Pittsburgh Public Schools Board To Review Superintendent Plagiarism Accusations

Jun 9, 2016

Newly appointed Pittsburgh Superintendent Anthony Hamlet defends claims of overstating figures on his resume at a press conference Tuesday.
Credit Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Public Schools Board is expected to review claims that new Pittsburgh Superintendent Anthony Hamlet plagiarized a phrase in his resume and a statement to the press when his appointment was announced, spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said.

The Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review reported Hamlet lifted language from a Washington Post editorial in a section of his resume titled “educational philosophy.”

Hamlet signed a five-year contract with Pittsburgh Public Schools on May 18 with a start date of July 1.

The Tribune-Review also reported that a line in Hamlet's remarks to reporters during his introductory press conference as the final superintendent candidate was “a verbatim definition” from a Wikipedia entry that sourced BusinessDictionary.com. Hamlet referred to himself as a transformational leader by action and performance. 

"Transformational Leaders are charged with identifying the needed change and creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration," he said. 

Hamlet held a press conference Tuesday to defend his accomplishments in Florida after multiple media outlets found they were overstated.

Attempts to reach Board President Regina Holley, Hamlet and board consultant Brian Perkins went unanswered.

Carey Harris, director of the Pittsburgh education advocate group A+ Schools, said the organization is monitoring the situation and talking to board members while the facts are sorted out.

“I think these are serious issues that have been raised,” she said. “They have big implications for the city, for the district, but especially for parents and students and teachers and tax payers. We’re monitoring the situation very closely and we understand that … hiring the superintendent is the single most important job the elected school board has.”

Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President Nina Esposito- Visgitis said Tuesday she is interested in moving forward with Hamlet in charge and is anxious for him to start in the position.   

“I hope this can be resolved, put away and let’s get working,” she said.

The search pool was narrowed by Connecticut-based Perkins Consulting headed by Brian Perkins. Perkins has said he does not fact check numbers in resumes. Perkins is contracted with the board until June 30.