Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., has appointed Christina Grant, an alumnus of the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs leadership development program, to serve as state superintendent of education. If confirmed by the D.C. Council, Grant will lead the Office of the State Superintendent of Education as chief state school officer and will be responsible for administering grants as well as overseeing standards, assessments, and accountability for D.C.’s elementary and secondary schools. Hanseul Kang, a member of Chiefs for Change, held the position for five years and stepped down last October.
Grant is currently chief of charter schools and innovation for the School District of Philadelphia, where she has expanded new school models and implemented instructional methods designed to meet students’ diverse needs. She has worked closely with Superintendent William Hite, also a member of Chiefs for Change, and oversees 105 schools—including both district and charter schools—that collectively serve 80,000 students.
“I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I’ve dedicated my career to making sure every child has educational opportunities that prepare them to succeed in life,” Grant said. “I share Mayor Bowser’s vision to give all families in the District access to excellent schools and transparent information. D.C. has made great strides in recent years and has much to be proud of. I look forward to working with educators and the community to build on that progress so that children—from when they are born through their early adult years—have the supports they need to learn, grow, and pursue their dreams.”
There are approximately 60 local education agencies in D.C. serving 90,000 students. The percentage of children, across all major subgroups, who score at college- and career-ready levels on rigorous assessments for English language arts and math has steadily increased. D.C. is also the fastest-improving jurisdiction in the country on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and D.C. Public Schools, under the leadership of Chiefs for Change board member and Chancellor Lewis Ferebee, is the fastest-improving urban school system in the nation on the NAEP.
“Christina’s experience working with an expansive portfolio of innovative schools gives her the expertise and perspective to continue the momentum the District has seen in the last several years,” said Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee. “A collaborative and empathetic leader, she is particularly skilled at recognizing the needs of vulnerable students and ensuring schools have equitable resources and supports. Christina will work with families and educators to bring students back to the classroom in the wake of the pandemic, and help them not only recover from the disruptions of the past year, but also use those challenges to become stronger and more resilient for the future.”
Grant started her career as a public school teacher in Harlem and has served in a number of leadership roles, including superintendent of the Great Oaks Foundation, a charter management organization that launches schools in communities of high need. Prior to that, she was executive director of the New York Campaign for Achievement Now; managing director of new site development for Teach For America; and deputy executive director for the New York City Department of Education.
Grant has a doctorate in education with a focus on organizational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania; two master’s degrees: one in organizational leadership from the Teachers College of Columbia University and one in teaching and adolescent reading from Fordham University; and a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University.
In 2020, Grant was a member of the fifth cohort of the Future Chiefs program. The program identifies talented, diverse emerging leaders and integrates them into a community of practice where they receive coaching and mentorship from members of Chiefs for Change and participate in a variety of other learning opportunities. For more on the Future Chiefs program, click here.
About Chiefs for Change
Chiefs for Change is a nonprofit, bipartisan network of diverse state and district education chiefs dedicated to preparing all students for today’s world and tomorrow’s through deeply committed leadership. Chiefs for Change advocates for policies and practices that are making a difference today for students, and builds a pipeline of talented, diverse Future Chiefs ready to lead major school systems.