Democratic Process Challenged in Pittsburgh Schools

Don't Let Big Money and Sold-Out Media Ruin Pittsburgh's Progress

by Jon Parker

I’ve grappled for a few weeks with Pittsburgh’s superintendent dilemma on a number of fronts. I’ll assume that my readers are basically familiar with the situation, but here are the Sparknotes.

Chapter 1: Pittsburgh has a democratically elected school board.

Chapter 2: Pittsburgh’s citizens vote for pro-public education candidates.

Chapter 3: A+ Schools’ (a.k.a. Bill Gates’ employee) candidates lose.

Chapter 4: A+ Schools doesn’t know what it feels like to lose and becomes upset.

Chapter 5: Pittsburgh’s democratically elected school board selects a pro-public schools superintendent without allowing A+ Schools to railroad the process.

Chapter 6: A+ Schools becomes more upset and elicits the support of local media in a witch hunt against the new superintendent.

So that’s where we are. I’ll admit I don’t envy the school board in making its decision, not because the decision is unclear, but because the board is going to have to answer to media outlets and rich, powerful foundations that have already revealed their intentions.

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