School board grades for Hite are down, and he isn't arguing

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The grades for School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite are down a notch in his annual report card from the school board. For his part, Hite says he agrees with the board's evaluation.

The school board gives an annual evaluation, with grades ranging from "proficient," "distinguished," "needs improvement," to "failing."

This year, the board gave Hite "distinguished" marks for professionalism and financial management. But in the areas of student achievement and systems leadership and operations, Hite's grade was "needs improvement." It's the first time he's received a grade that low, but Hite said the board is right.

"I do agree with the evaluation," he said. "We all need to be accountable for actions or inactions that have happened."

The board cited the bungled push to move Science Leadership Academy in with Ben Franklin High School, a move that exposed students and staff exposed to potentially hazardous conditions. And regarding student performance, the board said students "are not achieving at the levels necessary to reach their fullest potential."

Again, no argument from Hite.

“Yeah, we have to do better and I'm the one that's ultimately responsible for all of that.”

Hite says the facilities issues have been addressed through new procedures and acknowledged that the board plans to track achievement more closely. He also said the district must do better and that ultimately, he is the one responsible.

Hite has led the School District of Philadelphia for 8 1/2 years. His contract expires in August 2022.