Anchorage’s new school superintendent: Jharrett Bryantt

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Jharrett Bryantt, an executive in the Office of Talent for the Houston Independent School District in Houston, Texas, has been named the new superintendent for the Anchorage School District.

“He articulates specific and innovative plans to improve proficiency in reading and math,” wrote School Board President Margo Bellamy in a letter to parents. “He is laser focused on students and their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs along with a sincere desire to ensure adequate resources are directed to the classroom to support educators and support staff.”

The Houston Independent School District spends $9,691 per student each year. It has an annual revenue of $2,678,729,000, according to U.S. News.

He comes into a district that spends more than $19,000, according to the ASD’s audited report. Anchorage’s school revenues are $741,692,000, including $88,207,000 of federal money and $225,524,000 in local revenues. The Anchorage School District has 42.2% of students scoring proficient or above in English, while in math, 39.4% of students scored at least proficient this year. The district has set a goal of having 50 percent of students proficient.

The Houston school district serves about 194,000 students on 276 campuses; Anchorage schools have about 43,000 students on less than 100 campuses.

Bryantt will arrive before his start date of July 1 to work on transition with exiting Superintendent Deena Bishop. For his three-year contract, he will make $250,000 a year, the same that Bishop was paid for her contract.

“Serving the Anchorage community as superintendent would be the privilege and honor of a lifetime; I want to put down roots here, and unite our complex, multicultural community around our schools. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and partner with the community to create a shared vision of educational excellence. I have a track record of leading academic gains and attracting top talent into one of America’s largest and most diverse school districts; I am prepared to lead the Anchorage School District into a bright, exciting new chapter,”  Bryantt said in his letter of introduction to the district.

Bryantt began his education career as a high school mathematics teacher. In 2019, he was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 education leaders to watch, and then to Forbes’ 2021 national list of 50 champions for advancing communities of color. 

Bryantt is an alumnus of the Cooperative Superintendency Program at the University of Texas at Austin, and also completed numerous national future superintendent fellowships. He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in education leadership and policy from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor of Science from Yale University.

Bryantt was among three finalists, including Frank Hauser, who is a former Service High School principal and who serves as the superintendent for the Sitka School District; and Mathew Neal, superintendent of Woodland Park School District, a district with 2,600 students in Woodland Park in Colorado.

In 2021, Bryantt was among the three finalists for superintendent of the Salt Lake City School District.

The national mean tenure for a superintendent is five to six years and the annual turnover rate for superintendents is between 14 and 16 percent, according to the national School Superintendents Association. Bishop has been superintendent for six years for Anchorage.

89 COMMENTS

  1. Social, emotional and mental health. Huh. Since when do teachers, typically unable to complete college in any other subject, have the sort of rigorous training a psychiatrist might have? No thanks, I’ll manage my kid’s mental health.

      • No, but I know where to find one if I need one. Teachers don’t fit that bill. How ’bout we teach them reading, writing, math, science, history, maybe a language or two, rather than worry that little Timmy has hurt feelings because he thinks he’s Tammy.

      • Are teachers psychiatrists? A another genuflection to the “elitist specialist cult”. Now for some reason we supposedly need biologists to tell us who is male or female, a psychiatrist to tell us our 16 y/o is moody……
        Sorry “me” but common sense still prevails and parents are very capable of handling their children’s upbringing without some teacher telling them how to live their lives. What these “well-meaning” teachers do not get is their “drive-by” interference for the duration of the school year can leaves lasting strife in families, long after the student has moved up to the next grade or graduated.
        ASD’s job is to teach kids to read, write and do math, maybe they need to focus on that.

    • To say nothing of social & emotional health…

      How much is ASD paying in relocation allowance? Housing allowance? Did the ASDSB ask for a track record of leading improvement in graduation rates? Or reading and math comprehension? How about working with a transient population of students, staff and educators? Any questions about his stance on CRT, youth violence or distressed facilities?

      I remember when Carol Comueo retired. ASD brought in an outsider from Florida. He left before his second year was complete. Let’s hope the SB picked the right candidate and we’re not just helping someone pad their resume.

