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Questions remain over staffing, layoffs

By Dale Mezzacappa on Aug 9, 2011 06:40 PM

Updated

More than a month into its new fiscal year, the School District is still unable to say exactly how many positions have been eliminated as a result of the need to drastically cut its budget. And there is no new organizational chart explaining how the District has been reorganized.

But we do have some information from both the District and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers that may shed some light on what is actually going on with the largest mass layoff the District has seen in several decades.

According to the District, 2,418 people have been affected by the “reduction in force.”

They include 1,222 teachers, 739 non-instructional school-based personnel, and 457 people from the central office.

In addition, 1,182 people have taken advantage of an early retirement incentive program (ERIP). People eligible to retire have been offered 18 months of free health care benefits as an incentive.

Altogether, that could result in the reduction of as many as 3,600 positions. But the number of positions actually eliminated is unclear because undoubtedly some of the people who took the retirement offer have to be replaced.

The District's original target was to reduce the workforce by 3,800, including 443 central office jobs. But that total included kindergarten teachers when the plan was to eliminate full-day kindergarten, which has since been restored.

And the 1,182 number for early retirements does not capture all the positions vacated through regular retirements, resignations, and people who have transferred from one job category to another.

The PFT also shared some numbers, not all of which line up with the District’s.

The union said that 1,522 teachers had been laid off as of June 30, 300 more than the District's figure. One possible explanation for that discrepancy: teachers who were laid off as of June 30 but who worked in summer programs have not yet been counted as layoffs.

District spokesperson Elizabeth Childs said that the numbers could differ because 300 teaching positions had been restored, but the PFT did not confirm that. some teaching positions had been restored.

So far, according to PFT spokesperson Barbara Goodman, 877 PFT members have retired, either through ERIP or otherwise. (The District's figure for ERIP retirements includes people from other unions and non-represented personnel.)

Goodman said that 881 non-teaching PFT personnel have been laid off. Most affected positions: supportive service assistants (SSAs), parent ombudsmen, student advisors, and people working in early childhood programs. Other categories with significant numbers of layoffs are nurses (18 and counting, given the School Reform Commission’s recent decision to increase the student-nurse ratio), secretaries, food service managers, non-teaching assistants, and social service liaisons.

Many of the non-teaching PFT members work in clerical jobs in the central office, and they have taken a big hit as well. For instance, in the human resources department, there are personnel clerks, benefits clerks, fiscal clerks, recruitment assistants, and the like. Many of them have been laid off, according to the union.

Ironically, with all the layoffs, retirements and other movement of personnel, these are the people needed to process all the paperwork. Some of them have been kept on for another three months, but will then be laid off.

“These are the people who do the nuts and bolts work,” said PFT Vice President Arlene Kempin, who is based in the central office.

Still, human resources has cut back its hours for people to come in with problems and issues. Some hours are designated “by appointment only.”

The District has put a drop box outside the office for people to put their paperwork during hours that the office isn’t accepting walk-ins. But so far, said Kempin, it is not secure even though it contains lots of personal information including social security numbers.

Said Kempin: “this is going to be an extremely tough year in more ways than one.”

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Comments (94)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 20:49

Goodbye Ackerman. Take your incompetent arrogant cronies with you..

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 07:04

They're not incompetent. Arrogant, of course, but in order to be incompetent, you have to have a modicum of concern and they don't. Carpetbaggers all and good riddance to them if indeed, they are gone.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 15:12

That's exactly what these people are. Carpetbaggers. Packing up their s**t and unloading it on innocent people somewhere else.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 16:32

I totally agree.

Submitted by Mayday (not verified) on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 20:59

The story fails to report that many school police officers were laid off. I work in an elementary school and was told we would "probably not" have an officer this year.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 22:37

This is very concerning.

Submitted by Mayday (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:55

Yes it is. The information I have is that all school police in K-5 and K-6 schools are gone. Only high schools, middle schools, and K through 8 schools will have school police officers. NOT the place to make budget cuts. Anyone who works in an elementary school can tell you that school security is critical.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 21:26

Please look into how and why many of the non-teaching PFT staff in 440 were laid off and then restored to non-union positions with the same responsibilities and different job titles!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 07:01

Where have you heard this from? I do hope it is looked into...

Submitted by Mayday (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:58

This is true. I know someone who worked in curriculum at 440; she was laid off and then offered her job back as a non-union employee under a slightly different title. She refused. The bullsh*t continues. Jerry, do your job and get us some transparency here.

