Gregory Thornton, the Philadelphia School District's chief academic officer and second in charge, is a candidate for superintendent of the Baltimore schools. Thornton recently withdrew from the Seattle superintendent search.

Philadelphia Schools Chief Paul Vallas said yesterday he was aware of Thornton's candidacy in Baltimore. "He's an absolute superb choice," Vallas said.

Vallas announced earlier this month that he had accepted the superintendency in New Orleans and would leave the 174,000-student Philadelphia School District at the end of the school year.

The School Reform Commission could name an interim CEO for the district as soon as today. - Susan Snyder