This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks
In many ways, Joseph Dworetzky was the voice of the people during his four-year tenure as a School Reform Commission member — often casting the lone "no" vote on SRC decisions that were unpopular with the education advocates who regularly testify at the group’s action meetings.
Dworetzky, a lawyer who spent time as city solicitor in Ed Rendell’s mayoral administration, held views that often clashed with those of his SRC colleagues.
He voted no on the so-called "doomsday budget" passed in May.
He voted no on the District’s acceptance of private money to develop more "high-performing" District schools, saying that the decision would drain more resources from the rest of the District in the long term.
Dworetzky also often challenged the District’s logic in its proposals to close schools.
Last week, as Dworetzky’s SRC term was set to expire soon, Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett nominated two new SRC appointees – replacing Dworetzky with homelessness-support advocate Farah Jimenez, a Republican.
(Corbett also tapped Democratic City Councilman Bill Green to replace Pedro Ramos as SRC chair.)
I caught up with Dworetzky on Friday afternoon to conduct an exit interview with him shortly after the governor’s announcement. Dworetzky came to the the interview with his suitcase in hand and left immediately afterward to catch a flight home to San Francisco, which has been his primary home for the last two years.