Smith had held a top position at the San Francisco Unified School District before taking the new job.
I talked to a few people in San Francisco who said it was a big loss for the district. Smith told ABC7 news Oakland is fractured because of its big social and economic divisions.
He added Oakland needs community-wide healing and the redesign of the school district. Smith is a firm believer that academic and social performance will be critical for the future of Oakland.
His child will attend Crocker Highlands Elementary in Oakland. Smith received a unanimous vote from the Oakland School Board.