Source: San Jose Unified School District
Vincent Matthews, San Jose Unified superintendent

San Jose Unified Superintendent Vincent Matthews will become the next state administrator of the financially troubled Inglewood Unified School District. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the appointment on Thursday.

Matthews, 53, who also was the last state administrator to oversee Oakland Unified before the state returned control of the district to Oakland’s school board, will begin his new post on Oct. 19. San Jose Unified, where Matthews has been superintendent for five years, has not yet selected an interim superintendent.

Matthews will be the fourth state administrator for Inglewood Unified in the three years since the Legislature loaned the district $55 million to avoid bankruptcy. He will follow Don Brand, who abruptly resigned in June after approving the district’s first balanced budget since the state took it over in 2012. Though Inglewood, with a high proportion of low-income students and English learners, benefited from an infusion of state money the past two years under the Local Control Funding Formula, its fiscal outlook remains troubled. It has lost a quarter of its students, primarily to charter schools, during the past decade. Inglewood, located near downtown Los Angeles, has 11,000 students in 16 schools.

“There are very few leaders who have led districts under state receivership and Dr. Matthews is one of them,” Torlakson said in a press release. “His experience and passion are the right fit at the right time for the Inglewood school community.”

In San Jose, Matthews initiated Opportunity 21, a strategic plan that introduced a competition within the district for innovative school redesigns. He also negotiated a labor contract that established a landmark teacher evaluation system that gave teachers a role in evaluating their peers.

“He established an openness with the leadership of the district and fostered the idea that everyone should have a voice,” said Jennifer Thomas, president of the San Jose Teachers Association. “His leaving will be a loss.”

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  1. Mello Rachel Desir 2 years ago2 years ago

    Matthews is currently the state administrator of Inglewood Unified School District. The citizens have an emergency press conference this Friday at Warren Lane Elementary at 3:30 p.m. What was the outcome of Oakland School District’s budget as well as San Jose after Matthews left?

  2. CarolineSF 3 years ago3 years ago

    You're missing a couple of interesting pieces of background here, John. 1. Vincent Matthews was principal of San Francisco's Edison Charter Academy when it was an international news story back in 2001. Edison Charter was internationally hailed as a miracle until it wasn't. Long story, but certainly a piece of his history. 2. Inglewood Unified also used to be hailed as a miracle district by education "reform" voices until it wasn't. I haven't seen this publicly explored … Read More

    You’re missing a couple of interesting pieces of background here, John.

    1. Vincent Matthews was principal of San Francisco’s Edison Charter Academy when it was an international news story back in 2001. Edison Charter was internationally hailed as a miracle until it wasn’t. Long story, but certainly a piece of his history.

    2. Inglewood Unified also used to be hailed as a miracle district by education “reform” voices until it wasn’t. I haven’t seen this publicly explored at all.

    Replies

    • Don 3 years ago3 years ago

      Why exactly would John be required to mention Mathews’ entire work history in order to fairly report on this issue?

      • CarolineSF 3 years ago3 years ago

        I didn’t say he was required to; I just think both those pieces of background in combination make the information much more interesting. Matthews had 15-plus minutes of fame running a school that was internationally hailed as a miracle (yes, really, internationally) that fizzled, and now he’s going to run a school district that was formerly widely hailed as a miracle — one that also fizzled.