Submitted by MacMaven (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 09:00

It is true. It happened to ALL represented members in the Office of Career & Technical Education - same thing, reapply for a non-represented job under a similar title. However, in this case the PFT did get everyone reinstated to their positions two weeks after the layoff/farce. It was a stupid move in the first place because it wouldn't have saved the district any money - this office gets their funds from a federal grant!!! Hopefully your colleague and others like her have contacted the union and showed them the new title/description to prove it's too similar and it's an effort at union busting. They should be able to get reinstated.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 09:39

So, can I get reinstated because they tried to lay me off, or does this only apply to 440?

I am glad you got your job back-- but I knew when they said the cuts would start at 440 it was a lie.

Submitted by MacMaven (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 10:05

It depends. Did they lay you off then tell you to reapply for a similar job that's non-represented? What I was describing from the Office of CTE was a blatant attempt at union busting. If you were told to reapply under a similar title and/or you find that similar title posted and it's non-represented, then I think you have a good case.

Submitted by gdgman3 on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 21:36

So, what's the possibility of some special education teachers being recalled over the next few months?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 22:20

how about phys ed teachers being recalled?

Submitted by Mayday (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 11:02

Hmm. Certain phys ed teachers with one year in the district have been recalled. Of course, there are the inner workings that no one talks about - principals get who they want and like, despite the rules we think are in place.

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 22:42

Have any forced transfers been called in yet? Seems like that will be the first move? Also, does anyone have a link to info about Philly principals, for those of us who are forced transfers? I'd rather work for/with a decent principal at a tough school than one of the (many) teacher-thrashing types at a "better" school.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 09:20

How about when are we going to be called to go to 440 and choose a new school?????????

I need to know when and where I will be teaching in 3 weeks!

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 09:47

That's what I asked, in case you missed it?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 17:48

There is abosolutely NO reason to be vituperous!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are ALL on edge.

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 18:43

?

Submitted by Enlightened Teacher (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 00:43

I'm not sure how anyone else feels about this, but I've just looked through the SDP Organizational Chart, which was released as a part of the "Educational Accountability Agreement," and like others have expressed, I think the District could save more money by eliminating some more positions down at 440...

As relates to the Chief Executive Officer/Superintendent of Schools' Cabinet and their direct reports, here are the positions I think should be eliminated along with the total savings from each position:

- Deputy Superintendent -- $230,000.00

-- Associate Superintendent for Strategic Programs -- $180,000.00

-- Associate Superintendent for Academic Support -- $185,400.00

--- Chief Information Officer -- $142,452.00
--- Deputy Chief Financial Officer -- $144,200.00
--- Budget Director -- $135,499.00

--- Deputy, Professional Development -- $135,000.00
--- Deputy, Multilingual Programs -- $142,055.00
--- Deputy, Empowerment Schools -- $133,900.00

- Chief Public Information Officer -- $170,000.00

LEGEND:
- Reports to CEO/Superintendent
-- Reports to CEO/Superintendent's Designee
--- Reports to Designee

Total Savings: $1,598,506.00

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 07:01

Wow...How many idiots does it take to run a school district?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 07:03

I might just nominate you for the chief accounting position!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 12:17

Aside from the salaries obviously being high, what's the justification for eliminating these positions? Are you highlighting these because they somehow also represent redundancy? Are they empty positions with no accountability?

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I'm just trying to understand what made you select these positions, because as it stands, it looks like it's just 6-figure salary roles you're targeting....which again, might make sense with some justification.

Thanks!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 22:03

Just as #TeamAckerman is eliminating the core staff of the District -- the teachers -- based on money, these pompous jerk-offs sitting down at 440 should too be eliminated because most of their positions are dubious and can be absorbed by other positions...

1. Deputy Superintendent -- LeRoy Nunery is not, and has never been a teacher, let alone a principal or regional superintendent, so how have we allowed him to become the District's Deputy Superintendent? He's never been in the classroom or a school, except for his time as a student. Show me his Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility and any instructional or educational specialist certification he holds in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and maybe, just maybe he might be good enough in the eyes of this teacher to be one of District's top officials.

2. Associate Superintendent for Strategic Programs -- The District previously indicated the individual holding this position has been layed-off because of the reduction in force.

3. Associate Superintendent for Academic Support -- As everyone already knows, Tomas Hanna has left the District for a post with the New York City Department of Education, along with the former Associate Superintendent for Academics/Chief Academic Officer, David Weiner. This work can be absorbed by either the Associate Superintendent for Academics/Chief Academic Officer's office or the Office of the Associate Superintendent of Schools, the latter being the preference.

4. Chief Information Officer -- This is a glorified information technology position. As outdated and inaccurate as the information on the District's website is, we could stand to lose the individual in this position. After all, what do they do?

5. Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Budget Director, respectively -- Michael Masch has all the answers, so he does not need any help. He does exactly what Ackerman and Nunery, who by the way, he reports to, tells him and says whatever he wants them to say, so he can do this without making others into liars.

