School & District Management

Pittsburgh Search Under Scrutiny

By Jeff Archer — October 18, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

When the Pittsburgh school district set out to find a new superintendent earlier this year, local leaders had a novel idea: Rather than hire headhunters, have two former superintendents from the district run the search.

Now, that selection process is at issue in a threatened discrimination lawsuit. Andrew King, a veteran of the 35,000-student system who served as its interim chief until August, has said race may have played a role in the fact he wasn’t interviewed after he applied. He is black.

The candidate who got the job is Mark Roosevelt, who is white and has no experience working in a public school district. He is a former state lawmaker from Massachusetts, where he helped craft landmark school accountability legislation.

Mr. Roosevelt also is a graduate of the Broad Superintendents Academy, a 10-month program run by the Los Angeles-based Broad Foundation that trains leaders from education and other sectors to serve as district chiefs.

“The search process seems to have systemically de-selected certain kinds of people, of which Andrew King is one,” Mr. King’s lawyer, Avrum Levicoff, said last week.

The dispute flared up late last month, when Mr. Levicoff proposed in an e-mail to the school board that it could avoid a lawsuit by giving his client an administrative job with a $150,000 salary and “no policymaking function or responsibility.”

The proposal prompted press reports that Mr. King had sought a “no-show job.” Mr. Levicoff said the intent was to give him a new role without requiring Mr. Roosevelt to include him in policy decisions. Mr. King has since been given a $125,000-a-year job overseeing the district’s compliance with federal reporting rules.

“It’s a pretty important responsibility,” said Lisa Fischetti, a spokeswoman for the district.

But Mr. Levicoff said that Mr. King deserves additional compensation for having been wronged, and that he intends to go forward with a lawsuit that will “dissect” the search for bias.

Patrick Dowd, a white school board member, said the only bias in the process was in favor of effective leaders. “The racial issue that this district faces is not about discrimination,” he said. “It’s about the racial achievement gap.”

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


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education
Reading & Literacy K-12 Essentials Forum Writing and the Science of Reading
Join us for this free event as we highlight and discuss the intersection of reading and writing with Education Week reporters and expert guests.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Photo Essay PHOTOS: A Superintendent Who Exudes Joy in All Things
EdWeek photographer Sam Mallon reflects on her day with Richard Tomko, a 2023 Leaders to Learn From honoree.
2 min read
During a visit to the new Belleville Indoor Training Facility, Richard Tomko, Superintendent of Belleville Public Schools, speaks with Carolyn Guancione, Indoor Training Facility Support Staff, about how the space continues to transform, in Belleville, N.J., on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. The new training facility was built to facilitate and accommodate general physical activity and training for sports teams within the school system and the greater Belleville community.
Richard Tomko, the superintendent of Belleville public schools, speaks with Carolyn Gancione during a visit to the district's new indoor training facility, which is shared with the community.
Sam Mallon/Education Week
School & District Management Opinion Your School Leadership Needs More Student Voice
When one Virginia principal moved from middle school to high school, he knew he would need to find new ways of soliciting student feedback.
S. Kambar Khoshaba
3 min read
Illustration of students holding speech bubbles.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management First Latina Selected to Lead National Principals Group
Raquel Martinez is a middle school principal in Pasco, Wash.
3 min read
Raquel Martinez, the principal of Stevens Middle School, in Pasco, Wash., was named president-elect of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. She’s the first Latina to hold the position.
Raquel Martinez, the principal of Stevens Middle School, in Pasco, Wash., was named president-elect of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. She’s the first Latina to hold the position.
Courtesy of the National Association of Secondary School Principals
School & District Management Four Things to Know From a State's Push to Switch Schools to Heat Pumps
Installing a heat pump is complex, but the payoff is well worth it, says an expert in Maine who's pushing their adoption in schools.
4 min read
Close up of a heat pump against a brick wall