Councilmember Silverman Calls for Resignation of DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson

DC Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) issued the following statement after DC Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson issued an apology to District parents for pursuing preferential treatment and skirting the public school lottery process:

"After discussion with parents, teachers, colleagues, and with Chancellor Antwan Wilson himself, I believe it is in the best interests of the District for the chancellor to resign, effective at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. I encourage the Mayor to begin a search for a new chancellor immediately. First, let me say that I wish the best for Chancellor Wilson, his wife, and especially his children.

I do not fault the chancellor for trying to best meet the needs of his child. That is what all parents aim with is that the chancellor put in place a rule and process to address a problem of favoritism, and then ended up breaking that same rule in the case of his own family. I recognize that it was not only the chancellor who worked on crafting this rule and then turned around to flout it, and Deputy Mayor Jennifer Niles has resigned as a result.

What this demonstrated to many parents and District residents is that the rules of the game remain unfair and do not apply equally to all. Many families face similar circumstances in that they feel a school, and particularly a neighborhood school, does not meet their child’s needs. Unlike the chancellor, however, they can’t get a special exception. Of course, we need to get to a point where our neighborhood schools do meet the educational and emotional needs of a majority of our students, and that will take leadership from a chancellor we all get behind.

I asked for input from those who supported keeping the chancellor. Many of the arguments focused on continuity in the school system. At this point in his tenure, I could not foresee voting to renew the chancellor’s contract. Given that fact, I believe we should begin the transition process to search for a new chancellor. I hope Chancellor Wilson would agree to remain through this school year as he transitions as well."