PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia’s schools chief has been mentioned as a possible candidate for secretary of education under a Biden administration. So far, though, Superintendent William Hite’s phone hasn’t rung.
The group known as Democrats for Education Reform reportedly floated Hite’s name, among several others, for the nation’s top education job. Hite, speaking with reporters Thursday, said he had not been contacted by the Biden camp.
“A lot of individuals talk about potential candidates for that role. I'm happy to be named as one of those individuals but haven't had a lot of time to focus on that and no — no one has reached out,” Hite said.
“I’d naturally give consideration to a request from the president-elect,” he added, “But I don't want to work in hypotheticals and I have not been contacted.”
Whoever Biden chooses, Hite agrees it should be someone with experience in schools. “The president-elect is talking about having an educator or someone with educational experience in that role,” Hite said. “I think that in and of itself is a marked difference and with the current administration.”
Current secretary Betsy DeVos has faced criticism for not having experience in public education.
Hite said he would hope that under a Biden administration, schools would get more help to address the pandemic. “The president-elect even from his time of campaigning was talking about how do we get school districts sufficiently funded in order to get children back into buildings in a way that’s safe,” Hite said.
Hite said he was also glad that First Lady-elect Jill Biden, a community college instructor, would bring an educator’s perspective to the White House.