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District allegation against Moffett: 'Endangering safety and welfare of children'

Hope Moffett said she received this letter on Wednesday.

The District has informed Audenried High teacher Hope Moffett that an investigatory conference has been scheduled to discuss “the role [she is] alleged to have played in endangering the safety and welfare of children,” as well as her disclosure of an official document in defiance of a gag order.

Moffett, 25, has played a visible part in public protests of the District’s plans to turn over Audenried to Universal Companies for conversion into a charter as part of the Renaissance Schools initiative. Moffett spent Friday and today in a basement room in the High School Academic Division in Strawberry Mansion – an assignment that some refer to as “teacher jail.”

“I was surprised,” said Moffett of the allegations against her. 

“I don’t see anything that I’ve done that could be construed in any way as endangering the safety and welfare of children.”

“As a standard practice, the District does not comment on personnel matters,” said District spokesperson Elizabeth Childs.

Childs did offer that examples of “endangering the safety and welfare of children” might include “leaving a class unsupervised, encouraging truancy, physical harm to a student or staff member, assisting students to travel off school property without consent from guardians, and other actions that may put a student at risk of harm.” 

An earlier District statement insinuated that Moffett’s class was not “safe” and that she had been using class time in inappropriate ways.

Reached for comment, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan, echoed his previous comments on the matter.

“There is clearly a sense that there are attempts to silence people’s feelings about this District and about what’s happening in their schools. That won’t be tolerated,” he said.

Last Thursday, Moffett, who is a third-year English teacher at Audenried, and an unidentified second staff member from the school received letters informing them that they were being temporarily reassigned out of Audenried.

The letter directing Moffett to report to an administrative office contained no information about why she was being removed from the classroom and sent to an administrative facility. It did, however, contain a threat of further disciplinary action for divulging the contents of the letter.

Jordan called that statement “absolutely silly at best, and, at worst, an attempt to silence her.”

“I think the District is dead wrong in the way in which they’re handling this,” he said, adding that he is personally monitoring Moffett’s case.

During an extensive weekend interview with the Notebook, Moffett acknowledged giving her input and opinions to students and playing a role in three major public activities in opposition to District proposals for Audenried, but said her class periods have been “all about teaching.” 

She denied organizing a student walkout but acknowledged providing transportation tokens to a student leader to distribute to others. That acknowledgment was highlighted in a document provided by the District to Moffett on Wednesday, as was her statement in a Notebook article that “I have been involved in how to make it an effective protest [because] if my students are going to do something, they’re going to do it to win.”

The investigatory conference, currently scheduled for Thursday*, will include Moffett, a PFT representative, and Linda Cliatt-Wayman, the District’s assistant superintendent for high schools. The conference and subsequent deliberations may result in any number of outcomes, ranging from no action to a recommendation of termination.

“We are going to be with Moffett throughout this process,” said Jordan. 

He cautioned that the PFT does not yet have the details behind the District’s allegations and that it would be premature to speculate on the conference notice that Moffett received.

If the charges are unfounded, warned Jordan, "there will be a very strong reaction from the PFT."

UPDATE: The investigatory conference has been postponed to Wednesday, March 2.

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Comments (115)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 5:56 pm

The district should be thankful the teachers are stepping in before student protests. Where do you think they learned how to protest peacefully and with purpose- not from the media, that's for sure.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:02 am

good point.

Submitted by Acourt (not verified) on February 25, 2011 5:12 am

I agree with your comment. We have seen how easily protests of any kind can get out of hand. Obviously these students were going about their protest in a very peaceful manner and the earlier reports mentioned that after they had had their chance to speak with district representatives, they went back to class saying that they needed to also show that they were good students. These students will become adults that have ethics and will work towards a better ideal. What more could we ask for. What I think is the worst tragedy is that these students' academic merit will be judged on tests they will be taking soon. Tests where other students at other schools have dedicated teachers helping them prepare while these have a substitute who probably means well but cannot give these students the targeted and differentiated instruction they need. The students are the ones who are suffering through the districts actions. They care about their teacher and I am sure that this is way more distracting to them than organizing a protest.

Submitted by March on 440 (not verified) on February 23, 2011 6:06 pm

Let us all March on 440 this Friday and stand in solidarity!
4pm. Rain or shine. 440 N. Broad

Submitted by SAMIR MACKEY (not verified) on February 24, 2011 3:49 pm

I'LL BE THERE

Submitted by Christina (not verified) on February 23, 2011 6:20 pm

I am going to be there on Friday. I'll be wearing the shirt that says, AD-1 has forgotten what an education looks like that actively engages students in their own learning. What Hope was doing, and what many other educators in our schools are doing, is school reform in a much more complex, deep, and lasting way than I guess some people will ever grasp. Thank you, Freire. Thank you, Dr Gloria Goode my music teacher in middle school. Thank you, MLK. Thank you Mr Grillet, my fifth grade teacher. Thank you, Gandhi. Like you said, Malcolm X, "by any means necessary."

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 6:58 pm

A PFT lawyer should also be present because I have a feeling we will be reading about this one on the legal page of Education Week.

Submitted by a teacher (not verified) on February 23, 2011 6:49 pm

Jerry Jordan needs to grow a pair. The School District is not its own "Star Chamber" and has no authority to impose a "gag order" on a teacher. We need to stand up, and if we don't do it now, it will be too late. This is just the latest example of the tyrannical regime of Queen Arlene. She is intent on destroying our union, and Jerry is laying back and taking it. Not only was he not savvy enough to see through some of the provisions of our latest contract, but he seems to have no fight in him for those who have entrusted our futures to his advocacy. Get used to it, teachers - soon we will all be working as at-will employees of charter CORPORATIONS.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:14 pm

Yes, he absolutely does need to grow a pair. He is the weakest leader we have ever had - a total wimp. He is tentative, hesitant and so fearful he wouldn't let members read the current contract before forcing them to vote for it - which is why we're dealing with this current "renaissance" crisis. He ignored urgings to fight a media campaign on the PFT's behalf and seems to think sending postcards is the way to fight for our rights. If he doesn't grow that pair, we must vote him out before he sells the union out from under our feet.

