Watch CBS News

Hearing Filled To Capacity As Pittsburgh School Board Hears Opinions On New Superintendent

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It was a long night at Pittsburgh Public School headquarters in Oakland as some 85 registered speakers took the podium to voice their opinions on the issue of incoming superintendent, Dr. Anthony Hamlet.

The Pittsburgh Public Schools' board unanimously approved a five-year contract for Dr. Hamlet last month, but since then there's been some concerns over discrepancies in his résumé.

The room where the public meeting was held was filled to capacity. In fact, some people weren't allowed inside because Monday's meeting, which began at 6 p.m., was so packed.

The power even went out for a short time, but the meeting still went on.

"I pray that you use your intelligence that this man has something new, he has something different," said one speaker.

"I believe by doing this, he will decrease a pipeline to prison for our children," said another speaker who supports Dr. Hamlet.

But other people are leery. They say the résumé discrepancies should not be ignored.

Dr. Hamlet has said his résumé is accurate. He claims to have improved overall performance at two schools he worked for in Florida; however, the Florida Department of Education says those records are inaccurate.

In addition, Dr. Hamlet also claims he increased graduation rates. But state records show they only made a modest jump.

"I believe we should part ways with Dr. Hamlet and start search over again with a search firm that has conducted such searches before. I do not say this lightly or with any satisfaction," one speaker said.

Before the meeting began, two groups held rallies outside of headquarters.

The group, A+ Schools, rallied across the street from the building at 5:30 p.m. They say they want the board to begin a new search.

"We feel like the damage that's been done to the board's reputation, to Dr. Hamlet's reputation can't be undone, and we feel like we need a superintendent with a clear and flawless background with a huge commitment to kids and a solid record of accomplishment," said James Fogarty, of A+ Schools.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

But organizers with the group, Great Public Schools Pittsburgh, say they support Dr. Hamlet.

They say he has a proven track record and the flaws in his résumé and data are just that, mere flaws.

"I think that when you look at the whole overall scope of his work, the body of his work, I think that he's proven he can lead this district in the right direction, and we want to support that, and we want to support the board that we've elected for this city," said Jeffery Nash, of Great Public Schools Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh School Board President Dr. Regina Holley says the board understands that parents and students want this matter resolved quickly. She adds that they care deeply about Pittsburgh Public Schools and its future.

The next step, the board will go through an extensive review before making a decision on what to do next.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.