By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the two finalists to be the next Superintendent of Philadelphia Schools met with the public Monday night as the School Reform Commission and the Superintendent Search Team look to name a new superintendent as soon as possible.

Pedro Martinez is currently the deputy superintendent of the Clark County School District in Nevada. He told of his days growing up in what he called “Third World poverty” in Mexico before coming to America at the age of 5. He also detailed his career, which included an impressive turnaround in graduation rates in Nevada schools. Martinez says data collection is key, as is communication.

“It’s really about talking to teachers, and asking, ‘What are the systems that are not working right now? Is there alignment between the curriculum and the assessments? Are we supporting you with instruction?’ It starts right there, but there is no magic bullet,” Martinez explained.

Some worry about his lack of background in education, but Martinez says what’s most important is getting everyone to work towards the same goal, which he’s confident he can do.

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