Submitted by Philly HS teacher (not verified) on February 23, 2011 7:51 pm

Maybe Wayman has never given a student a token, lunch money, a shirt, notebooks and pens, etc. but most of us give our students plenty because we know what it takes to provide basic needs for our students. If Hope is condemned for giving students tokens, the PFT better get some gumption and act like a union. The PFT allowed Wayman to terrorize Rhodes for at least five years. Wayman went through teachers like others go through socks. She was and is abusive, tyrannical, dictatorial and without compassion. If anyone should get a letter of termination, it is Wayman.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 7:12 pm

You ain't lyin! The PFT and TFA brass both. I recall being at school selection fairs and teachers were running from Rhodes like it sinking ship. And her data? Ha! There is only one reason why she has the job - for moments like this. And study the names on the letter that Hope was sent. These people are a disgrace - each and every one of them. Mindless puppets feeding off our hard work and success.

Submitted by Philly HS teacher (not verified) on February 23, 2011 7:44 pm

Spanglenburg - a TFA alum - has next to know classroom experience and acted as Wayman's "assistant" at Rhodes. He is her secretary. uMiddleton and Johnstone are the epitome of incompetent. They have no people skills and are clueless about high schools. The AD1 office is a sham.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 7:26 pm

The allegations concerning Linda Wayman's character are startling. People are making assumptions about her without really knowing what she stands for. She would give the shirt off her back for a student who needs it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 8:08 pm

Please. I am writing from both anecdotal and personal experience and her conduct throughout this process has been reprehensible.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 8:05 pm

I also am speaking from personal experience. Anyone who REALLY knows Linda Wayman, knows that she loves students and goes to great lengths for them. She's had made trips to student homes, counseled individual children, and worked tireless hours combatting a complacent system.

Submitted by Tired of Nasty Administrators (not verified) on February 23, 2011 9:23 pm

....she would also remove a teacher who is loved by students in order to protect her own agenda. Please don't be an apologist for this woman who, like many others in the Ackerman regime, is in way over her head. No one in any of the schools that she controls likes or respects her. Absolutely no one. Watch her the next time you see her. She physically quakes as if she can't hold back her aggression. She reminds me of Sue Sylvester from Glee.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 9:40 pm

Speak for yourself. Don't make sweeping generalizations about all the teachers in the district. I could see be pretty enraged after encountering many of the atrocities in this district.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 9:50 pm

Speak for yourself. Don't make sweeping generalizations about all the teachers in the district. I could see be pretty enraged after encountering many of the atrocities in this district.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 10:17 pm

"The allegations concerning Linda Wayman's character are startling."

It's not an "allegation" concerning her character when everyone can plainly see how she acts in public.

"People are making assumptions about her without really knowing what she stands for."

It's not an "assumption" when she puts the reprehensible things she "stands for" in writing.

"She would give the shirt off her back for a student who needs it."

And she'd step on as many teachers as she possibly could to get there.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 10:52 pm

No, many of these posts are "allegations" concerning this woman's character. Many of the claims are unsubstantiated personal grudges or gripes by people mired in the muck of a broken and bleeding school system.

Submitted by badbad (not verified) on February 23, 2011 10:57 pm

I agree that Linda sees herself as an advocate for the student. I get that. However, she is the appointed leader of an entire region of schools and provides no inspiration for the staff that she should be leading.Why is this happening in this school district? Why is there such a sense of hostility toward teachers who have dedicated their lives to serving some of the most at risk kids in the district? It's up to Linda to change her image - she is the one who made it, over a long period of time. Actions speak louder than words.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 11:04 pm

This is happening in this school district for a number of reasons. Though there are wonderful teachers throughout the district, there is and should be and is an inherent frustration and intolerance for a situation that has teachers, often under poor leadership, running ineffective classrooms. For many years, there has been no sense of urgency in Philadelphia. People talk about teaching students "civil disobedience" and things of that nature, but what about teaching our students how to read effectively?? Where are these discussions?

I agree that it trickles from the top down. Teachers should be inspired. But more often than not, this becomes a divisive conversation that focuses on the adults and not the children. There are no winners when that happens - only 65,000 losers - our children.

Now is the time to offer solutions, not derisive and antagonistic behavior. And laying 20+ years of collective failure on one person is neither fair nor justified.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 6:53 am

No one is laying "20 years of collective failure" on Wayman, We are laying her own failure as a leader on her. If a good leader is frustrated by a system, they try to help their workers succeed with positive supports. That is what we as teachers are expected to do with our students. It is what we do everyday. A good parent does it with their child.Her sense of frustration in a system has translated to unbridled hostility to the teachers and staff. She provides nothing for these kids. If Linda were my child, I would be embarrassed by her behavior. Nothing has changed under her. Teachers still don't have paper. What is her legacy?