6. Deputy, Professional Development -- This role can be absorbed within the Office of Teaching and Learning, which prior to Ackerman was the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development. Karen Kolsky, God bless her soul, could better use her talents elsewhere. She probably only took this assignment since Ackerman gutted the regional structure like a fish.

7. Deputy, Multilingual Programs -- This role can also be absorbed within the Office of Teaching and Learning. Lucy Feria, who was the North Regional Superintendent before assuming this role, needs something else to do... something that does not require her to make any public presentations, which she is horrible at and makes you question her competence with all the "uhs" and "ums"...

8. Deputy, Empowerment Schools -- This role can be absorbed within the Associate Superintendent of Schools office. Previously, separate, special schools such as these were handled by the Office of School Management, led by the retired great Nilsa Gonzalez.

9. Chief Public Information Officer -- There are far too many people in the District's Communications Office, many of whom are Ackerman's Sorors (sorority sisters). The Communications Office is one of the most populated offices in the whole district. Some fat needs to be trimmed for sure...

Does this satisfy your thirst for justification now, "Anonymous"?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 23:36

"laid off" not "layed off". Just like "lose" is not "loose". Scary.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 23:42

People make mistakes... Thank you for correcting my boo-boo Ms. Williams... I stand corrected, Rev. Williams, the "Baptist minister turned Penacostal"... Tell St. Arlene I said hello!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/31/2011 - 00:56

Guess you didn't have corrective reading when you were in school...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 07:11

What exactly is holding the arbiter up??? Stay on them, Notebook!

It takes time to get staff placed, etc. , and especially this year with the mess these Promise Academies caused. If they don't move soon, they will put students at risk of being in classrooms with no teacher.

In this case, "no news is good news" does not apply.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 12:14

Isn't today the 30th day after the case was originally heard?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 12:23

It was heard on the 18th..the 30th day is the 17th of August..My principal said it was to be announced on the 11th.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 14:07

Thanks. I knew it was heard on a Monday and so ht was due by a Wednesday--I was just a week off. It appears time does not fly when you're waiting for the outcome of arbitration that lets you know whether or not you are employed.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 08:14

What about counselors? Many secondary counselors have been laid off too!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 12:37

Some counselors have been recalled. I think the district should just freeze all movement until next school year so we can open up in Sept fully staffed! We could fill vacancies with those who were laid off! Restore school budgets back to where they were with 2010-11 staffing limits!!!

Submitted by Mitch Briarsonio (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 14:37

Huh? Where is the money going to come from?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 10:13

If no new people are hired, there is plenty of room for everyone still willing to work in this district. Lots of teachers have fled this sinking ship.

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 13:06

Reassignment information sheet just posted at the vacancy website (generalities, not date specific.) Maybe they are finally getting it together?

Submitted by Mitch Briarsonio (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 14:31

The Vacancy List has been updated. Some additions. Staff leaving the district?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 14:58

I know of a few people, personally, who have left the city/state even though they were not laid off and they did not tell the district they weren't returning. The first week of September is going to be a bumpy ride.

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 15:42

I wish those people would officially resign, so that those of us going to pick have a true picture of what's available. Slim pickings may mean enormous commutes in some cases, which could be avoided if people would just notify the district. It would also get the ball rolling faster for the people laid off.

Submitted by imsteena (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 15:57

Pretty irresponsible. If they are trying to "get back" at the district for any reason, they are really just screwing their colleagues.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 15:13

What happened to Archie supposedly announcing cancelling the contract on July 30th instead of June 30th? He mentioned this in an interview that they will wait 30 more days from June 30th and the SRC would make a decision. I wish someone knew!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 15:37

It is all just a scare tactic. They have no legal basis to cancel the contract they entered into. They were given authority to cancel pre-existing contracts when they took over, but this does not mean they can cancel any contract they feel like after they enter into it.

The argument they are making is about like someone who is previously divorced attempting to get their second marriage annulled on the grounds that they were allowed to divorce before so this gives them the right to nullify any subsequent marriages.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 16:03

I am also concerned about what is going to happen when this current contract expires in January 2012. I can only assume that the District will say no money for raises because of the $629 million dollar hole they dug. I hope it's not the case and I hope that if we do get raises that they will be every year not every 18 months like the current contract. Jordan better not even think about trying to pull a fast one like he did at the vote previously.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 19:32

contract don't expire in jan '12. we just get our raise then.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 22:18

Okay, thanks.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 20:10

I am wondering when discussion, specifically targeting school nurses, will be addressed. I am reading that there may be another cut in this position. Has anyone heard anytning concrete. I understand that teachers are the majority group represented by the union but they need to remember that they represent others who also pay union dues. I am tired of hearing things through the grapevine and if this union does not show improvement in their ability to communicate to all of they members then I think other people need to be voted in. Or maybe the union needs to go. I don't mind taking my chances.

