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Closing the Word Gap: The Words We Inherit

Pittsburgh Tomorrow Podcast: Anthony Hamlet, Superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools

Donald Bonk: Thank you for joining us today. Can we get started by learning a little bit about your background?

Anthony Hamlet: Thank you for having me here. My background is about 26 years in public education. I started off as a substitute teacher and moved up through the ranks, becoming a teacher, dean of students, assistant principal, principal at five different schools, then executive director of school turnaround at the area office for Palm Beach (Florida) County Schools before coming to Pittsburgh. I’ve been superintendent here for four years.

Bonk: As part of the Pittsburgh Tomorrow project, we’re asking participants, “What do you think would make Pittsburgh the best or most ideal city in the world?”

Hamlet: In order to have a great city, you must have a great educational system. So, making our educational system a premier educational system, not just locally, not just nationally, but globally, and realizing that we need to work in this global economy right now.

My key is to have our students be able compete with other students from around the world for the jobs of the future. So investing in public education as an economic lever as well, to eradicate the poverty barrier. As we educate students, they’ll go out and get jobs and then begin to break the cycle of poverty in the community. It is highly competitive. We’re not just competing against ourselves in the nation anymore; we are competing globally.

Everyone, regardless of zip code or where they live, should have the same quality of education as anyone has in any other zip code.

Listen to the full Pittsburgh Tomorrow Podcast interview