DCPS chancellor resigns amid controversy around school placement for his child

The Chancellor of DC Public Schools, Antwan Wilson, will resign after Mayor Bowser said last week that school placement protocol was not followed for Wilson's children. (Suzanne Kennedy/ABC7)

Days after announcing that he made a "mistake," Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that chancellor Antwan Wilson is resigning and being temporarily replaced.

“I have accepted the resignation of Antwan Wilson as the chancellor of DCPS,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Tuesday from the Wilson Building.

Chief of Elementary Schools Dr. Amanda Alexander will serve as the interim chancellor.

Wilson started facing backlash on Friday after admitting that he transferred his daughter from one high school to another without going through the lottery process needed to do so.

“A leader has to have the trust of the people he manages and the people he leads,” Bowser said.

Last week, DC Deputy Mayor of Education Jennifer Niles resigned and Wilson issued a public apology because of the incident.

Wilson, who was confirmed as Chancellor of DC Public Schools in December 2016, issued a statement when Niles resigned last week.

"In addition to being Chancellor of DC Public Schools, I’m a husband and parent. In September, my family faced a difficult decision related to my high school child needing to transfer schools. I sought help on how do this; however, the process I followed did not align with DCPS policy. As the Chancellor of the school district, what happens in the district is my responsibility. I understand this decision was wrong, I take full responsibility for this mistake, and I apologize to the DC and DCPS communities.”

Councilmembers David Grosso, Mary Cheh, Robert White, Vincent Gray, and Charles Allen each called for Wilson to be replaced.

Councilmember Trayon White of D.C.'s Ward 8 also took to social media Tuesday to announce he would not stand by Wilson.

Parents like Danica Petroshius have questions for Bowser.

“We don’t really understand why it took so long to be clear that when you break the rules, there’s consequences,” Petroshius said.

When asked what she would like to see in the next chancellor, Bowser responded by focusing on the present.

“Let me say this, we’re focused right now on finishing this year and finishing it strong,” Bowser said.

Wilson’s resignation comes at a time when DCPS is still trying to grapple with the outcome of an audit, which showed that hundreds of students graduated last year – despite violating district policies.

“We have to be careful about the messages we send,” Petroshius said.

Alexander plans on doing a series of engagement sessions, in an effort to regain the public’s trust.

(Click here to learn more about interim chancellor Dr. Amanda Alexander.)

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