Submitted by Emmanuel Busted (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 21:38

I'm taking a chance, too - I'm actually going to vote for a white Republican for mayor this fall. That's how sick of the corruption I am. If she seeks to disband the Union, let's see what happens. Solidarity didn't save jobs, but it might get a 1.5 million payday for AA.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 22:19

Actually, John Street said he is supporting the Republican candidate for the Mayors race---I forget her name-Brown?

Submitted by MacMaven (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 09:59

I was thinking about voting Republican too, simply to place my vote AGAINST Nutter who hasn't had the courage to speak up on these Ackerman/SRC issues. However, PLEASE READ THIS FIRST (per Brown's website: http://www.karenbrownmayor.netboots.net/issues), before you place your vote for the Republican candidate, Karen Brown, a former "parochial school" teacher. (After reading this, now I'm seriously considering withholding my vote altogether.) Quoted below:

"Karen Brown is the only candidate for mayor who has been on the front lines of education. She is a teacher. She knows the schools, she knows the employees, she knows the unions and she is committed to our children. She will replace her nominees to the School Reform Commission with leaders who understand the need for reform, the need for economy, and the need for effectiveness. She will stand up to unions, when unions act against the interests of our children and the taxpayers. She will fight against tenure and work for merit pay. She will end “rubber rooms” where teachers are punished by being exiled to secure rooms where they do no work. She will work to expand our charter schools. It’s time to bring control of our schools home from Harrisburg. Karen Brown will work with our local legislators to create an elected school board for Philadelphia. Education will only get better with Karen Brown as mayor."

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 12:29

Thanks MacMaven!! I didn't know this. Well, then I guess teachers should vote for Nutter again. The choice seems obvious now. Brown would do the same thing as Ackerman. Eliminate tenure? Not a good thing.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 12:49

There is very little chance she would be able to achieve ANY of those things. There is also no chance she will win. Nutter has already won this election.

Also, tenure will be eliminated. It is coming. There's not much we can do to stop them. The rich in this country seem to have picked teachers as the last large group of people left who are actually middle class and actually have the ability to stand up for themselves in the workplace. So they need to destroy us as much as they can.

It is sad to see, and even sadder because they don't understand the Philly system at all. They've painted a picture where there are only great administrators and half the teachers are lazy do-nothings who are only getting paid because of the union. They don't understand that the union protects good teachers from crappy administrators far more often.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 15:26

I'd like to know where the arbitrators announcement is! It was supposed to be today. School starts in 3 weeks--could they wait last minute?

Submitted by imsteena (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 13:23

I'm not sure if this has been answered yet, but have the 174 teachers with more seniority than those in Promise Academies been notified that their jobs could be rescinded, pending the arbitration? I know that some teachers, close to 200, were recalled early in the summer, but just curious if the next 174 are aware of their position.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 14:18

There was supposed to be an announcement today by the arbitrator. I have no idea what the hold-up is but it needs to be announced so the school year can start smoothly.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 14:57

Where the heck is the announcement from the Arbitrator?? It was supposed to be today. What are they waiting for---September??

Submitted by Rachel (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 16:20

So have any of the 20 people in the Communications Office been laid off?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 17:49

Ugh! This is infuriating! Why haven't we heard from the arbitrator? The even more infuriating aspect of this is that I learn more from the notebook and Kristen Graham than I do directly from the district.

Submitted by imsteena (not verified) on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 14:38

This just in: Transfers begin next Tuesday. Still no word on arbitration?

http://pft.org/Page.aspx?pgid=51&article=332

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 22:15

I can't believe how messed up this district has gotten.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 23:49

Unfortuantely, Dr. Ackerman is not taking this lying down. Here's what's happening at Central Office: While we are busy focusing on her and her issues, she has allowed the following reorg to occur: Dr. A's Special Assistant, Latifah Phillips has been appointed to the position of Deputy of Teacher Effectiveness and Leadership Development (new office/new position- more $$$$$$); Darienne Driver (former Deputy of Empowerment Schools) is now Deputy of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development; Joel Boyd is not the Assistant Supt. for Promise Academies (I guess they decided if he was going to make 140K he needed to work more than two days per week); Francisco Duran (former Asst Supt for Promise Academies) is now Asst Supt for AD5; Linda Chen (Former Deputy for Teaching and Learning) is now Asst Supt for AD6; Karen Kolsky (former Deputy for Professional Development) is now Asst Supt for AD7; Lissa Johnson (former Deputy for ???) is now Asst Supt for AD9; John Frangipani is now Asst Supt for AD10 (Renaissance Chaters). There are still a plethora of Directors, Executive Directors, who are managing departments with little to no people. You would think a district that is bleeding money like a busted faucet would demonstrate fiscal responsibility in such a time as this. Surely, AA does not care about teachers, only about giving all of her students a glowing resume/curriculum vitae...This is sickening and disheartening.
Unfortunately, the Inquirer's article focused on her dinner companions rather than how the instructional infrastructure is still in limbo, while she secures a "hefty severance" for her doctoral students- 440 is crawling with them...like little roaches- and they continue to multiply!!!

