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NEWS
June 28, 2012 | Regina Medina
Brian Cohen, 27, teacher at Academy at Palumbo: I did like what he had to say, but I'm concerned that what he had to say was tailored for an audience. Obviously, in an interview you don't get the exact specifics of what that person will be on the job. I like the fact that he has the experience, it's better than Mr. Martinez from yesterday. ... If he has worked in this job for six years in Prince George's County, he seems to be in it for the long haul 'cause six years is longer than anyone, I think, since David Hornbeck in Philadelphia.
NEWS
February 19, 2014
CONSIDER Schools Superintendent William Hite's first year. From the time he arrived in September 2012, he presided over the closing of 23 schools and a foundation-shaking $304 million deficit that forced massive layoffs, threatened to keep schools closed on opening day and cut into fundamental education basics - a deficit that has still not been met completely, by the way. For good measure, he inherited a cheating scandal and charter-school scandals and...
NEWS
April 27, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
PHILADELPHIA School District Superintendent William Hite said yesterday that unless the district receives $216 million in new funding, it would be forced to lay off more than 1,000 employees. That was part of the bad news in the district's proposed $2.5 billion budget, which was as grim as expected. The district is requesting up to $320 million in new revenue from the city and state, and labor concessions. Of the $320 million, $96.1 million is needed to maintain current service levels, which Hite described as "insufficient.
NEWS
February 28, 2014
ALL THIS hoopla around Dr. Hite's latest plan for our school district needs some perspective. Talk to any educator and ask what is needed, for instance, to achieve "all 8 year olds reading on grade level. " As a retired kindergarten teacher, let me describe working conditions so you have an idea of what our children have to contend with when they enter kindergarten. There can be up to 30 children in a class. Many have had some preschool experience, but I always had a group of children who walked in off the streets with absolutely no preschool experience.
NEWS
February 14, 2013 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
SCHOOL DISTRICT Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Tuesday that he plans to release revisions to the district's controversial school-closure proposal "sometime next week" before the Feb. 21 School Reform Commission meeting. Hite said the changes are in response to his contact with the public. "We have heard about quality programs, travel time and supporting students with special needs," Hite said during a hearing with City Council's Education Committee. "We have listened and are continuing to listen.
NEWS
July 26, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
New Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. will be paid $300,000 annually under a five-year contract endorsed Wednesday by the School Reform Commission. It's a big salary, but about $50,000 less than his predecessor, the controversial Arlene C. Ackerman, was paid. "We were very mindful of the history of the School District," SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos said at a special meeting. "This agreement is a better deal economically for the taxpayers of Philadelphia than the previous two deals.
NEWS
February 14, 2013 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Tuesday that he hoped to share changes to the district's school-closing plan next week, giving the public time to assess revisions well before the School Reform Commission votes on the final proposal in March. Testifying before City Council, in a room filled with about 150 activists who mostly opposed closing the 37 schools, Hite said public comments had helped him understand the need to revise the plan before presenting it to the SRC. "Original recommendations don't always end up being final recommendations," Hite said.
NEWS
January 9, 2013 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
SCHOOLS Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. rolled out his strategic vision for the district on Monday, an ambitious proposal that includes a curious mix of big ideas such as International Baccalaureate programs and improved student nutrition while maintaining financial restraint. "Given the challenging reality of the district's finances, this document intends to signal our priorities in light of what evidence and research tell us will provide the best return on the public's investment," the superintendent says in the plan.
NEWS
October 10, 2012
Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. will join Mayor Nutter and the head of the teachers' union to help the Charles Carroll High School community move forward from the Mitt Romney T-shirt controversy, Hite said Monday night in a statement. Late last month, teacher Lynette Gaymon had taken student Samantha Pawlucy to task for wearing a Romney T-shirt to school. The story broke last week and garnered national attention. Pawlucy, 16, has not returned to the Port Richmond school since the episode became public.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 12, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Susan Snyder and Tricia L. Nadolny, STAFF WRITERS
, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. pledged Thursday to have a full-time nurse and counselor in every Philadelphia district school next fall. But the plan, presented at a principals' meeting at Martin Luther King High School, is contingent on approval of Gov. Wolf's proposed 2016-17 budget. Wolf's $33.3 billion spending plan calls for a substantial increase in funding for schools, said Fernando Gallard, district spokesman. Republican leaders have said the budget has "no chance" of passing.