Submitted by Teacher (K.R. Luebbert) (not verified) on February 24, 2011 7:52 am

Teachers offer solutions to their principals and try to have effective discussions in PDs and regional meetings all the time. Very often it is met with responses like, "this is the program we bought, so do your best and don't complain." Trying to offer good solutions and ways to work with every child is NOT complaining, but it is treated that way. Reading Specialists and Reading teachers KNOW what to do, but are not allowed to do it. Teaching content area reading and knowledge (along with skills) is possible as well as much more interesting for students than drill, drill, drill. I would be interested in Rhodes college acceptance and RETENTION rate after the PSSAs went up. That data does probably not exist, though.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 3:04 am

Wayman is a bully and micro manager (yes, just like Ackerman). She so-call "leads" by threats, intimidation, and outbursts. It is her way or the highway. This is not leadership - whether for adults or students. If she gives a shirt, it is with many strings attached. She doesn't care about kids - she cares about enforcing her reign. I have never met anyone who "likes" working for Wayman (not one works "with" her).

Submitted by teacher (not verified) on February 24, 2011 7:32 am

This is extreme, bordering on silly. Regardless of what you think of Wayman in her current role, I know a number of teachers who worked for her at Rhodes who thought of her as an excellent (if not demanding) principal.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:49 am

Oh, yea. How long did they last in the classroom?

Submitted by teacher (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:27 am

They're still at the school, working under the new principal.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 9:48 am

Rhodes has one of the highest teacher turnover rate in the SDP - yes, the "data speaks..."

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:46 am

I've had demanding principals who could shepherd the staff because they treated us as colleagues. Wayman is a poster child for bullying and disrespect. She thinks she can intimidate and bully everyone into submission to her test prep factory mode. I have never met anyone who has any respect for Wayman - including administrators.

She does not abide by the SDP's "no bullying" policy!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 10:00 am

The real importance of Wayman's ascension is that it proves that data is only valued when it can be used against schools and teachers that they are targeting. The person who said that Rhodes' test scores were a "miracle," reflect a very low standard. You are saying that it is miraculous that "only" 40% of Rhodes students are Basic or below. And those were the best years.

On the other hand, Wayman and her flunkies routinely harangue, belittle and micromanage teachers who have demonstrated real success, and by a variety of measures. I don't even think they know the data of teachers they observe.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 1:49 pm

You apparently have not looked at Rhodes' data in a complete picture. Look at the data from before the school became all-girls. Then, look at the steady increase. That's impressive, especially when many schools haven't been able to move students forward in years.

Submitted by Anonymous on February 24, 2011 2:11 pm

What about the down right INFRACTION of teaching students writing. While I worked for her last year, she told me that was a "waste" of time. What about how I had to give up my prep EVERYDAY to push into classrooms all in the name of tests. Is that making students better! Wayman's leadership styles hurts students and teachers.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 2:27 pm

I share your frustration at my site as well. teaching writing seems to not be needed any more, unless it's the TAG it a Three strategy. That really is very limiting.

Submitted by I Teach in Philly Too (not verified) on February 24, 2011 4:10 pm

Teaching?? What kind of teaching drilling students relentlessly for 4 months before the PSSA? Forget about reading great American literature, forget about writing creatively, forget all about that. Instead it's test-prep, all the time.

Let's do the math. Maybe Wayman can understand it:

4 months PSSA test-prep only
+3 or 4 weeks actual testing
= 5 months

10 months in school year
-5 months teaching for and taking test
= HALF school year wasted solely on PSSA

You can bet the kids in suburbs are getting a better, more rounded education. All our kids get is how to fill in bubbles on a paper and answer essay questions like a mindless robots using a formula.

Once again, Philly kids get the bad end of the deal. Thank you, Cliatt-Wayman. Half the junior year, gone.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 5:01 pm

I teach second grade and I use that term loosely. We do not get to explore, discuss or investigate anything anymore. It's all scripted. The writing program is horrible in Imagine It. The reading is really a waste - the stories are wonderful, but 4 days of the same story and a day of testing for each 4 of reading is unreal. The second report card conferences were eye opening for the parents and totally depressing for me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 10:49 pm

The truth is that Ms. Wayman is a product of the streets and lives that life, replete with knowing nothing, bullying 24/7, and being an embarrassment hiding in plain sight. She was a total failure at Rhodes so they promoted her--The Peter Principal at work. I was in her presence about 20 times and felt sorry for her at first, UNTIL I saw how destructive she was with her staff. She can't speak with any sense of grammar and seems to not even care that she can't.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 1:11 pm

There was a steady increase for numerous reasons. Foremost, girls achieve at higher levels. Anyone in education knows that data.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 7:59 pm

These are obviously sham charges. The SRC meeting was held at 5 pm, so how could a teacher be endangering the health and welfare of a teenager who chose to take a stand for his/her own education? Linda Wayman, as usual, is exploiting kids in order to punish teachers.

Another thing that is really pissing me off is that students and teachers are receiving little support from the public. The politicians are a joke, but what about the larger educational community. We have several major ed programs in this city and we haven't heard from any of them. UPENN and Temple, in particular, pretend to be interested in urban ed, but where are their voices. Why can't they stand in solidarity with those of us who make their work possible?

Submitted by Mike (not verified) on February 23, 2011 8:10 pm

Great point, these universities and their professors should be speaking up!

Submitted by SAMIR MACKEY (not verified) on February 23, 2011 7:24 pm

First off I would like to say that how are y'all holding her against something you are just hearing? And you are removing a teacher who has gave us support from day one it's hard to find teachers like that and if anyone should be punished it should be the district for removing a teacher who has given students what most don't get at home LOVE they need to go get the teachers who are in it. For the money because I know a couple of them smh well to all who didn't know we are behind our teacher 100%

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 7:22 pm

I am VERY supportive of Hope and our cause here. However, reading the above article, it indicates that she admitted to handing a student leader tokens to distribute to the students. That may be a problem for her. This type of silencing has been going on for a while (pretty much since Ackerman). Hope just happened to be in the middle of one that got publicity.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 7:04 am

Providing tokens is just the thing the district can grab onto to make trouble for Hope. It was an innocent act for her, but one the district can use against Hope.
We have to support her and let them know we know this trick. One poster stated that we often supply lots of things for our students and I know this is true. Let's not let one person helping out her students go under.