None of Estelle Matthews people in HR (namely the Directors) have been eliminated (and because she is the type of woman she is, they probably will not be RIF'd until she goes). If teachers/schools have to face hardships, shouldn't the Supt, have to also endure? Must be nice in that Ivory Tower called 440. Nice job, Dr. Ackerman. You have clearly demonstrated the city of Philadelphia does not have the proper talent needed to move this district forward. Hopefully, the next appointment WILL BE home grown talent, and NOT everyone has to be in an Urban Education PRogram or come through the cult-like Broad Academy to demonstrate their qualifications to turn a school around...true reform begins in the heart, and is manifested in results. The results experienced by this district are not a result of your tenure (it's been upward growth for nearly 10 years) so stop clinging to that fallacy.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 23:51

Unfortuantely, Dr. Ackerman is not taking this lying down. Here's what's happening at Central Office: While we are busy focusing on her and her issues, she has allowed the following reorg to occur: Dr. A's Special Assistant, Latifah Phillips has been appointed to the position of Deputy of Teacher Effectiveness and Leadership Development (new office/new position- more $$$$$$); Darienne Driver (former Deputy of Empowerment Schools) is now Deputy of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development; Joel Boyd is not the Assistant Supt. for Promise Academies (I guess they decided if he was going to make 140K he needed to work more than two days per week); Francisco Duran (former Asst Supt for Promise Academies) is now Asst Supt for AD5; Linda Chen (Former Deputy for Teaching and Learning) is now Asst Supt for AD6; Karen Kolsky (former Deputy for Professional Development) is now Asst Supt for AD7; Lissa Johnson (former Deputy for ???) is now Asst Supt for AD9; John Frangipani is now Asst Supt for AD10 (Renaissance Chaters). There are still a plethora of Directors, Executive Directors, who are managing departments with little to no people. You would think a district that is bleeding money like a busted faucet would demonstrate fiscal responsibility in such a time as this. Surely, AA does not care about teachers, only about giving all of her students a glowing resume/curriculum vitae...This is sickening and disheartening.
Unfortunately, the Inquirer's article focused on her dinner companions rather than how the instructional infrastructure is still in limbo, while she secures a "hefty severance" for her doctoral students- 440 is crawling with them...like little roaches- and they continue to multiply!!!

None of Estelle Matthews people in HR (namely the Directors) have been eliminated (and because she is the type of woman she is, they probably will not be RIF'd until she goes). If teachers/schools have to face hardships, shouldn't the Supt, have to also endure? Must be nice in that Ivory Tower called 440. Nice job, Dr. Ackerman. You have clearly demonstrated the city of Philadelphia does not have the proper talent needed to move this district forward. Hopefully, the next appointment WILL BE home grown talent, and NOT everyone has to be in an Urban Education PRogram or come through the cult-like Broad Academy to demonstrate their qualifications to turn a school around...true reform begins in the heart, and is manifested in results. The results experienced by this district are not a result of your tenure (it's been upward growth for nearly 10 years) so stop clinging to that fallacy.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 07:18

My apologies for the multiple posts

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 23:53

Unfortuantely, Dr. Ackerman is not taking this lying down. Here's what's happening at Central Office: While we are busy focusing on her and her issues, she has allowed the following reorg to occur: Dr. A's Special Assistant, Latifah Phillips has been appointed to the position of Deputy of Teacher Effectiveness and Leadership Development (new office/new position- more $$$$$$); Darienne Driver (former Deputy of Empowerment Schools) is now Deputy of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development; Joel Boyd is not the Assistant Supt. for Promise Academies (I guess they decided if he was going to make 140K he needed to work more than two days per week); Francisco Duran (former Asst Supt for Promise Academies) is now Asst Supt for AD5; Linda Chen (Former Deputy for Teaching and Learning) is now Asst Supt for AD6; Karen Kolsky (former Deputy for Professional Development) is now Asst Supt for AD7; Lissa Johnson (former Deputy for ???) is now Asst Supt for AD9; John Frangipani is now Asst Supt for AD10 (Renaissance Chaters). There are still a plethora of Directors, Executive Directors, who are managing departments with little to no people. You would think a district that is bleeding money like a busted faucet would demonstrate fiscal responsibility in such a time as this. Surely, AA does not care about teachers, only about giving all of her students a glowing resume/curriculum vitae...This is sickening and disheartening.
Unfortunately, the Inquirer's article focused on her dinner companions rather than how the instructional infrastructure is still in limbo, while she secures a "hefty severance" for her doctoral students- 440 is crawling with them...like little roaches- and they continue to multiply!!!

