When the board of the Pittsburgh Public Schools hired Anthony Hamlet as its next superintendent, supporters hoped the move would unite the district behind a vision of Pittsburgh’s future. Instead, they worry, it has led to a divisive debate about Mr. Hamlet’s past.
Less than a week after the Pittsburgh School Board choice for new superintendent outlined his priorities for the coming year, parents, students and activists from One Pittsburgh’s Education Rights Network rallied to remind him and the board of their priority—ending the current suspension system that they say is detrimental to learning and biased against African American children.
“I know a girl who’s a 4.0 student at U-Prep who was suspended four days for being late to class,” he said. “And as a parent, I’m concerned when I see that 22 percent of the district elementary students have been suspended, and that number is 44 percent at U-Prep.”