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D.C. State Superintendent of Education Kerri Briggs told staff last night that she and her chief of staff, Catherine Freeman, are stepping down as of today. Expect an announcement from the mayor’s office soon.

Below is a copy of the email:

From: OSSE Communications (OSSE)
Sent: Thu Sep 16 19:14:33 2010
Subject: Message from Superintendent Briggs

Dear Colleagues –

This past year and a half has been tremendous professional growth for me and our agency.  We’ve achieved a number of successes – winning Race to the Top, becoming a governing state in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) to develop a new, state-of-the-art assessment system, making great strides towards eliminating DC’s federal high risk status, developing a host of special education policies, increasing access to Pre-kindergarten and improving the quality of those programs, and creating processes to improve and consolidate data access and collections. Creating a single space where we are all together and can easily and quickly work together was important and a big hurdle that we are just about passed.

I am very proud of these accomplishments and the hard work from all of you. We can all take credit for this work. One individual in particular, however, deserves a huge debt of gratitude – Catherine Freeman. As our chief of staff, she’s led us through council hearings, budget preparations, moves, policy developments, and much more. She has helped lead the day-to-day operations in all of these areas and more. Without her, we wouldn’t have been able to operate, let alone accomplish any of these important goals. I owe her a debt I’ll never be able to repay.

We have made tremendous progress for the kids in the District. Working with Chancellor Rhee and her team and the charter school leaders in this city has been an honor and a privilege. It is on this high note that I leave DC. For the last nine years, I’ve worked at the federal, state and local level. I have loved every minute and continue to be amazed by your commitment to creating better opportunities for children.

Catherine has been my right hand over the past 18 months and it is only appropriate that we leave together. Friday will be our last day.

Mayor Fenty will be naming an interim state superintendent to lead OSSE until the next Mayor appoints my successor.

Thank you,