Phila's new school superintendent hopes to bring change

August 3, 2012 3:35:40 PM PDT
Parents and students got the chance to talk face to face with the Philadelphia School District's new superintendent - Dr. William Hite.

Dr. Hite spoke Friday at the fifth annual Education Extravaganza, an event aimed at getting kids and parents ready for the start of school.

In the coming year, he will face enormous budget driven issues from closing schools to redesigning how the district is managed.

Talking with Action News, Dr. Hite says his most immediate concern will be at the class room level.

"How do we make sure there is an effective and capable teacher in front of every single student in the school district,: said Dr. Hite.

Hite says he wants Philadelphia parents and students to expect more from district schools and from themselves. He wants them to embrace a culture of excellence.

His goal, in part, greater expectations and more qualified graduates.

"We will get much better at exposing all students to more rigorous opportunities. Students have a better opportunity to move into the work world or into higher education," said Dr. Hite.

Hite describes himself as an agnostic when it comes to the district vs. charter school debate. He wants all schools to excel.

A frequent complaint of teachers in district schools is that some parents do not get involved in their child's education. Hite wants schools to be more inviting.

"I had situations where I have gone door to door to households as a middle school principal because many people have described those parents just as you described," said Dr. Hite.

For the next several months Hite will be in Philadelphia two days a week as he is in the process of winding down his job as a Superintendent in a Maryland district.

Dr. Hite will be full time beginning in October.

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