PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet has come under fire from a prominent school board member.
In an email, Sala Udin says Hamlet is not the superintendent who can move the district forward. The criticism comes as the board considers an extension of Hamlet’s contract.
Dr. Hamlet’s rocky tenure with the Pittsburgh Public Schools includes false accusations on his resume and an unauthorized trip to Cuba. But for Udin, it’s not the controversy he’s worried about. It is the results.
“The school district is failing to educate Black children, especially Black boys,” Udin said.
Udin, a longtime civil rights leader and Pittsburgh politician, says Black students continue to fall behind and it is only going to get worse with at-home classes.
“It has become much more difficult,” Udin said. “Before the COVID pandemic, African American kids were already two or three years behind, especially in reading and in math.”
Udin is critical of some in the community who support Hamlet, referring to them as “latte liberals.”
“Sometimes it feels like we have been infiltrated by an army of latte liberals who are bold in social media and the press, but striking deals behind the scenes that undermine the well-being of Black children and Black families,” Udin said in the email.
Udin: I’m referring to anybody who considers themselves a latte liberal.
KDKA’s Paul Martino: Can you define that more?
In a previous interview with KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen, Hamlet defended the progress the district is making.
“We’re still getting up trends in our academics,” Hamlet said. “Again, I’ll be the first one to say not as fast as I want to, but it is moving forward. Academics are going up. Our graduation rates are going up.”
Hamlet also claims Udin shouldn’t be criticizing him publicly. Hamlet says it violates his contract.
Much more is expected to be said about the superintendent’s future during a school board public hearing on Aug. 24.