None of Estelle Matthews people in HR (namely the Directors) have been eliminated (and because she is the type of woman she is, they probably will not be RIF'd until she goes). If teachers/schools have to face hardships, shouldn't the Supt, have to also endure? Must be nice in that Ivory Tower called 440. Nice job, Dr. Ackerman. You have clearly demonstrated the city of Philadelphia does not have the proper talent needed to move this district forward. Hopefully, the next appointment WILL BE home grown talent, and NOT everyone has to be in an Urban Education PRogram or come through the cult-like Broad Academy to demonstrate their qualifications to turn a school around...true reform begins in the heart, and is manifested in results. The results experienced by this district are not a result of your tenure (it's been upward growth for nearly 10 years) so stop clinging to that fallacy.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 01:16

Are you shitting me??? What happened to Asst Supt's from last year? Have they been returned to Principal positions? And what did she do with her girl Pam Brown???

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 07:15

don't where Pam Brown is now working she must have did a quiet exit or maybe she'll pop up at the principal's leadership institute this week (which is only three days) this year. That should be interesting because Ackerman is waging an all out war against the SRC, it was reported she is crying "foul" because she is being forced out. They (the SRC) have tied her hands, no more carte blache. It seems the people who are supporting her are the people whose organizations/non-profits have benefitted from her being here. Therefore one cannot blame all of them for fighting tooth and nails. AA wants the Promise Academy in her cap, and the supporters want the PA's (this model is only as good as the parents who support it). She is not and never will be Geoffrey Canada, and try as she may to reproduce Harlem Children's Zone, she does not have the personality and finesse to pull it off. Besides what now happens to Empowerment schools? Remember they just WASTED millions of dollars buying scripted materials because they changed curriculums in the k-8 last November, so now all those materials are sitting on the fifth floor while much needed teachers are will be sitting home. Damn! You can't make this stuff up.
Hopefully they will have it together because teachers are scheduled to return September 1 (school) and Sept 2 will be professional development . This is a shame for teachers still growing in this profession (Philly is not the place to truly hone/mold those pedagogical skills).

Submitted by Concerned Philadelphian (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 07:28

Scripted curricula requires no honing of pedagogical skills... The SDP sent out an email (with the wrong dates - had to be corrected) for voluntary teacher PD with "our curriculum partners" that is training in all the "bells and whistle" / scripted curricula. There is no curriculum in Philadelphia - instead, we get canned, scripted / on-line "stuff" to implement in class. With Driver the head of Curriculum, there will be nothing but this "slop." This reinforces the message - what is done in school is test prep. Apparently the only schools which do more than test prep are magnet schools since they will not be required to use the so-called "interventions."

(In your first post you did not list AD1 - I believe it is still Wayman. Wayman was put in power through Victory Schools at Rhodes. We know what damage she did last year to high schools but she is still in place. I guess Ackerman likes her "bull dog" bully tactics.)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 08:22

Yeah...she wasn't worth mentioning.

Submitted by Community Stakeholder (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 07:44

If you're right about nothing else, you're right about one thing: YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SHIT UP! This is literally too good for TV!!!

Here are my other questions:

1. Who is in charge of AD-1 (High Schools)? Hopefully, it isn't that tyrant Linda Claitt-Wayman...

2. Who is in charge of AD-2 (Middle Schools)? With John Frangipani being reassigned as you mentioned, I can only wonder who is that division, if anyone in that division at all, has been selected to replace him...

3. What's going on with the Alternative Education Region and "Uncle" Ben Wright? According to the paperwork released to the city as a part of the Educational Accountability Agreement, that's the only region that has an "Assistant Regional Superintendent" (Hilderbrand Pelzer, who by the way did nothing at Gratz)...

4. What happened to Pat Mazucca, Anna Jenkins, and Elois Dupree? Personally, Mazucca should have never been promoted to an Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools position in the first place... how do you give a promotion to someone whose school had to be turned into a Promise Academy? Oh, wait, don't answer that question. (Still please answer about these people being reassigned.)

5. Where's Penny Nixon? Is she taking on the work of Chief Academic Officer since Weiner left for NYC and the bogus work that Hanna, who also left for NYC, was doing?

