by Samantha Coggin and Benjamin Herold
About 60 people gathered at West Philadelphia High last night for the fourth of ten community forums intended to inform the School Reform Commission’s search for a new superintendent to lead the District.
Among them was Mabel Harrell, the mother of an 11-year-old at Lamberton Elementary who was recently laid off from her job as a Philadelphia school police officer.
“Now, I have the time to participate,” said Harrell.
Like many in attendance, she was skeptical about how seriously the SRC’s superintendent search committee would take her input.
“I think they want to do it how they want to do it,” said Harrell.
SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos kicked off the meeting by laying out the SRC’s criteria and timeline for its search.
“This is a plan,” he told the audience. “If we get to July and don’t have a superintendent, we keep on going. We won’t settle.”
The forums are being convened by the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and facilitated by representatives from the Penn Project for Civic Engagement.
There are two more sessions scheduled for this week: