Helen’s and Len’s blogs on lack of transparency in the SRC process are on point. Philadelphia has always had a Jurassic Age system of an appointed board, unlike most other places in the country where the school board is democratically elected.
But I think there’s great good cause to cheer at least one appointment. Johnny Irizarry is a man with a history of dedication to community, to kids, and to parents. A father of public school graduates, he worked as the executive director of Taller Puertorriqueño, where he was recognized for his community activism and his advocacy for arts in education. He went on to work as my colleague in the District developing a multicultural studies curriculum. He left the District to work in two different charter schools, then moved to being the executive director of The Lighthouse, and now is working at the University of Pennsylvania supporting Latino students and Latino studies.
So he’s been around the block a few times. This is the guy I worked with and know. He’s got heart and passion for our kids and our communities. Not to add pressure to you, Johnny, but this shout out is a confirmation that there will be someone who is going to fight for the things many of us believe in from where he sits.