Submitted by Mike (not verified) on February 23, 2011 7:53 pm

If Jerry does not protect this young heroic teacher, the very little faith I have in the PFT
will be forever gone. Teachers please come out and march against these absurd actions
of the school district. Their pride has been wounded, so a courageous teacher must suffer.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 7:09 pm

Hope,
I hope that you know that you are the talk of everyone in every school. We all know your name. I went to a meeting that had 40 people from 40 different schools and we were talking about you.
You are very courageous and I am standing behind you. There are many people who will be marching on Friday for the children and for ourselves in your name. Thank you for being a role model.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 8:58 pm

It's going to be a rough time for the District trying to prove that they apply ANY of the "rules" they are now trying to apply to Hope Moffett evenly. I teach my students how to stand up for themselves, even when the person trying to trample them is another teacher. I help my students get home, and show them that I care for them even when they make egregious mistakes.

The District won't fight truancy in high schools. How is that not encouraging truancy? My school asks me to leave my class unsupervised on occasion. How is that not violating this "rule"? This District discourages teachers and students from pressing charges when they are assaulted because it reduces the number of violent incidents. How is that not "physical harm"?

I don't think these are bad rules. I do think they are enforced selectively and in this case, with malice aforethought. You don't pick and choose what is bad for children. If it is bad, you discourage it without regard to personal image and ego. If it is good for them, you encourage it without regard to personal sacrifice. Unfortunately, only the teachers in this district understand that. The administration would do well to listen to us.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 9:31 pm

STUDENT STRIKE - ALL CITY PHILLY!

MARCH 14th to APRIL 1st! NO TO STATE TESTING! NO TO STATE CONTROL OF THE PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL DISTRICT!

NO MORE BUDGET CUTS! LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS NOW!

WE REFUSE TO TAKE STATE TESTS UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DEMANDS ARE MET!

DEMANDS:

1. REPAIR THE SDP BUDGET WITH NO MORE SCHOOL CLOSINGS
2. HIRE MORE TEACHERS- TEACHER ASSISTANTS - SPECIALISTS
3. SCHOOL REPAIRS AND UPDATES IN EVERY SCHOOL (OUTSIDE AND INSIDE)
4. SMALLER CLASS SIZES < 20 PUPILS - MAKE USE OF UNUSED SPACE WITH NEW TEACHERS - MORE DIVERSE CLASS OFFERINGS - PULL OUT PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS IN NEED
5. NO MORE STATE CONTROL - LOCAL PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL BOARD
6. GUIDANCE COUNSELORS 1:200 IN EVERY SCHOOL
7. SAFE AND ORDERLY CLASSROOMS IN EVERY SCHOOL
8. TRAINING AND SUPPORT FOR ALL STRUGGLING TEACHERS
9. STUDENT EVALUATIONS OF ALL TEACHERS FOR EDUCATIONAL QUALITY
10. PARENT INPUT AND INCLUSION IN LOCAL DECISION MAKING
11. MORE CREATIVE ARTS PROGRAMMING
12. FULL TIME NURSES AND SUPPORT STAFF IN EVERY SCHOOL
13. NO MORE STATE TESTING UNTIL THESE DEMANDS ARE MET

SEARCH: PHILLYPUBLIC@YAHOO.COM ON FACEBOOK TO BE A FRIEND OF PHIL LEE

SPREAD THE WORD!

MAKE SIGNS! GO TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUIILDING AND PROTEST STATE TESTING WITH STATE CONTROLLED FINANCIAL FAILURE!

PROTEST AT YOUR SCHOOL! TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!

MONDAY 3/14/11 TO 4/1/01

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 10:15 pm

Yeah, you can have #1, or you can have #2-13. You can't have both.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 10:38 pm

And WHERE will we get the money to do all of this? We all want the budget to be fixed, but please be realistic.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:18 am

This could be funny. The faces at 440 would turn purple and the stuttering would be funny, but remember that the PSSA is not city ordered. This will not make our point about Hope and the treatment she is receiving.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 4:52 pm

This was eloquently written and the sentiment behind it is understandable.

However, there may be some things that are being missed. One of the justifications for Renaissance/Turnaround schools is low PSSA test scores. As low participation (attendance) in the PSSA test results in not making AYP, all this protest would do would be to produce more schools that didn't make AYP and are thus closer to being eligible to become a Renaissance school.

Other problems include who is going to get the message. The state takeover with the SRC replacing a local school board is something that the state would have to change. Funding is an issue for federal, state, local governments as well as the taxpayers. Many of these people would look upon a student strike as justification for lowering funding, not increasing it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the number of days of this proposed student strike is exactly as many days as it takes to be declared chronically truant, up to and including being removed from the rolls at your school and needing to re-enroll in school. The district WILL use this against you.

You should use the great energy behind this idea to instead voice your concerns in a positive way. Do not let them dismiss you as petulant children. Demand to be taken seriously by using the public forums already provided, the media, word of mouth.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 10:39 pm

Has anyone seen the official document assigning Arlene Ackerman to a rubber room for her role in "endangering the welfare and health of the children" at South Philly High? It was her actions that put in an unqualified principal that had been banned from teaching New Jersey. It was her inaction after this same principal bragged about bringing down the "Asian dynasty". Not to mention the bullying of William Aikens, the white teacher who tried to warn the principal of the impending attacks and the black aide that tried to protect some of the Asian kids only to be let go. It was Ackerman who wasted $99,000 in a quack investigation. For her to persecute Hope Moffett to daring to question an obvious shame involving public funds shows us that it is time to march to remove her. If Nutter is too gutless to do the job then he will have to go too.

