Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Taubman Center

Susan Lusi - Reflections of an Urban Superintendent: Working at the Nexus of Practice, Policy and Politics

Thursday, February 25, 2016

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Watson Institute, McKinney Conference Room

A superintendent of schools is charged with improving teaching and learning while working within, and sometimes around, a complex system. She must work to change the system, while at the same time improving student outcomes within the system as it currently exists. In this talk, Susan Lusi will reflect on her ten years as a superintendent, including a recent four-year tenure as the superintendent of Providence public schools.

Susan Follett Lusi has worked in both urban and suburban settings, and in practice, policy and research during her nearly thirty-year career. She most recently served as superintendent of schools in Providence where she has been credited with increasing the graduation rate by nine percent and reading proficiency in Grades 4 and 11 by 18 percent and nine percent, respectively, with even larger gains for English Language Learners. Lusi also worked with the Providence School Board and Providence Teachers’ Union to develop board policy and teacher contract language supporting increased school autonomy. Prior to serving as superintendent in Providence, Lusi served as Superintendent of Schools in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Chief of Staff for Providence Schools, and Assistant Commissioner for the Rhode Island Department of Education.  Lusi holds and BA in economics and MA in teaching social studies from Brown University, and a Master's and PhD in public policy from Harvard University.