Recruitment & Retention A National Roundup

Phila. District Cleans House To Improve Teacher Hiring

By John Gehring — January 19, 2005 1 min read

The Philadelphia school district is overhauling its human-resources department in an effort to improve hiring practices and address complaints that inefficiency has hurt teacher recruitment.

The 208,000-student district has removed the department’s top four managers, and tapped Tomas Hanna, a special assistant to Chief Executive Officer Paul G. Vallas, to oversee the department, according to a spokeswoman for the district.

The Council of the Great City Schools, a Washington-based group, evaluated the department and recommended greater accountability measures and systems upgrades. Mr. Vallas, who described the department as “insensitive” and “unresponsive” in a Jan. 11 Philadelphia Inquirer article, has overhauled several other departments during his tenure.

“We will always be looking to get better,” said Cecilia Cummings, a spokeswoman for the district. “This is just part of the process.”

A version of this article appeared in the January 19, 2005 edition of Education Week

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