6. Is LeRoy Nunery really going to take over when she leaves?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 08:38

1. Unfortunately Wayman is still in charge of AD1.
2. AD 2 has been eliminated.
3. Uncle Ben is till in charge. But since the district doesn't have money how will they fund Alt Ed? OMG!!! This is going to be really interesting. ( I digress)
4. Eloise Dupree is now @ 440. Don't know where the other two are... I 'll look around and wil let you know if I see them next week.
5. Penny Nixon is in charge of all the Academic decisions. I say no more.
6. He has been mentioned to serve as interim, which is quite sad. He was a runner up for the job, got called in when the going got tough, and now may have to step in orals be ousted with the rest of her folks ( he is part of her team).

Submitted by Community Stakeholder (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 09:03

I feel sorry for the people in the high school AD... Surely she will pick another school and teacher to personally write-up this year when they say or do something that her or Ackerman don't like.

I guess the middle school principals (what little of them there are) will run rampant without supervision this year.

Uncle Ben will make everyone rice and be happy...

Thanks for looking into Mazucca and Jenkins!

And God help us if Leroy is made interim. The chick Pam Williams talks about there being anarchy if Ackerman is removed, well I will personally lead the protest if Nunrey --- Mr. No Credentials --- is made in charge of anything.

As I look at all these changes though, especially the prospect of Nunrey being in charge, I'm starting to think that Ackerman and all that has happened with and to her was strategic. Otherwise, like you said, why bring Nunrey in in the first place?

Keep up the good work!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 09:13

Forgot to mention middle shools have been integrated into their respective divisions.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 09:17

Doesn't Uncle Ben look like "Wally Walrus" the old cartoon character

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 11:54

Ok...that observation is inappropriate for this discussion. Let's keep this clean and professional...but yes now that you mention it, he does resemble that remark!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 12:01

I miss you!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 12:05

LOL...I miss you too!!!

Submitted by Concerned Philadelphian (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 11:31

Nixon ran Wagner in 2009 - it was one of the schools on the "cheating" list. She doesn't know anything about curriculum - especially high schools. But, why should anyone with power have to know anything in the SDP????

Ben Wright made extremely sexist and anti-teacher comments in the Inquirer series on school violence. Anyone else but "a friend of Arlene" would have been fired. (e.g. pregnant teachers should learn how to protect themselves - it is her fault she is pregnant...) Why is he still around? Shannon knows nothing - so I guess he can handle expulsions...

In Philadelphia, the crap, rather than the cream, rises to the top!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 09:14

I heard Pelzer was going to be principal at PLA North

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 10:09

Pretty sure he is and the assistant supt position is gone.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 12:09

Yep..One thing I like about this district, if you have ideas but success record, you get promoted. If you have ideas and A SUCCESS RECORD you get laid-off!!! (lol...no joke)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 09:09

Here is the leadership for Office of Schools and Academic programs:
AD 1: Linda Wayman
AD2: closed
AD3 (Promise Academies): Joel Boyd
AD4 (Alt Ed): Benjamin Wright
AD 5: Francisco Duran
AD 6: Linda Chen
AD 7: Karen Kolsky, Ed.D
AD 8: Emmanuel Caulk
AD 9: Lissa Johnson
AD 10(Renaissance Charters): John Frangipani

Academic Programs:
Academic Enrichment and Support: Dennis Creedon, Ed.d
Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development: Darienne Driver
Parent and Family Services: Karen Dunkley
Multilingual Curriculum and Programs: Lucy Feria
Educational Technology and Accountability: Fran Newberg, Ed.D
Academics and Promotional Standards: Wilfredo Ortiz
Teacher Effectiveness and Leadership Development: Latifah Phillips
Early Childhood Education: Renee Queen Jackson
Student Discipline, Hearings and Expulsions: Gregory Shannon
School Crisis Management and Non-Instructional Support: Stephen Spence
Secondary School Programs: Theodore Thompson, III, Ed.D
Specialized Instructional Support: Linda Williams

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 10:17

Why is there an entire AD for Promise Academies? There's only a few of them. The upper echelons at 440 sure have grown.

"Cuts start at the top" yeah right. Cuts started and ended with staff in actual schools.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 11:33

Also, why did they change the Asst. Superintendent for Promise Academies? Francisco Duran just got laterally moved? Is the staffing philosophy of the district to create as much instability as possible?

