Christopher McGinley, a veteran educator with extensive Philadelphia credentials, will not seek reappointment to the school board, officials confirmed Thursday night.
Earlier this month, Mayor Jim Kenney nominated him to a second term. McGinley chose not to seek a second term for personal reasons, said Claire Landau, school board chief of staff.
Board president Joyce Wilkerson hailed McGinley, who also served on the School Reform Commission.
“The district and board have benefited greatly from the wisdom and expertise he has brought to this work through his decades of experience in the classroom, as a school leader, as a superintendent, and much more,” Wilkerson said in a statement. "His voice will be missed.”
McGinley, whose grandmother spent her career as a janitor at Olney High School, grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from its schools, then taught in them. Eventually, he became an administrator in Philadelphia, then superintendent in Cheltenham and Lower Merion schools. He now works as an education professor at Temple University.
McGinley, who declares himself “an activist educator” on his Temple biography page, was unafraid to stake out positions contrary to others on the board. At the February board meeting, he voted against renewing a contract with Teach for America, citing “the alliances that the organization has with wealthy funders dedicated to undermining public education, undermining the rights of workers, and driving for more and more privatization of public education.”
Lisa Haver, a retired teacher and founder of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, hailed McGinley, whom she said “made principled decisions in the interest of the city’s schoolchildren.” Her organization called on Kenney to fill McGinley’s board seat with an experienced public school educator.