NEWS
February 20, 2016 | By Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer
Does the new reality handed him this week by the state Supreme Court trouble William R. Hite Jr.? "Absolutely, I'm worried about what it means," the Philadelphia school superintendent said Thursday night of a court ruling this week striking down some of the special powers the School Reform Commission has used in times of crisis. "A lot of the tools that the governing body had have been removed. " The decision could affect how teachers are assigned, how schools are closed, and, most significant, how charter schools might grow.
NEWS
December 22, 2015 | By Matthew L. Mandel
Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. referred to a recent education bill passed by the Pennsylvania Senate as a "recipe for disaster. " That phrase also describes the School Reform Commission's decision to extend Hite's contract by five years, with two years remaining on the original. In a statement, SRC Chair Marjorie Neff said it was the right time to lock in Hite for the long term, lauding him for demonstrating "strong leadership through an extraordinarily difficult time. " I wonder if she feels the same about losing scores of superb classroom teachers who left to work somewhere they feel valued and respected, or the many more who retired because they couldn't take the conditions and mistreatment in the School District of Philadelphia anymore.
NEWS
December 19, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted Thursday night to lock in William R. Hite Jr. as superintendent for five more years. Hite, who is paid $300,000 a year, is now under contract through August 2022. The vote was 4-0, with Chair Marge Neff absent. He will receive raises only if Philadelphia School District teachers do, and at the same rate. Teachers have been without a contract since August 2013. The superintendent has generally earned plaudits - Mayor Nutter said Thursday that "stability and sound leadership is precisely what the district needs to move forward and continue to make improvements in the quality of education it provides to our city's children," and praised Hite's leadership.
NEWS
December 17, 2015
THERE ARE MANY GOOD reasons for the School Reform Commission to extend the contract of Superintendent William Hite for another five years, and we strongly recommend the SRC approve the extension at its meeting today . We can boil down all those reasons into six: *  Continuity: Frequent turnover in leadership has been the bane of every urban district. The average life expectancy for a superintendent is a little over three years - and Philadelphia mirrors that fact. The names Hornbeck, Vallas and Ackerman come to mind.
NEWS
December 15, 2015
ISSUE | MOSQUE ATTACK Sisters and brothers It was with profound sorrow that I read of the desecration of the sacred mosque of the Al Aqsa Islamic Society by a cowardly and ignorant person last week ("Pig's head left at N. Phila. mosque," Tuesday). I have attended interfaith worship services and been joyfully received as a guest at the breaking of the Ramadan fast there. I have personally experienced these folks to be among the best of humankind. Our world and city would be diminished were they not among us. It is our duty and our obligation to protect them and their sisters and brothers in the Muslim community.
NEWS
December 14, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
In a town that loves pro football, most Philadelphians have learned over the years that you can't win the game without giving your best player the ball. That's what the School Reform Commission would be doing by extending Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.'s contract. The SRC plans to formally approve that extension when it meets Thursday. Any mistakes Hite has made since coming to Philadelphia from a suburban Washington school district in 2012 are far outweighed by the caliber of his performance in the midst of a fiscal firestorm, which has been exacerbated by the state legislature's inability to pass a budget.
NEWS
December 13, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
William R. Hite Jr. is here for the long haul. Philadelphia's schools superintendent is poised to get a five-year contract extension - to Aug. 31, 2022 - pending the School Reform Commission's formal approval Thursday of the resolution it crafted to memorialize the deal. Hite's base pay, now $300,000, would remain the same, and provisions in the contract that allow for performance bonuses would be removed. The superintendent would receive a salary increase only if Philadelphia School District teachers do, and at the same rate as the rank-and-file.
NEWS
December 13, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tucked into a late-night school-code bill passed by the Pennsylvania Senate this week are details that some education-watchers - including the Philadelphia superintendent - say could cripple city schools. Aimed squarely at the Philadelphia School District, the "opportunity schools" language would remove from local control up to five low-performing schools per year. The state Department of Education would seize the struggling schools for at least three years, with the option to either turn them over to a charter or outside manager, or close them.
NEWS
November 20, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA & SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writers medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
SCHOOL DISTRICT Superintendent William Hite's patience appears to have run out on Source4Teachers. Hite plans to ask the School Reform Commission tonight to revise the district's two-year, $34 million contract with the Cherry Hill-based outsourcing firm, district spokesman Fernando Gallard confirmed yesterday. Source4Teachers has failed to provide the "guaranteed" number of substitute teachers for the district, resulting in a chaos of vacancies. Hite last month said his patience had run out. News of proposed changes to the contract was first reported by KYW 1060 radio earlier yesterday.
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