Submitted by Concerned Philadelphian (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 11:33

Joel Boyd was given Promise Academies. His is one of Ackerman's recruits from Florida. He is clueless. He is annoying. He will do anything Ackerman tells him to do. Therefore, he is qualified to work with Ackerman's Promise Academies.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 12:02

OMG!! You read my mind. But the boy is smart. Last year he worked only two days per week (part-time) because it was said he wanted to devote time to his doctorate but I heard that an error was made, and he continued to collect a full-time Principal's salary, so maybe this year he is working off all the payments he received in advanced...Ackerman's kids are getting paid!!!! She is a savvy businesswoman, I heard in this last contract, a sweet severance package was negotiated for her people. Cant confirm because their stuff is not in our contract but more than likely it's true. In the event her peeps get cut, they get a paid their full salaries for several months...and you know they will land jobs elsewhere, but for several months they have no worries...unlike those of us who have to depend of PA Unemployment Compensation for the summer...(12 months folks got screwed ROYALLY)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 11:51

I know your question is rhetorical, however, I too question the obvious overlap in administration- why so many divisons becuse it is obvious the model is not working and has not worked. If nothing else the high school division should be broken up into two divisions - COMPREHENSIVE and SPECIAL ADMISSIONS because the needs and required support of the schools in these categories are very different, and often the attention has focused on the high needs schools, and the special admit schools have been left to their own devices (and I am sure the principals are very happy to be left alone). God forbid Ackerman appoint any of her people because NONE of them know HIgh schools or CTE programs, they all have done their training in elementary classrooms/schools (imagine David Weiner and Linda Chen making decisions for high schools...give me a break!)

I only know I feel sorry for Ackerman supporters who fall for "equity" but forget that when it comes to education, the needs of one does not outweigh the needs of the many. If a school is performing poorly (and there are over 100 of them, then ALL of them MUST be Promise Academies). I guess she figures the other students can afford to fail because in today's world not everyone can be successful...so is this a way of guaranteeing that we are producing students who will be dependenton the system thus insuring jobs for other's future??? Maybe I am being too suspicious but doesn't it make you sick when they pick and choose who gets help and who doesn't get help? Do we sympathize because of this "Sophie's Choice" (remember it's the movie when the Nazi's force Sophie to decide which of children must die?) ? I know this may not be a fair comparison but that what it comes to...which schools get all the extras...extra paint, extra lighting, extra books, extra personnel, extra instructional support, extra money, extra incentives...while others are forced to continue working in rooms contaminated with Asbestos (it's supposed to be harmless...yeah ok!!!) and lights that don't work because the bulbs are not available...for months at a time. So we work quietly in semi-dark classrooms, salvaging reading materials that have been mistreated, and pray for a miracle, while waiting for Superman to save this sinking Titanic!!!

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 12:20

What is the difference between "Professional Development," which now under Darrienne Driver, and "Teacher Effectiveness and Leadership Development" under Latifah Phillips. (Where was Phillips before? Driver was Empowerment Schools. I know Driver was brought here by Ackerman. What about Phillips? Driver, while friendly compared to Wayman, knows nothing about curriculum. What does Thompson know about high schools? Again, schools are suppose to be about learning yet there is no one to develop curriculum which will enhance student learning.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 12:09

Why are administrators who are laid off allowed to take positions as principals, etc? Teachers who are laid off were put on a list sent to everyone the final day of site selection saying "You are not allowed to hire these people." Laid-off administrators, however, appear to have been shuffled around and never were in any danger of actually losing their job for a second.

We have heard so much about 440 employees being laid off and offered their job back the next day under a different titles outside the PFT bargaining unit. And my thanks to the brave few who refused!

It seems after all this showboating about cuts starting at the top and 440 being downsized and yadayadayada that the ONLY people who are laid off are teachers and support staff. Why did we have to lay off cafeteria workers and noontime aides and janitors who have worked for the SDP for a decade or more but didn't lay off a single admin in reality?

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 12:22

Imagine how many parents of Philly students who are working as NTAs, cafeteria workers, and teachers were laid off while the administrators, making 10 times as much, were not. So much for Ackerman's pledge to parents. The only parents Ackerman acknowledges are the Pam Williams types who are Ackerman's cronies.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 13:09

Does anyone know if there is a team in charge of empowerment schools anymore? I know they got rid sbis I am wondering what "support" will look like in those schools.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 20:16

If parents would support the truth...hopefully more of them will get hip and start reading notebook for information.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 20:26

What's happening with the special Ed coordinators? Last I heard 30 positions were cut. Are they coming back?

Submitted by gdgman3 on Sat, 08/20/2011 - 12:11

Does anyone know the BEST PERSON TO CONTACT AT 440 for any hope of finding out where I am on the CALL-BACK LIST? I realize I will need to wait until the dust settles over the next week or so, but want to have some idea of whether I can wait it out or not. I am a dual certified Special Ed and English teacher with 12 years experience, though only hired by SDP in September, 2010. I was around 195 out of 335 in June.

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