominated Wilson in hopes that he will continue to make steady improvements after a decade of leadership under Kaya Henderson and Michelle Rhee.

As previously highlighted by the Obama administration, D.C. schools are seeing increased enrollment and a rise in graduation rates and test scores. However, the system is still experiencing a persisting achievement gap between white and minority students.

Wilson said eliminating the disparities — something that has proven extraordinarily difficult — will be his top priority as chancellor, adding that he believes schools need to invest resources in adding time for students who are struggling academically.

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