Submitted by March on 440 (not verified) on February 23, 2011 10:08 pm

Let's join in solidarity this Friday! 4pm District Headquarters!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2011 11:56 pm

Wow that would be interesting an all city school strike and no one taking the PSSA wouldn't that just make the district think that people are tired of this nonsense, closing schools, giving more and more public schools to charter organizations!!!

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:45 am

It might feel good to do this... it would make some at 440 turn purple and stutter, but we need to remember that the PSSA is state controlled, reported and required. That would not be productive.
We could strike and not complete any other testing - for report cards, reading levels, or even the city controlled benchmarks, but do we want to take on the state, too?

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 4:53 pm

I have been thinking a lot about this idea - no - not take on the state, but let's give everyone in the system straight A's for the third report card. They just dropped the elementary schools into a 4 period system this year and there are sooooo many glitches with the system still anyway... Lat'e just give all A's and let the administration spend the extra time trying to fix the glitches. You know, it might be helpful of us.

Submitted by Jimmy (not verified) on February 23, 2011 11:07 pm

Good luck to you Hope. I too am a teacher who (since September) has been dealing with this crazy system. I have suffered for months in Teacher Jail/The Rubber Room/The Island of Misunderstood Teacher ( I don't know what the official name is for what accounts to nothing more than a holding cell for teachers). I am in a different district but have seen very little of order and proper procedure. I feel like Alice after falling into the hole running after the white rabbit. I have dealt with a collection of Mad Hatters and March Hares that just seem to follow very little protocal. I sit and wait for this kangaroo court to yell out "OFF WITH HIS HEAD" even though I did nothing that warrents such a action. There are too many good teachers out there who are being stopped from doing their best.
When I took the job in the Philadelphia School District I thought I was working with a team that consisted of the principal and almost everyone right on up to the superintendent. After a year of "being put in the corner" and hidden from my fellow teachers, I have found out that we are alone. Even my union representative is more concerned with helping me write a letter of resignation than helping me get my job back.
I will be there Friday. If I have enough nerve I am going to hold a big sign that reads "I AM AN INNOCENT TEACHER STUCK IN TEACHER JAIL!"

Submitted by Anne E. Levin Garrison (not verified) on February 23, 2011 11:19 pm

The budget would be fleshed back out if the money stopped going toward testing and test prep time and materials.

I am so proud of this teacher and of her students. YOU are the future of our PUBLIC schools!

Please! GO FOR IT!!!! You are all the best! Fight for what you KNOW is RIGHT!!!!

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 7:53 am

You are right about the effects this could have on our budget problems. We should also stop the turn around process in so many schools and wait for data about the effectiveness of these turn around cases.
I would also love to give back the remedial programs that we are shoving down the throats of the whole class. That is not what they were designed for. This is a very ineffective use of money, time and energy.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 5:49 am

The representatives for the SDP have mismanaged this situation. First, to remove her without explanation of the charges against her.
Second, to "direct" her not to "discuss" this matter under threat of "disciplinary action". And finally, to accuse her of "Endangering the safety and welfare of children". Why did it take them 5 days to determine that?

This whole situation is so sad. For the students, the teacher, and the SDP as a whole. I wish the PFT would organize a rally in support of Hope. I know I would be there.

"Doing what is right isn't always easy, but it's always right." Hope, I pray that you are vindicated. Stay strong.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:49 am

It did not take 5 days to determine that - it took 5 days to produce a believable line to sell the media.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:00 am

Amen!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 7:46 am

Citywide rally tomorrow! For our students and for hope.

Submitted by Anne E. Levin Garrison (not verified) on February 24, 2011 12:05 pm

There are many programs and text books and materials in the schools now that add more weight to the wallets of long-time beneficiaries of NCLB-based policy.

And the testing machine is massively expensive.

Does anyone remember when teachers actually chose and created their own curriculum? ...chose their books? ...freely used their own talents and skills without being scared that administrators would find out?

Hope Moffet dared to commit a "crime" against harmful and destructive bureaucratic policy--she dared to care enough to try and teach, RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN! She dared to stop following orders that were not working and THINK FOR HERSELF. Oh my gosh--SHE DARED TO THINK FOR HERSELF.

And the outcome was even scarier--her students began to model her and THINK FOR THEMSELVES!!!

You are raising the stakes here, just by having this dialogue. YOU are making this happen. YOU ARE MAKING HISTORY.

WE CAN save our public system of education!

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 2:07 pm

Anne, I hope you are right. I remember teaching as a challenge that kept me on my toes - moving the kids forward, keeping them engaged and interested as we grew as people, learners and thinkers. I want those days back. Spoon feeding these kids that do not care this scripted seet of curricula is not teaching... I am a referee, disciplinarian and taskmaster, but not a teacher.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 12:07 pm

I think it's unfortunate that this discussion seems, in part, to focus on individuals. We may fully support Hope Moffett, but we need to recognize, as well, the role that students, other teachers, other school staff, and community have played in an attempt to make schools in Philadelphia meaningful. Similarly, I don't see the need for personal attacks on Wayman or Spangenberg. It's about the policies and processes of the school district.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 2:29 pm

Wayman runs the high school region and Spangenberg is her assistant. Therefore, they make the policies and process of the SDP.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 1:09 pm

I think it's unfortunate that this discussion seems, in part, to focus on individuals. We may fully support Hope Moffett, but we need to recognize, as well, the role that students, other teachers, other school staff, and community have played in an attempt to make schools in Philadelphia meaningful. Similarly, I don't see the need for personal attacks on Wayman or Spangenberg. It's about the policies and processes of the school district.

