Dr. Vincent Matthews has announced he is stepping down from his post as state-appointed trustee of the Inglewood Unified School District to become superintendent of San Francisco's public schools.
Matthews is the fourth person to lead the district since 2012, when the state stepped in to bail out Inglewood schools with a $55 million loan to avoid bankruptcy. He joined the district in September 2015.
“This was an extremely difficult decision, but I needed to take this opportunity to be closer to my family while returning to the district where I began both my student and teaching career,” Matthews said in a written statement released by the California Department of Education.
Matthews has deep roots in the Bay Area, and worked as a state-appointed superintendent for Oakland Unified and as an area superintendent for San Diego City Schools. He has also worked as superintendent of the San Jose Unified School District for 5 1/2 years.
By all accounts, Matthews is well liked among peers, who feel he has done good job for the district.
Inglewood Unified School Board member D’Artagnan Scorza noted, “We now have a trauma initiative that’s addressing adverse childhood experiences throughout the district … We’ve launched My Brother’s Keeper throughout the district; we’ve launched a new school and district newsletter."
“Dr. Matthews brought stability and strong leadership to the IUSD. San Francisco's gain is our loss. The Council wishes him great success,” Mayor James Butts said.
In his weekly newsletter, Councilman Alex Padilla wished Matthews well:
“Thank you Dr. Matthews for all you have done to steer Inglewood Unified School District in the right direction. Because of your leadership, IUSD is in a better position today than when you first started. I am sad to see you leave, but I also look forward to our new State Administrator and continuing this progress we have made.”
Matthews’ resignation comes as the district is deciding how to spend construction bond funds to renovate dilapidated schools, and how to stop growing numbers of families from leaving Inglewood schools. Competition from charter schools has resulted in a 13 percent drop in enrollment in the last 5 years.
To combat the problem, a successful Spanish language dual immersion program was created that has attracted some families who would have opted for charter schools or schools outside Inglewood.
California’s State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson said he’d appoint an interim trustee during the selection process to pick Matthews’ replacement. The San Francisco Board of Education was expected to vote on Matthews’ contract at Tuesday’s board meeting.