      • I’ll say no to all. The liberal school board was only interested in finding a flaming liberal – PERIOD!!!

      • His contract will be presented to the board including his salary , relocation allowance and his annual 457 account contributions and when, if it was anything like Browder’s contract. I think you are right with the ASD picking someone to pad their resume, this person was a finalist for Little Rock AR, Salt Lake UT, and I think 3 other school districts before he picked here. These are all hired gun positions to bring in outsiders to shake things up and try to break the status quo in a sense which on one hand I understand but on the other makes it hard for anyone to trust them. When they did have a qualified home grown in Ed Graff they shoved him out the door quickly because he wouldn’t kiss the ring so to speak and people had issues with a superintendent being married to a principal although they came up through the ranks together but thats just the politics of ASD

  2. From 125K per year in Houston to 250K per year in Alaska. I’d say he is more than thrilled to deal with 1/4 of the students and double the salary. We are mighty generous here. And our scores will go up if we just spend a bit more money, I hear. Thank you four the stats and announcement, Suzanne.

    • Specifically, why were you nervous at first to hear he’s from Texas, Me?

      I already know but would love to see you admit it.

      Honestly, of course.

    • Why are you nervous about Texans? Have no fear the Houston reading and math scores are as bad as the ASD scores. Why domyou think he is “incredibly qualified”? His last “report card” is an F.

    • I don’t understand why he’s “incredibly qualified.” I haven’t seen his resume or cv, but the article above doesn’t indicate he’s held any real leadership positions that tested his ability to navigate and problem solve. Has he served as a Principal or Superintendent at other schools? What challenges did he have to address there and what are the legacies of his leadership choices. Basically, it appears he’s spent much of his career to date achieving his academic degrees. That’s an accomplishment, but it in no way suggests he’s ready to manage and lead our school district in Anchorage.

  3. Only a millennial would spell their name that way. Look out Anchorage next will be Drag Queen hour for Kindergarten where big fat hairy men dance in lingerie in front of young children.

    • Right, because most people name themselves. Thanks for the small minded comment. You really add a lot to the discussion.

      • You’re right. His parents can’t spell and are probably intellectually compromised themselves which means this weasel has no chance. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • I do not support the new ASD superiendent. However, did you ask the same question about relocation expenses regarding Kelly Tshibaka and the kushy, high-paying job they found for her husband?

  4. Please do not advocate for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and CRT! All Marxist based ideology designed to overpower individualism and personal responsibility. Poison to education.

  5. “The district has set a goal of having 50 percent of students proficient.”
    What a dismal goal to have to strive for. Add to that, it would be a massive improvement. ASD is such a failure.

  6. Oh yes, everyone comes here with high expectations until the good old boys club gets rid of them.Seen this for the past 45 years. Let us see how much the Math, Science and Reading improve. My bet is he is in line with the diversity, equity and critical race theory. Grateful my children received an excellent education here before they decided to confuse the kids beyond the pale with gender neutral bathrooms and gender identity.

  7. Excellent choice! His credentials alone should have the community excited for the positive impact he will surely have. Best of luck to you Mr. Bryantt!

  8. Look at his Resume less than 3 years of actual classroom instruction then off to administrative roles & mix in masters classes & doctorate level courses he has very little if any actual hands on teaching experience. He’s a programs and systems person. I give him 2 years tops, he’s Jim Browder 2.0 another southerner who won’t understand Alaska and wont like the snow once he’s been here a winter. He’s likely never had to deal with the massive multi cultural / language issues and union issues that face ASD as Im betting Houston deals largely with Latino , White and Black with a smaller degree/number of Asian population and likely little to no Union contracts or power unlike the ASD situations. Look at his dates of employment.

    Graduated from Yale 2011
    Taught in classrooms 2011-2013
    Management Positions 2013-2016
    Assistant Superintendent Office of Strategy & Vision 2016-2021
    Executive Officer Office of Talent 2021-2022

    • Add to that that Houston’s math and reading proficiency scores are roughly the same as ASD scores…. Not exactly a proven performer.