Submitted by capski (not verified) on February 24, 2011 1:10 pm

Hope is much more than a symbol of bullied mistreated teachers. She is one of many teachers at Audenried who are concerned about the fact that the School District has made Audenried a Renaissance school without any supporting data. We have made requests for the data, we've been told we'll get it, and it never comes. The School District has made a huge error characterizing Audenried as a failing school, and has been unable to back up their decision.

The School District is demonstrably wrong and is in full CYA mode.

The pressure from the staff and community is not going to go away. It's now up to the District to admit it's mistake and do the right thing. The longer they wait, the worse it will be for the staff, students, and community.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 2:04 pm

This is happening again and again throughout the district. Meade was thrown on the empowerment list last year without any warning or reason. We got no reasons and made AYP again last year after the insult. Yet, we are stuck with the announcement and all the programs that came with it. The saddest part is that with all the confusion and lack of information, the kids are suffering. AYP may not be in the cards this year and it is entirely our leadership's fault.
We were moving forward and now seem to be spinning in circles.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 1:44 pm

And where are Jordan and the PFT throughout all of this?

Oh, right. Making tough statements. Not actually DOING anything. But making some VERY strongly-worded comments.

Bang up job as always, Jerry.

Submitted by March on 440 (not verified) on February 24, 2011 2:31 pm

Jerry just signed onto the the TAG rally tomorrow!
http://www.pft.org/Page.aspx?pgid=51&article=293

I am not usually a fan, but at least he will get his hands somewhat dirty--this time.

Submitted by Glad PFT Stepping to the Plate (not verified) on February 24, 2011 4:16 pm

I am happy to see PFT is joining TAG at this Rally.

It about saving Public Schools.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 2:10 pm

Teachers - talk this up at lunch, whenever. Not everyone knows about the rally yet. Pass the word. We need a strong showing. We need to look like the union we are.
Tell everyone. Post in facebook, twitter it, whatever.
We need to spread the word. Rain or shine, we show up and are heard.

Submitted by SAMIR MACKEY (not verified) on February 24, 2011 3:04 pm

I JUST WANT TO ASK ONE THING ARE STUDENTS ALLOWED TO BE AT THIS RALLY FRIDAY?

Submitted by K.R. Luebbert (not verified) on February 24, 2011 3:36 pm

Samir--the rally is at 4:00 PM (after school), and is billed as a rally for anyone interested in public education. It would seem to me that students are very interested in public education.

Submitted by Ms. Chips (not verified) on February 24, 2011 3:31 pm

It's after school, in a public space where anyone can be, so if it's OK with your folks, you can come.

Submitted by Teacher in the trenches (not verified) on February 24, 2011 4:54 pm

There is no reason why not, Samir... just use your own tokens to get there.
Just kidding. We would love to see students there to join us. This rally is about you as much as anyone. remember the civil disobedience rules and come on down.

Submitted by mousyes (not verified) on February 24, 2011 5:37 pm

There maybe reasons minors should not attend. Tomorrow afternoon's weather, "20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 60 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain near 100 percent."
Also, late Friday afternoon is neither the time or place for young people to be on the 400 block of North Broad Street. There will be plenty of sunny warm holiday afternoons during which young people can protest. Safety first.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 5:12 pm

safety - YES !. Come dressed for the weather and come in groups.

Mousyes, sorry to contradict you - you have a good point, but I will not underestimate our students. They have a huge stake in this. They have the right to join us. Some things even our children can decide for themselves.

Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on February 24, 2011 8:58 pm

 Samir, we are encouraging students to come since it is about the ways in which all of us...teachers, students and parents are being excluded from the process.   We know of some students who are planning to come so you won't be the only student there.   Hope you will be there.

Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on February 24, 2011 3:26 pm

Please Note that the PFT has send an email urging PFT members to come to the rally, including copies of the flyer and also posted an announcement on the PFT web site.   

 

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 4:43 pm

Absolutely true. My wife, mom, and sister received the emails. All PFT members received the same email. Ron, I wish some peole would be a little more patient before jumping on Jordan. At times, he is great! Other times not so great. People don't realize that yes he does want what is best for teachers. I can't believe for a minute that he would just lay low on all that is going on.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 4:06 pm

If you see the start of this somewhere else...

Sorry, computer went nuts for a moment. What I mean is that a rally is a good START. We should have newspaper ads about this - radio announcers talking it up, more support. The weather is going to be against us, as luck would have it, but the farther the news is spread, the more people who will show up. The high school kids who started the walkouts, should be told, somehow and the media is probably our only chance for that.
I try hard not to judge Jordan or any of the union's strategies, but we cannot stop at a rally. What is being done for Hope legally? How can we really help her and the others in this boat? Okay those with less than three years are in limbo, but we need action. Not just noise.

Submitted by Ms. Chips (not verified) on February 24, 2011 3:46 pm

Dear Hope,

I applaud your passion and I hold my breath at your brave recklessness. I suspect you knew your job was gone when you were removed from the class, because your comments seemed re-energized. But what a model you are for your kids! You are one teacher they will always remember.

Now be aware that the charges against you are serious, and seem to be written in order to permanently remove your certification to teach in Pennsylvania. This is a potent warning to other educators, as I am sure it was meant to be. Be sure that your legal team fights hard to prevent this from happening. Enlist community to come down tomorrow at 4. I for one will be there.

