Sunday, June 12, 2016

Plagiarism issue plagues Pittsburgh

There is a controversy, in part about plagiarism, surrounding the proposed appointment of Anthony Hamlet as Pittsburgh schools superintendent.

The Tribune notes:

Hamlet, a former Palm Beach administrator, is set to replace outgoing Superintendent Linda Lane on July 1. The district has been paying Hamlet $808 per day since June 1 as he participates in “transition activities,” in accordance with an agreement with the school district.

“This is obviously fluid; we'll deal with issues as they arise,” said district Solicitor Ira Weiss, who called the emergency, closed-door meeting — which included all nine board members, the district's special counsel and district spokeswoman Ebony Pugh.


questions have arisen about a sentence describing his “educational philosophy” that appears to have been taken verbatim from a 2015 Washington Post article without attribution.


An act of plagiarism could be considered an act of immorality — though it's a somewhat gray area of the education code that could be open to interpretation and hinges on facts specific to each case, said Richard Stewart, a Cumberland County attorney and past president of the Pennsylvania School Solicitors' Association.


A different Tribune post addressed issues with Hamlet's resume:

“To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of 10,000.” — Shakespeare, “Hamlet.”

Hamlet's resume clearly reveals on which side of that equation he falls. The former Florida educator stated he raised two schools' state grades from “F” to “C”; boosted one high school's graduation rate by 13 percentage points; and had direct supervision of 20 schools in his final job with the school district. The Palm Beach Post reported those claims appeared to be embellishments or exaggerations.

Hamlet on Monday vehemently denied embellishing his resume. “You will see fully there are no discrepancies whatsoever,” he told reporters.

“The (person) doth protest too much, methinks.” — Shakespeare, “Hamlet.”

On Tuesday, he acknowledged one of the schools whose state grades he reportedly raised did not have an “F.” But he insisted the other school grade went from F to “C,” information that differs from Florida state records.

That's a discrepancy.



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