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David Weiner, city’s former teacher evaluation czar, decamps for nonprofit

David Weiner is leaving the Department of Education, but he’s not going far.

Weiner, who joined the department in 2011 to oversee the lead-up to a new teacher evaluation system, will become the next president of PENCIL, a nonprofit that creates partnerships between public schools and local businesses, the organization announced Thursday.

His departure doesn’t come as a surprise. Weiner, who served as deputy chancellor of talent, labor and innovation under former Chancellor Dennis Walcott, is the latest in a string of high-level resignations under Fariña, who took over in January promising a philosophical break with the previous administration. Weiner said he stayed on at the department to help handover work, but had always intended to leave once the department’s organizational last reshuffling was complete.

In his three years at the department, Weiner oversaw a number of important initiatives. He was in charge of a high-profile teacher evaluation pilot program, and later took over the city’s Innovation Zone, a wide-ranging initiative that sought to improve student learning through technology. In addition, Weiner was involved in failed efforts to negotiate a new contract and a new evaluation system with the United Federation of Teachers.

Weiner was among the first deputies that Walcott named after then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg replaced Cathie Black, whose short tenure saw a massive leadership turnover.

Before joining the department, Weiner served as Philadelphia’s chief accountability officer. Before that, he was a principal in Brooklyn for three years at P.S. 503 The School of Discovery in Sunset Park, a well-regarded school that he founded in 2006 and that Fariña recently selected to pilot her new Learning Partners Program.

“I am thrilled to see such a capable leader taking the helm of an organization that is finding new and innovative ways to support our teachers, principals, families and students,” Fariña said in a statement.

At PENCIL, Weiner takes over for Michael Haberman, who served as president for seven years before stepping down in January. Under Haberman, PENCIL connected businesses with more than 300 city schools, a public-private arrangement that Walcott embraced in part because it helped make up for budget cuts.

Updated to clarify Weiner’s role during the administrative transition