Submitted by Regina (not verified) on February 24, 2011 4:13 pm

Let's not forget that at the root of this episode is a school of students being told, without data to back up the assertion, that they are failures. Hope didn't' start this to be a hero (although every revolution needs its galvanizing figurehead), but to speak up for her students who were being ignored and marginalized. Please let's not forget the students who continue to be treated as experiments.

I will be there tomorrow, standing tall (and loud) with the countless teachers and students who are tired of being bullied.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." MLK, Jr.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on February 24, 2011 4:16 pm

That is a very appropriate quote from MLK. Thanks for posting it. I'll be there, too. Just look for the red shirt.

Submitted by Me too! (not verified) on February 24, 2011 5:37 pm

I just heard about the rally! Count me in tomorrow!

Submitted by SouthPhillyElemTeacher (not verified) on February 24, 2011 6:35 pm

I'll be there, as will others from my school. I will be loud and proud! There also is a rally supporting the WI unions on Saturday at noon-Love Park. We need to stand in solidarity with those who will stand with us through this debacle.

Thank you, Hope, for speaking for many of this. You may not have gone in to teaching to teach EVERYONE...but you are! Many more are now understanding it's ok to speak up and speak out. Thank you for being so brave. We appreciate you and your sacrifices!

Submitted by Trey (not verified) on February 24, 2011 7:52 pm

So what happened at the hearing today?

Submitted by Hope Moffett (not verified) on February 24, 2011 8:49 pm

The hearing was rescheduled by Ms. Wayman for next Wednesday, March 2nd. There were conflicting issues that arose on both sides. I won't know much more until then.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2011 9:02 pm

So, that means your students are without a teacher for another week? Crazy... but very Waymanesque!

Submitted by Trey (not verified) on February 25, 2011 7:54 am

Hang in there. Stay strong. And don't read too much of these blogs and comments made about news articles. It could mess with your mind.

Submitted by mychildrenarenotexperiments (not verified) on February 24, 2011 9:44 pm

hope dont let them refurbish you in that rubber room that they have u in

Submitted by Audax (not verified) on February 24, 2011 11:34 pm

I gotta say, this is making life in the "quadrant" a bit more difficult, Hope! Stay strong.

Submitted by Sonia Szymanski (not verified) on February 24, 2011 11:43 pm

I'm really disappointed on the attack on Mrs. Wayman and Mr. Spangenberg. I worked for Mrs. Wayman for close to 6 years and she has always been fair and put students first. She has always been a stickler for rules and procedures in a district that has had a history of inconsistency. The district has experienced failing schools for years led by teachers and administrators that were willing to do nothing while students were allowed to attend school and be underserved. So many students have literally learned to read and write in middle and high school because of Mrs. Wayman's leadership. She held our students to high standards and taught them that that they can excel after years of other public school staff, teachers and administrators allowing our kids to fail year after year.

Mr. Spagenberg has proven to be a qualified professional who has always put students first. Mrs. Wayman taught me that the right thing is not always the easy thing. Please be sure you have all of the accurate information regarding this situation before you attack people that have proven their dedication to teach and protect a population of students that have historically been underserved and underrepresented.

I'm also disappointed at the number of educators who are posting thoughts and opinions anonymously.

Submitted by mychildrenarenotexperiments (not verified) on February 25, 2011 12:10 am

have u ever thought that maybe they would love to post their names but considering wat happens to people in the district who speak out what would u suggest that they do

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 12:04 am

She's proves her dedication daily, with the very open WAR she wages against teachers throughout her region. She sits in offices and pushes paper, while attacking the very people who are in the classrooms dealing with the BS from her and her boss, while we try to help these kids she CLAIMS to care so much about. Teachers care too, we actually see the kids everyday, and are a large part of their lives each day--while she pushes papers and attacks us unrelentlessly from her cubical.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 8:51 am

Your comments are ridiculous and coming from an obvious place of anger. You have no idea how hard Ms. Wayman works. Many of the people who are angry are angry because they are being called out on their ineffectiveness.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 8:04 am

Just the opposite. It is Wayman's test prep way or the highway. She rules with an iron fist that has no idea what is engaging and appropriate for high schools that want their students to do more than learn how to bubble in multiple choice guesses.

Submitted by AJG (not verified) on February 25, 2011 10:14 am

You say the above comments are ridiculous; I say it's ridiculous to judge that anyone who is angry, incensed, OUTRAGED by the matters at hand is merely "ineffective."

In the end, which is more "effective" anyway -- defending a broken system and practicing CYA tactics, or fighting for change that benefits *students* instead of administrators' pockets? Hm, guess it depends on your personal definition of "effective." Never mind!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 3:04 pm

Many of these schools wouldn't be in this position if they had been doing work entailed by awesome task they were charged with --- EDUCATING THE CHILDREN. Now, they've lost the privilege to the it "their way," because they were not being effective.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 5:45 am

You can reveal your identity because you are blessing Wayman and Spangenberg. You are not a teacher - you are a school counselor - so you have not been forced to use half of the school year to "test prep" students who are worthy of much more. You have not received useless test prep materials from the AD1 office. You have not been told to follow AD1 dictates even though they are not aligned with the school's action plan. You have not experienced Wayman's wrath and disrespect. Spangenberg, who has very little classroom teaching experience (even while at Rhodes, he did "administrative" work during his 2 year TFA stint). How is he qualified to evaluate a teacher?

