Portland superintendent steps down amid lead scandal


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The superintendent of public schools in Portland, Oregon, is stepping down from her role, effective immediately, after the release of a scathing report on the district’s handling of high levels of lead found in schools’ drinking water.

Carole Smith has been superintendent since 2007. Several weeks after the lead scandal at two Portland schools broke this spring, she announced plans to retire within a year.

But Smith sped up her departure to Monday after the release of the findings of an independent probe. It concluded the district’s efforts to test water, fix problems and notify the public have been inadequate for 15 years.

Tom Koehler, school board chairman, said in a statement that officials will select Smith’s interim replacement this summer while searching for a permanent leader.