To convince state senators in Harrisburg (who voted to confirm him) that Democrat Bill Green was the man to lead the School Reform Commission, the influential Philadelphia School Partnership hired a high-profile lobbying firm, Wodjak and Associates. While it’s no surprise that Green is the sort of reform-minded, pro-charter candidate the PSP favors, this latest news suggests an ideological and political closeness between the two that may make some uncomfortable.
“What this means is that the PSP, based on its money and political influence, pretty much can have their way with the SRC,” said Ron Whitehorne, a retired teacher and activist with the Philadelphia Coalition for Public Schools (PCAPS). “The elites call the shots, [and] parents, students, teachers and the community are left to protest.”
The Committee of Seventy’s Zack Stalberg, meanwhile, threw cold water on that notion.
“Beware of simplifying this,” Stalberg said. “Bill will do what he feels like doing. The Green family have never fit easily into anybody’s pocket.”