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Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Karl Springer to retire

After five years in charge of Oklahoma City Public Schools, Superintendent Karl Springer will retire Aug. 30. He announced the decision at a school board meeting Monday night.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: July 1, 2013 at 11:48 pm •  Published: July 2, 2013

Karl Springer's goodbye was a lot like the man himself: quiet and without fanfare.

The Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent had a written statement but mostly said what he felt.

“Now's the time in my life to make a significant change,” Springer said during a school board meeting Monday night. “Oklahoma City Public Schools is in a better place than what it was five years ago. ... Now is the time for me to retire and open the next chapter in my life.”

Springer, 64, will retire Aug. 30 after five years at the helm of the state's largest school district.

The audience was quiet. Some knew what was coming.

Others sat with mouths open in shock. About four months ago, Springer had agreed to a three-year contract.

But Monday, he spoke for a few minutes and thanked district employees.

“Together we've made important and long-term change,” Springer said. “I'll always be an advocate for the Oklahoma City Public Schools and for public education.”

Much has changed since Springer took over the job in 2008.

The school year was expanded, and school days got 20 minutes longer. A virtual school opened.

Springer described academic gains as “incremental.” Some schools improved a little. Some stayed the same. Most are still behind.

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