For immediate release: March 14, 2022
APPS members attended many of the recent meetings held by the Board of Education for the purpose of finding a new superintendent. We heard parents, educators, students and community members express their desire for a superintendent to take the school district in a different direction. No matter their individual concern—healthy buildings, curriculum, high school admissions process, return of school librarians, more support staff—the people overall want a superintendent who will not continue with the failed policies of the past ten years.
We heard no one ask for a superintendent who would continue the failed reform policies that have brought excessive standardized testing and dehumanizing data-driven curricula, with students’ instruction interrupted by over-testing. We did not hear anyone ask for more privatization of neighborhood schools. We did not hear anyone ask for a superintendent who would not acknowledge the authority of the Board of Education as the governing body of the district.
The experience and affiliations of the Board’s nominees signal a continuation of the failed policies of this administration. The Board should resume its search until it finds a candidate who reflects the community’s wishes and concerns.
The Board did not include a woman in its final choices in a field with a majority of women in both teaching and administration. None of the nominees has taught more than ten years and have no recent classroom experience. None of the nominees comes from Philadelphia or the surrounding area and have no personal knowledge of the district or the city. The nominee from North Carolina has been an administrator in a right-to-work state, with no apparent experience of negotiating with unions.
Of particular concern is the nominee who served as an emergency financial manager. At a time when school boards are under attack, this Board must not appoint a man who came to prominence as an agent for undermining the authority of the electorate by usurping the duties of the duly elected school board in Youngstown.
The people of Philadelphia fought to end the reign of the SRC five years ago and to stop the privatization of the entire district 20 years ago. We will not go back. We will only go forward.
APPS calls on the Board of Education to reject these candidates and resume its search for a superintendent who will lead the district into the future and who will respect the wishes of parents, educators, students and the community.