New PPS superintendent defends resume after being questioned

PITTSBURGH — Newly appointed Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet kicked off his school tour Monday, paying a visit to Pittsburgh Dilworth.

However, his visit to the school quickly became focused on discrepancies on his resume that were brought to light by a Palm Beach Post article.%

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Before coming to Pittsburgh, Hamlet served as director of school accountability transformation in the School District of Palm Beach County in Florida.

Hamlet was firm in his defense during a news conference Tuesday, saying that everything on his resume was accurate with minor exceptions

According to the Palm Beach Post article, he boasted about turning around struggling schools in the district, touting lifting grades at two schools from an F to a C. However, the Palm Beach Post found that one of the schools was already at a C, and remained that way after Hamlet got there.

Tuesday, Hamlet admitted to a minor error of saying he took the school from a D to a C, not an F to a C as his resume stated.

Another discrepancy was Hamlet’s claim that he raised the graduation rate by 13 percentage points at Palm Beach Lakes High School. The Palm Beach Post reported that it rose by fewer than five points while he was principal.

Hamlet and the school board president said that school data does not always match what state and federal leaders use, which led to the discrepancy on Hamlet’s resume.

"After we got those numbers explained, then we all knew we had to stand behind him, that this is the guy we needed for the district so we could move our children forward," said School Board President Regina Holley, who told Channel 11’s Aaron Martin that she’s confident in Hamlet’s selection.

Education advocate group, A+ Schools, said more needs to be considered before deciding on Hamlet and the $210,000 salary he is set to receive.

"A Plus Schools will do more to examine the data. We will continue to monitor it closely," said A+ Schools Board Chair Reed Armant.

While he received a warm reception from Dilworth staff, students and parents on Monday, they would like to put the issue behind them.

“I know there's a controversy, and I hope it’s something that can be cleared up so we can move forward,” parent Yona Cloonan said.

Hamlet will officially begin his duties as superintendent on July 1. He will address the resume discrepancies during a news conference on Tuesday.

“I would like to learn a little bit more, because that's a little bit unsettling,” grandparent Carol Austin said.