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Nutter defends Evans' 'passionate advocacy' at King

By Benjamin Herold on Oct 3, 2011 11:57 AM

State Rep. Dwight Evans' controversial behind-the-scenes involvement in a charter deal at Martin Luther King High worth an estimated $60 million over five years was "passionate advocacy," according to Mayor Michael Nutter.

Appearing on WHYY's Radio Times Monday morning, Nutter seemed to defend Evans' role, which his chief integrity officer blasted in a scathing report released last month.

"I don't know of anyone who's been more passionate, more focused, and more committed to positive outcomes for children than state Rep. Dwight Evans," Nutter told host Marty Moss-Coane. "He fights for what he believes in. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a result of that."

Though he defended Evans' actions, Nutter also said that, "I wish my friend had stayed within the lines" of the "structured process" in place to determine who should manage King as part of former superintendent Arlene Ackerman's Renaissance Schools initiative.

Nutter also talked with Moss-Coane about Ackerman and the School Reform Commission. 

Of Ackerman's messy departure, Nutter said that "the policy of education became overwhelmed by the personalities involved."

Nutter also expressed interest in taking on more responsibility and authority over the District, but said he doesn't see the SRC "going away" any time soon and that greater mayoral control is not a topic of conversation "at the moment." 

The massive cuts in state aid to the District could be a stumbling block, he indicated.

"If I were to have that responsibility, I don't want to take it on with a broke District," Nutter told Moss-Coane.

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Comments (11)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 3, 2011 4:18 pm

Corbett told him Pedro Ramos is in charge. Also, I guess Nutter knows not to bite the hand that feeds him. Evans should have constituents at his door with pitchforks and torches but instead he will get re-elected by the 30% of voters who show up.

Politics as usual, in this city. It festers. I don't blame people for being disenfranchised.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 3, 2011 4:13 pm

That's BS anything to cover is asset.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 3, 2011 5:03 pm

My child is a student at Crossroads @ Hunting Park. It is an Alternative School. My question is Why are there 30 some kids in a classroom at an Alternative School. Everyday my child comes home and tells me they are being put into a different class. First they were in a 5th grade class, then a 5/6 split, then a 4/5 split and now they are being moved yet again. How is a teacher supposed to educate these students when administration changes things every day. I feel sorry for the child tells me their aren't even enough desks. This is far beyond the teacher.......Administration is AWFUL at this school. I had to go in and see for myself. It is a mess and the school seems to be way understaffed.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 3, 2011 5:33 pm

Yeah, congratulations for "saving" the alternative schools!

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on October 3, 2011 10:17 pm

Thank you for describing a situation we teachers have been decrying for years. Maybe a parent won't be ignored.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 3, 2011 6:44 pm

Yo Mikie, ARE YOU SERIOUS???????

Submitted by tom-104 on October 3, 2011 8:49 pm

Of course! The mantra of our age: "Don't look back, look forward!" As a result the powers that be our ripping up our democracy one day at a time. The mantra of the next generation will be: "How did you let this happen?"

Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on October 4, 2011 6:15 am

At the turn of the 20th century, Philadelphia was known for corruption and "backwardness." At the beginning of the 21st century, Philadelphia is known for corruption and "backwardness." City Council and Nutter have praised Evans - and by extension Archie - for corruption, sleeze, and self-serving politics. Isn't there anyone with integrity? Nutter, City Council and the SRC backed megalomaniac - and curriculum destroyer - Ackerman for three years. Now they are patting themselves on the back for their "commitment to education." I am ashamed of admitting I live in Philadelphia - fortunately, I wasn't born here!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 4, 2011 6:53 pm

I agree---------------and ultimately, the kids pay the biggest price and what else is new !!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 4, 2011 12:41 pm

Translation of Nutter's Remarks into English:

I am running for re-election and I cannot afford to piss off Evans despite how sleazy he is.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 4, 2011 6:21 pm

Nutter is equally sleazy and God forbid, maybe even worse.

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