It's official - actor Tony Danza will teach English at Northeast High this year.
The School Reform Commission voted this afternoon to approve the filming of "Teach," an A&E reality show.
The measure passed on a 3 to 1 vote. Commissioner Heidi Ramirez, who is widely expected to resign her seat today, voted no, but did not immediately explain her position.
Danza will co-teach a class with a certified teacher, the district said. No student will be assigned to his class unless he or she volunteers.
The actor, who holds a bachelor's degree in history education from the University of Dubuque, will also help out with extracurricular activities, such as the prom and drama – at Northeast, one of the district's largest schools.
Superintendent Arlene Ackerman welcomed Danza in a statement, and said that "this important project will help illuminate the joy, rewards and challenges of one of the most gratifying professions available, a first-year teacher in the city of Philadelphia."
Mayor Nutter last week heartily endorsed the show, saying it will bring the city and the district positive attention.
"As a product of urban public schools, Mr. Danza is dedicated to enriching the lives of the young people who will enter his classroom," Nutter wrote in a letter to the commission last week.
An executive producer for the show has said that "Teach" will be "responsible television."
"Long before his fame as an actor, he aspired to be a teacher," Donny Jackson, the producer, said of Danza.
Jackson said the show would bring benefits to the school, including student internships, and the district, including help in recruiting teachers.
The district will accept a $3,500 per-episode fee from A&E which will also reimburse facilities and personnel expenses and payment of the district's outside legal fees.
District officials will have the right to object to footage after it views a "rough cut" of each episode.
In a statement, Danza said he was "humbled, honored and so grateful that the City of Philadelphia has decided to let us try this. I have always wanted to teach, so this is a gift for me. I will work hard to make sure I don't let anyone down, especially the kids."
Contact staff writer Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.