From 1998 to 2006, James H. (Torch) Lytle was superintendent for the Trenton (New Jersey) Public Schools, where he led an aggressive effort to implement New Jersey’s urban education reform initiative. Prior to his appointment in Trenton, he served in a variety of capacities in the School District of Philadelphia as an elementary, middle, and high school principal; executive director for planning, research, and evaluation; regional superintendent; and assistant superintendent. He has been a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and a high school English teacher.
Dr. Lytle has been active in a number of national professional organizations, including the Council of Great City Schools, the Cross Cities Campaign, the Wallace Foundation Leaders Count project, and the American Educational Research Association. He has written and presented frequently on matters relating to the improvement of urban schooling. His research interests relate to increasing the efficacy of urban public schools and leading school reform efforts.
Before his appointment as Practice Professor, Dr. Lytle was an adjunct faculty member at GSE, teaching courses in Urban Education, Organizational Theory, and Resource Allocation. In his current role, he works in several areas, including school and district leadership, the emergent marketization of public education, urban school reform, and the intersections of school leadership and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Lytle coordinates Penn’s relationship with the School District of Philadelphia; currently Penn provides management support for schools in