Peduto names task force on public education in Pittsburgh

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The first meeting of the mayor’s task force on public education will be Tuesday and will be private.

Mayor Bill Peduto has appointed more than 20 people to the task force, including city, district and union officials as well as parents and students.

The task force is expected to meet four times to discuss how to make public schools stronger throughout the city, with recommendations due to the mayor in September.

Preston Green, professor of urban education at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education and a professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut, is the task force mediator. Mr. Green earlier was a professor of educational administration at Penn State University.

The meeting also will be led by Cosette Grant-Overton, the mayor’s manager of educational policy and workforce development, who is overseeing the education task force, an early education consortium and a summer youth employment task force.

Mr. Green will serve as an ex-officio task force member.

Introductory remarks will be made publicly before the first meeting at the City-County Building, then the session will be closed to the public. Asked why the meeting is private, mayoral spokesman Tim McNulty said, "The city council legislation creating the task force requires public hearings, which will be held, but not all of the working sessions will be open to the public and the press."

The task force members include:

• Terry Kennedy, board member, Pittsburgh Public Schools

• Regina Holley, education committee chair and board member, Pittsburgh Public Schools

• Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers

• Linda Lane, superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools

• Curtiss Porter, chief education and neighborhood reinvestment officer, City of Pittsburgh

• R. Daniel Lavelle, Pittsburgh City Council member

• Natalia Rudiak, Pittsburgh City Council member

• Theresa Kail-Smith, Pittsburgh City Council member

• Deborah Gross, Pittsburgh City Council member

• 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

• Sara Segal, parent, Pittsburgh Public Schools

• Hazel Blackman, Hazelwood resident

• The Rev. Dr. Darryl Canady, pastor, Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church

• Hawa Mganga, Pittsburgh Brashear High School student

• Don Crawford, Pittsburgh Obama 6-12 student

• Stephen O’Brion, Pittsburgh Sci-Tech 6-12 student.

Education writer Eleanor Chute: or 412-263-1955. First Published June 16, 2014 3:33 PM

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