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New Education Task Force Adds City Voices to School System

Mayor Bill Peduto has appointed a 21-member task force which will take a look at public education in Pittsburgh.

The group includes elected officials, education leaders and others.

“We’re bringing together everybody,” said Peduto spokesman Tim McNulty, “unions, foundations, city council people, school board members and probably the coolest thing, three high school students who are going to be full voting members in this task force’s recommendations.”

Eighteen members of the group have already been named, the only three that haven’t are the spots reserved for high school students.

“We’ve set up a webpage in the city’s website where high school kids can write letters directly to Mayor Peduto giving their credentials and stating their case for why they should be involved in this,” McNulty said. “We’ll pick three of those sometime soon.”

The task force members already named by the mayor are:

  • Terry Kennedy, Pittsburgh Public Schools Board
  • Thomas Sumpter, Pittsburgh Public Schools
  • Board Nina Esposito-Visgitis, President, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers
  • Dr. Linda Lane, Superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools
  • Dr. Curtiss Porter, Chief Education & Neighborhood Reinvestment Officer, City of Pittsburgh
  • R. Daniel Lavelle, Pittsburgh City Council
  • Natalia Rudiak, Pittsburgh City Council
  • Theresa Kail-Smith, Pittsburgh City Council
  • Deborah Gross, Pittsburgh City Council
  • Michael Lamb, City of Pittsburgh Controller
  • Carey Harris, Executive Director, A+ Schools
  • Patrick Dowd, Executive Director, Allies for Children
  • Jessie Ramey, Founder, Yinzercation
  • Brian Brown, Community and Youth Organizer, Hill District Consensus Group
  • Betsy Magley, Parent, Pittsburgh Public Schools
  • Hazel Blackman, Hazelwood resident
  • The Rev. Dr. Darryl Canady, Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church
  • The Rev. John Welch, Dean of Students, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Pittsburgh Public Schools is not governed by the city, but in a statement Peduto said, “I am charging this task force to come together and revolutionize public education in Pittsburgh, to set aside divisions that have opened up in our education community and to build the best education model for our children and families.”
The task force will meet through the spring and summer and will issue a report and recommendations to the mayor, City Council and the public by Sept. 1.