Commentary, Education, News

Well, that was fast. Top Mark Johnson aide resigns, heads to Florida

Eric Hall

Eric Hall, North Carolina’s Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction has resigned. Hall will be returning to his home state of Florida to serve as the Chancellor for Innovation at the Florida Department of Education.

This is from the official DPI announcement:

State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced today that Eric Hall will be leaving his post in March, returning to his home state of Florida to become chancellor for innovation at the Florida Department of Education. Eric has been deputy state superintendent of innovation in North Carolina since that position was created last year; previously, he served as the founding superintendent of North Carolina’s Innovative School District. Eric first came to North Carolina in 2013 to serve as president and CEO of Communities in Schools of North Carolina….

In Florida, Eric will report directly to Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran and will focus on implementation of top education priorities such as workforce and computer science education, expanding school choice, K-12 standards and more. A Florida native, Eric previously worked with AMIkids from 1997 to 2013, including as the group’s national director of educational services, supervising the accountability processes and academic programming for 56 school sites across nine states.

Hall’s brief stay in North Carolina — he arrived in 2013 to lead the group Communities in Schools of North Carolina — drew a good deal of public attention in recent years as he assumed a leadership role in the administration of Superintendent Mark Johnson. In 2017, Hall took the reins of the controversial Achievement School District (now the Innovative School District) — a Republican-hatched program designed to take over struggling public schools and turn them over to private operators. To date, the program has only succeeded in taking over a single school — Southside-Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County.

After a year in the Innovative School District position, Johnson promoted Hall last year to his current job. Hall’s swift rise and sudden departure come as little surprise for the Johnson administration at DPI, which has been marked by a great deal of tumult and turnover and the departure of numerous veteran staffers. Unfortunately, the departure also subtracts one of the few leaders at DPI (up to and including the Superintendent himself) who was capable and confident enough in his work to interact with reporters and answer their questions. Today’s announcement made no mention of a replacement for Hall or when he or she might be selected.

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