Nutter taps Rutgers chancellor for School Reform Commission

A day after the chairman and another member of Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission resigned, Mayor Michael Nutter has appointed Wendell Pritchett, the chancellor at Rutgers University-Camden, to one of the two vacancies.

Pritchett said finding a new school superintendent to replace former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman will be a first priority.

“Completing the search for a new chief executive is priority one,” he said. “And priority one-A is making sure we have a good sense of the financial challenges and can help figure out how to meet them.”

Pritchett worked with the Nutter administration in its infancy as the mayor’s deputy chief of staff and also director of policy. Lori Shorr, Philadelphia’s chief education officer, said she believes Pritchett will be good for the School Reform Commission.

“The SRC is primarily a policy body,” she said, that requires “someone who can think through strategically what a policy means now and what it means five years in the future. He has a lot of expertise there and he’s a consensus builder.”

Pritchett lives in University City and has two daughters in the city’s public schools.

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