    • Gosh you’re right! He has very little classroom experience! It is very similar to Amy Coney Barrett. She had experience as a judge when Trump nominated her an appelate court: not a lesser court, which she really didn’t have much qualifications for either. So thanks so much for bringing up the issuse of qualifications.

      • Actually, more similar to Barry Soetoro than Amy Coney Barrett, but do as you will, should you wish to go down that road…

    • I fear you may be right. The current school board, excepting Dave D., would go out of their way to make that happen. Part of me does not care. It is all the other “woke” nonsense that creates the problem.

  9. 32 years old and commented on the fact that 2 Republicans made it onto the Houston School Board but no worries, they won’t have the power to get anything done. Sound familiar??

    • Yesterday morning at a church function, I met a lovely young woman with a beautiful two-month old baby girl in attendance. I pray for their future.

    • I know right! Equity , inclusion and diversity are ruining this country. I do not think that it means what they think it means! They are using these words to bully, confuse, and demand compliance with things they have no right to be teaching in public schools! These leftist teachers and school board members and superintendents need to be drug out of their offices and classrooms and fed to hungry bears! NOW!

  10. I hope for the best. He is so young. I just moved to the valley after living in Anchorage for 31 years. I remember Anchorage in the early 90’s…it was a great place to raise a family. Not so much any more. I fear Anchorage is becoming what the west coast is becoming. Not saying everything is bad, but common sense should prevail….what I believe most of us believe.

    • Its not about being bitter its about a candidate having very little time actually teaching in any school and moving right into specialized programs and management. How can he be qualified to manage an entire school district when he has hardly taught in a classroom ? He wasn’t even in a classroom long enough to be a senior teacher at his own school before he jumped into leadership roles.These programs he worked in came with big budgets attached to them because 6.25% sales tax, and other revenue streams that ASD does not have. He’s been passed over by other districts recently because honestly no one wanted to be the guinea pig for a 32 year old 1st time superintendent but ASD was stupid enough to be trendy. Well grab the popcorn and watch

    • Well, let’s see. He’d better be a prodigy miracle worker with this District and his most unimpressive resume. See whatcha think in another couple of years. (Or has he been hired to filch more millions from the Anchorage taxpayers?)

    • Hans, education is similar to emergency medicine. Most of the time you only get one shot at making the right choice. With our kids you can’t freeze time and just say “Oh well, we’ll teach him to add, subtract and read or critically think some other time.” It may be the same every year for the teachers, but the education or the lack thereof can permanently affect the kids trajectory. That’s why it is important to have the right person setting the goals and actually achieving them. The way it currently appears to stand, if the kids can’t pass the test these days, we make the test easier. Not challenging children to achieve, is in my opinion the greatest crime of our education industry. The focus on nebulous, hard to define parameters like social emotional learning, hides the fact that young adults graduating can’t do the basics and have no clue how our society is supposed to work.

      • Anyone remember the effort to construct a high school exit exam in the late 1990s-early 2000s? I do. I was on the committee. As I recall, the exit exam was ditched because the questions were too difficult. These questions could be answered successfully with a decent elementary/junior high education. I say this as a West High graduate, class of 1963. We had some wonderful teachers back then – math, science, history, arts, music, you name it. There was no mention of gender identity and the perversion that is influencing the ASD today. We were there to learn. What about the teachers in 2022 – are they there to teach or usher in generations of mindless perverts?

    • I would characterize most of the comments here as realistic rather than bitter, Hans, as expectations regarding the outcome of this individuals’ possible future results, academically speaking, are pragmatic, not necessarily within the individual themselves, but by who hired them…

  11. Specifically, why were you nervous at first to hear he’s from Texas, Me?

    I already know but would love to see you admit it.

    Honestly, of course.

  12. This guy will simply continue the pattern of “educational vandalism” employed by ASD for decades.

  13. The Houston Texas Independent School district test scores are roughly the same as ASD. That district is rated in the bottom half of TX school districts. Not exactly reaching for proven excellence here.

  14. “ The Anchorage School District has 42.2% of students scoring proficient or above in English, while in math, 39.4% of students scored at least proficient this year. ”

    Sounds like third world results to me.

