Mayor Kenney named Christopher McGinley to a seat on the School Reform Commission. The 58 year-old has over twenty years of experience teaching in the Philadelphia school system and is currently teaching educational leadership at Temple University.
The mayor said that his choice was made because of McGinley’s overwhelming experience. In a statement, Mayor Kenney said, “His educator lens is exactly what the SRC needs in order to build on the district’s gains in recent years.”
He continued by mentioning McGinley’s passion for public education and wanting to reduce the current gap in achievement. Kenny feels with his background in administration for a number or school districts will be helpful in creating a smooth transition.
It had been a few years since he has been in Philadelphia. He was not expecting to hear from the SRC in this fashion, but when the mayor concerning this position contacted him, he did not turn it down. He is a strong believer in public education and is honored to have this opportunity.
McGinley first started as a special-education teacher at Frankford High School. From there he worked as a principal at Adaire Elementary and later as a central administrator at Austin Meehan Middle School.
The first test for the new SRC member will be this week at his first meeting. The commission will be reviewing new charter school applications. Even though McGinley has worked in different school districts, he does have some experience with charter schools. He is not for or against charter schools, but each application has to be reviewed meticulously.
“My heart is with traditional public schools- that is where I went to school and that’s where I worked for 35 years,” said McGinley, “But I’ve also seen some wonderful work in charter schools.”
There has been widespread praise in the mayor choosing McGinley for the SRC. Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. says it was a “great addition to the SRC” while City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said he is very interested to see how is experience in more wealthy school districts would help him find the deficiencies within the Philadelphia School District.