Philadelphia School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos was given the 2013 William J. Clothier II Memorial Award by the Pan American Association of Philadelphia.While most of us see dilapidated schools in Philadelphia, Ramos, a partner at the law firm of Trujillo, Rodriguez, and Richards, boasted about the School Reform Commission accomplishments during his tenure. Too busy bragging, he did not find the time to include Laporshia Massey, the young student who died from asthma complications, in his thoughts.
Here is a tape of Ramos's speech
He touted the recruitment of the "exceptionally talented leader" Dr. Hite as superintendent of Philadelphia public schools, reduced the number of school buildings, labor agreements with the blue collar SEIU, and reinvigorate private philanthropy that had started to wane. He glossed over the reduced financial contribution from the state.
"Over the last two years, spending has been reduced to actual revenues level," he said. "The school district has instituted a 5 year financial plan."
Ramos, who conceded public service and responsibility can be "messy," continued, "All adults must insist on a safe, high quality education."
When I asked him after the speech if he had any comments about the death of Massey, he bristled with indignation. He offered no words of condolence to Massey's family.
He said, "I have no comment. Unlike everybody else, I don't offer my opinion without the facts. Call the School Board."