  15. Is this Karate Kid? Wow, pull your kids out NOW. Sorry mom, you’re going to have to quit your career and start doing your job (raising your kids). The coward Deena Bishop was too afraid to stand up to the woke crowd and now your kids are going to get Willy Wokester..

  16. Looks like he lost the Oregon City gig and 2nd placed to Anchorage.
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oSpBk5Ih3I

  17. Too bad Frank Hauser wasn’t picked. He was a DYNAMO at Polaris K-12, much loved by the staff, and much of the reason for the outstanding academics they achieved in the early years.

  18. We pulled out kids out of ASD when they entered high school and sent them to private schools in the lower 48. Wish we’d done it sooner. Yes, it cost us a small fortune. But it was worth it. Public schools don’t teach civics, history, basic skills, tradition, values or critical thinking anymore. They teach radical leftist extremism, sexual confusion and revisionist history that is wrapped up in feel-good, multicolored tissue. Homeschool your kids. Join with like-minded parents, share and pool resources so they can study in groups. Bypass the public school system entirely. Then fight to replace the idiots who’ve taken over our country.

  19. What exactly does an “executive in the office of talent” do? Seems this gentleman spent considerable time taking classes and furthering his resume with courses. It also appears that he has held his most current job only since 2021. I am not seeing a lot of actual practical experience here, so I checked out what the board posted on the ASD website. Mr. Bryant’s comments include this: ” The District will boast high levels of academic achievement and social-emotional well-being for all students, including its special populations and diverse communities” The accompanying video of the board announcement shows him talking about being excited about the “ambitious plans” of the school board. The tone he used is most off-putting to me, like talking to a kindergarten class. I urge everyone to watch the video on the ASD website and judge for yourself.

  20. It’s embarrassing that the two senior contributors to MRAK, Bob Bird and Art Chance, both chose to make comments about his appearance.

    • It is embarrassing that 50% of student proficiency is a ‘goal’ of any sort, as that percentage is still an ‘F’, and chooses an overseer to advance said proficiency because of expected social issues, rather than academic issues…

      Want to know why the School Bonds failed?

      Simply look at this instance.

      Personally, show me the improvement in proficiency, and I shall support said bonds, but that has not occurred in years, thus my ‘no’ vote every single time.

      Bryantt will do nothing to improve the district academically, but will only advance a negative socially constructed agenda, within further degradation of what schools should be about, which is education rather than indoctrination….

        • By learning from the past and observing the present performance of our educational system.

          It is not that difficult to expect or predict certain outcomes.

    • It must be embarrassing that the $111 Million school bond failed. Cry me a river and hire some expensive contractors to figure out why it failed so the powers that be can go after the taxpayers next year! Good grief! Produce some kids who can read and write and comprehend basic math for crying out loud!

      • I remember Carol Comeau, when a large school bond failed. She was on the radio bemoaning in so many words that the residents of Anchorage were too stupid to understand, why the district needed that money. I bet again we will hear about their poor messaging that did not convey their “urgent need” appropriately. Certainly there will be no soul searching and re-figuring of the budget this time either.

        • I remember that too. I didn’t think it could get any worse. But it did. I’m grateful this latest one didn’t pass (or so it seems). “They” are coming for the taxpayers next year when they figure out how to manipulate the voters more effectively than they did this round. And I’m sure they picked the right candidate for ASD superintendent to do just that!

  21. First thought is “well.. they can’t do any worse..”.

    Then you remember, this is the ANCHORAGE school district.

    Of course they can.

  22. I am going to ask this question again: Why do we need to find a school superintendent from another state? We don’t have confidence in local “talent”?

  23. I can tell you why he was hired, the key words are the last 2 in this quote:

    “Bryantt began his education career as a high school mathematics teacher. In 2019, he was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 education leaders to watch, and then to Forbes’ 2021 national list of 50 champions for advancing communities of color.”

    That’s all they care about, he fits right in with the woke progressive left, this guy is way too young to be a superintendent of anything, never mind the ASD.

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