Randolph E. Ward, Ed. D.
State Administrator

Core Principles (pdf) | Statement


Dr. Randolph E. Ward, the newly appointed administrator of Oakland Unified School District, has a career as an educator that spans more than two decades. Fluent in Spanish and English, he has been a teacher in schools in North and South America, including two one-year stints in Colombia, and Venezuela, S.A.

Before his appointment in November of 1996, as the fifth and final state-appointed administrator for the Compton Unified School District, Dr. Ward served as an elementary school principal and then an area superintendent for the Long Beach Unified School District in California.

Dr. Ward is credited with restoring fiscal and academic responsibility to the Compton Unified School District, a school district that was $20 million in debt and had the lowest test scores in California. Under his leadership the districtís infrastructure was rebuilt from the ground up in order to build the capacity for student achievement district-wide, and ultimately increase test scores five consecutive years. Focusing on student achievement, accountability and safety, he instituted corrective reading, accelerated learning classrooms for retained students, extended school year, all day primary learning program as well as many other academic improvement programs. He trimmed administrative overhead, forged new alliances with the community and district unions, authorized tens of millions of dollars in emergency school repairs, completed a multimillion-dollar facilities modernization and technology infrastructure project, as well as developed and implemented a Master Facilities Plan. In June, 2001, CUSD made history by becoming the first full state takeover in the country to repay its bankruptcy loan.

To fight grade inflation, Dr. Ward introduced a standardized grading program that relied on course content, writing rubrics, and standards-based assessments. Under his tutelage, staff and student attendance improved, community involvement skyrocketed, high school graduation rates rose, dropout rates fell, college enrollment soared, advanced placement courses vastly expanded, and California Achievement Test and Stanford 9 Test scores improved continuously. School crime rates also plunged dramatically because of initiatives such as school community policing, school site parent safety committees, the We-Tip hotline, mandatory school uniforms in K-8, zero-tolerance for weapons, and use of enhanced alarm technology throughout the schools in the district. Dr. Wardís nationally recognized environmentally-based school facilities grading program met with so much success that its criteria was expanded to include elements related to academic/instructional site-based programs.

His inclusive approach and collaborative leadership style has taken administrators and staff, schools and parents, and the Black and Latino communities to new levels of cooperation and achievement.

Dr. Ward has a B.S. from Tufts University in Early Childhood Education and Mental Health, an Ed.M. in School Leadership from Harvard and another in Educational Administration from the University of Massachusetts. He also has an Ed.D. in Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

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Randolph E. Ward


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