In early November, Dr. Stanley Rose announced that he will be retiring as Superintendent of the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) in June 2019. Rose joined the district as Superintendent in 2013.
“I will go home and rest,” Rose said of his retirement plans. “I’ve been trying to reclaim my body. I want to get back to my second youth. I have a wife who runs a non-profit in East San Jose — Amigos de Guadalupe — to help people get out of poverty. She has got plans for me. I will also plan to support education in some way by working with administrators who are up and coming. I will be writing about education.”
During his 2013 interview with The Santa Clara Weekly, Rose explained that SCUSD’s Board of Education wanted him to work on closing the achievement and opportunity gap. According to Rose, the district has made progress but he admits the gap isn’t closed yet.
“The test scores, in general, have risen, as have graduation rates,” Rose said. “There is still a gap between Latino and African American kids and white and Asian kids. We joined a program called Equal Opportunity Schools. It’s a national program where students are sought out to enter classes that are Advanced Placement (AP). Let’s say half the population of white students in a class are enrolled in at least one AP class. The idea is to get the same percentage of the Latino students enrolled in the AP class too so they are represented equally in the AP class.
“So the population of students in AP classes have gone up,” Rose continued. “The percentage of students who haven’t done this before have gone up. The AP test scores and test scores, in general, have gone up. The pass rates of the minority students in the AP classes are about the same as the other students. I credit the teachers and administrators for their hard work.”
Under Rose’s leadership, the school district has made strides in a number of other areas. One of them is the successful development of projects related to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), including the opening of the STEAM-focused Central Park Elementary School, the start of computer science programs at Montague and Sutter elementary schools and the introduction of the STEAM Expo, which replaced the traditional science fair.
“While I was here, the district has started STEM labs at Cabrillo Middle School and Santa Clara High School,” Rose said. “Those labs were in created in partnership with the 49ers, Chevron and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. What goes on in those labs is a science, technology, engineering and math approach to project-based learning. Those labs have equipment, such as 3D printers, so kids can build projects that they are studying. I also oversaw the opening of a maker space at Wilcox High School, which was privately funded by an anonymous donor.”
SCUSD is moving forward to select a new Superintendent, which Rose anticipates will take a few months and involve a lot of “input gathering.”
“The replacement will have to deal with continual challenges of managing relationships, managing challenges with the changing economy and supporting the diversity that exists within the district,” Rose said.
According to Corinne Sanfilippo, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, being a Superintendent is a 24/7 job.
“Stan cares about the students deeply and works a lot behind the scenes,” Sanfilippo said. “His door is always open. He wants this office to be a safe haven for people. When he came into this district, there needed to be a lot of healing. Stan brought healing and trust back to the district.”