Many of us have put in decades going above and beyond putting students first and setting high standards for ourselves and our students. We are at the whim of administrators whose main interest is their status and using their power to intimidate and threaten others. Wayman is no different. It is all about her, her office, and their ability to make us do ridiculous paperwork. Wayman and her staff have had one message all year - all that matters is the PSSA and "you will obey." As a parent, I certainly don't want my children spending half of the year doing test prep. (No, my children are not in a selective magnet school nor a private school. We live in a working class area of Philadelphia where the vast majority of my neighbors never had an opportunity to go to college).

So, before you accuse those of us who question what is happening under Wayman / Spagenberg of not "caring" or not being willing to set "high standards," listen to others than those in your office at Rhodes. Wayman's public attach on Hope Moffett is because she dared to care enough to encourage her students to think. Under Ackerman and Wayman, encouraging students to do more than fill in bubbles and "tag it a 3" is tantamount to treason.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 7:30 am

Why do they have to post "thoughts and opinions anonymously", Symanski? Because of vindictive administrators like Wayman. Dedication to students does not give you the right to attack teachers. This American fascism, short and simple. We're disappointed in people like you that want to defend those who do others wrong and then dodge the point.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 10:55 am

It must be nice to enjoy the privilege of denying other people's reality. You keep reading story after story written by dedicated educators who have been subjected to Wayman's bullying tactics. I'm telling you: one of her people came into my room twice, wrote fundamentally inaccurate reports and flat out lied about a disciplinary action direceted at student. I was issued an "Unsatisfactory Incident" based on this lie and am still awaiting a hearing. I have lots of documentary evidence refuting the "observation," yet, thanks to the gutless PFT, am essentially helpless. It seems to me that you have some sort of self-interest by publicly defending the indefensible. I hope the money is worth it.

Submitted by Sonia Szymanski (not verified) on February 25, 2011 6:32 am

Mrs. Wayman did not create the PSSA or the other standards for which we are measured. Teachers and Counselors are required to follow mandates that often feel limiting. Mrs. Wayman did not create the PSSA and whether we like it or not, it is the tool used to measure our students progress. It is not ideal and I'd like to see our students and teacher have the freedom to use techniques that encourage more critical thinking, however, we work for a public school district and we are measured by the PSSA, Attendance, CSAP,etc and until that changes, as professionals, we are required to use these systems to serve and educate our students the best we can. I just don't think Mrs. Wayman or those who work with her and/or for her should be blamed for their efforts to have our students "measure up" by the standards for which we are forced to be measured. As I read the other comments, it just seems unfortunate folks are willing to personally attack others without all of the information relevant to this matter with this teacher.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 8:37 am

Sonia you are completely correct in your assessment of the situation. If the teachers in this district want to look for someone to blame, march down to Harrisburg and talk to your state representatives.

Submitted by ACTUAL TEACHER (not verified) on February 25, 2011 8:57 am

I have worked for MANY principals who all feel pressure for kids to do well on state exams but none so blatantly disregarded education as Wayman did. As a school leader, it is imperative that you find a balance---we owe it to our children.

Submitted by ACTUAL TEACHER (not verified) on February 25, 2011 8:53 am

No one ever said that Ms. Wayman created the PSSA. But as a teacher who is passionate about education and who has worked for SEVERAL principals, Wayman's stringency and lack of concern over real education for students is baffling. Like the teacher above, I was personally targeted after standing up to Wayman and arguing that writing should be taught a mere ONE DAY per week. She consistently checked lesson plans only for TEST preparation. There was absolutely NO lesson no matter how creative and aligned to the standard that Wayman would approve of--she wanted TEST preparation. As a white woman I know that this type of focus would NEVER be tolerated for WHITE MIDDLE CLASS STUDENTS.
While all principals are under the gun to raise scores, the minute that directive takes over an ENTIRE school and ROBS education for hundreds of students, we have a TRAVESTY.
As you can see, my critique of Wayman has NOTHING to do with her personality--even though personally I don't care for her. I think you should listen to the people who have worked for her on this one.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 8:00 am

Amen!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 10:00 am

Um ... hello ... in those instances in WHITE MIDDLE CLASS neighborhoods - as you say 0 ... those students are proficient readers. You need to be able to crawl before you can walk ...

Submitted by Tara (not verified) on February 25, 2011 8:22 am

The bigger issue is that Audenried is being handed over to Universal when the SDP didn't even follow their own protocol. They didn't involve the community, the staff, the students, or parents in their decision, and the data they used is misleading and faulty. People, regardless of position (teacher, student, parent) are allowed to question those decisions in order to get clarity and greater understanding. They shouldn't be in fear of retribution for raising their concerns.

Ms. Szymanski - The experiences teachers/staff have had with Mrs. Wayman and Mr. Spangenberg are their realities. While you may have had nothing but positive interactions with them, it appears that many others have not. You note that we need to use the systems the SDP has in place to educate our students the best we can. What happens when the systems are flawed? Teachers want better, but how does that happen? Mrs. Wayman is in a position to improve the system, and many teachers don't see that happening. This is where the frustration, disappointment, and anger come from.

The current administration is dismantling public education and the union school by school. All teachers need to be concerned by this because eventually your school will be on the list.

Submitted by ACTUAL TEACHER (not verified) on February 25, 2011 8:40 am

Tara you are exactly right. I hope that you will be able to make it at the rally this afternoon at 4PM. TAGPHILLY.ORG

Submitted by ACTUAL TEACHER (not verified) on February 25, 2011 8:44 am

Tara you are exactly right. I hope that you will be able to make it at the rally this afternoon at 4PM. TAGPHILLY.ORG

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2011 12:51 pm

Someone needs to start a wiki just for this topic!

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