April 1, 2022
In response to the School Board's announcement of their selection of Dr. Tony Watlington as the District's next superintendent, PFT president Jerry T. Jordan issued the following statement:
PHILADELPHIA—"In choosing Dr. Tony Watlington as Philadelphia's next superintendent, the Board made the right decision.
"Dr. Watlington showed a seemingly very sincere commitment to working in a truly collaborative and transparent fashion. He is hailed, in every forum I have seen, as an excellent educator. Further, he appears earnest in his commitment to working as partners with the PFT and other District unions.
"I cannot predict how any superintendent's tenure will unfold. I can, however, comment on what I know and what I have seen.
"In our November survey of nearly 2,000 members, it showed that our members prioritized characteristics including the following commitments: transparency, inclusivity, equity, communication, collaboration. Further, members felt it critical that the next superintendent have experience in public schools as an educator; is able to connect with families, students, and staff; and is able to address facilities concerns.
"After meeting with the three candidates, it is abundantly clear that Tony Watlington is the best choice.
"But let's also be clear: no matter who the Superintendent is, our fight for a more equitable, more just system of public education remains our top priority. Our collective work is far bigger than one superintendent. While we were concerned that not one woman, nor anyone with Philadelphia ties were in the publicly released group of finalists, we remain committed to a successful transition to Dr. Watlington's tenure.
"I want to thank the members of the search committee, led by Board Vice President Leticia Egea-Hinton for their commitment to this process. Today, tomorrow, and next year, our work continues. We are optimistic that Dr. Watlington will be a partner in that work."