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Just in time for the holidays: more layoffs

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 22, 2011 04:10 PM

Grim budget news takes no holiday.

School District officials have confirmed that the District is sending out layoff notices Friday to 141 members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, as part of a planned cut in school-based services due to a huge budget shortfall. These midyear cuts are designed to help squeeze more savings from a budget that in October was up to $39 million out of whack.

And even after these cuts, which affect mostly school-based personnel, a gap of more than $20 million remains.
 
Included in the group are 47 nurses, 28 secretaries, 20 supportive services assistants, 18 non-teaching assistants, 13 school operations officers, 5 library assistants, and a handful of other support personnel. Five of the layoffs are in the central office.
 
Coming in the midst of Hanukkah and just days before Christmas just adds insult to injury, said PFT President Jerry Jordan, who vowed that the union would “challenge these layoffs using every legal means available.  
     
“The District cannot cut its way to better student achievement. It’s time to say, ‘Enough,’” Jordan said in a statement.
 
The layoffs are effective at the end of the year, the result of both centralized decisions and principals’ choices on how to cut between 1 and 3 percent from their budgets. Because layoffs occur according to seniority, 112 employees were also force-transferred. The layoffs of nurses had originally been expected in early December but were delayed because of issues involving the new deployment plan, officials said.
 
Among those laid off is Michele Perloff, the school nurse at J. Hampton Moore, an elementary school in Somerdale.
 
“My school has 1,200 children, including 200 who are medically fragile,” said Perloff, the widowed mother of three who is the sole family breadwinner. “This is terribly shortsighted.”
 
Perloff, a former orthopedic trauma nurse, said she reinvented herself as a school nurse so she could spend more time with her children.
 
“They need me,” she said, especially since the death of her husband six months ago.
 
The timing, she said, “is despicable.” But more than that, she said, the students in her school need her, facing issues including obesity and asthma. The remaining school nurses will be spread more thinly around the District, spending less time in each school.
 
Said Jordan, in his statement: “Surely the SRC has better options than to cut nurses who are the schools’ first-responders protecting children’s health; library assistants who provide literacy support and keep open the remaining school libraries; other school employees who support not only students, but assist teachers, staff and families; and non-teaching assistants, who are crucial to keeping children safe.”
 
“I was getting ready to begin a master's in health education to complement my work as public health nurse,” Perloff said. “Now I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

"The School District realizes that it is never a good time to lay off employees, and that is especially true during the holidays," said spokesperson Fernando Gallard in a written statement. "These reductions are very difficult but unavoidable. The District has had many hard choices to make to close its budget gap and, in making across the board reductions, the District has focused on maintaining its academic programs and support for those programs to the greatest extent possible."

Gallard's statement concluded that "while the timing is unfortunate, delaying these actions will only exacerbate the problem.

Comments (191)

Submitted by TIRED OF THE LIES (not verified) on December 22, 2011 6:50 pm

Dear Fernando,

Where is the equity in these budget cuts? How much has been trimmed from the low performing Charter schools? How about the cuts to the Dr. Ackerman Promise Academies? You are lying about the funding. Make it equitable and spread the cuts to all of the Philadelphia students-not just the ones who attend schools that have LABOR UNIONS!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 7:04 pm

I agree completely. It's all a corrupt charade and Charters are a joke, a BUSINESS for the rich and all clear thinking people know it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 10:57 am

Cuts have not been made to charter schools b/c their funding is guaranteed in PA law. I agree that it's unfair, but in this case, there is nothing that SDP can do about funding to existing charter schools. We have to complian to Harrisburg about that one.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 29, 2011 2:01 pm

With all due respect--and I mean that--complaining ain't going to get it done. The pols know exactly what they're doing and what that is, is destroying the inner city Public Schools in favor of CORPORATIONS--Charters Schools. It's corruption 101 and right smack in our face. WE THE PEOPLE need to stop this not only because it further separates the haves from the have nots but also there is no monitoring the charters really and that's one of Diane Ravitch's biggest complaints. It's a shell game. It's simply another way for the rich to get over on the poor under the pretext of school choice. It's a business model based on a variation of the slum lord mentality--If it looks good, it is good no matter how phony it really is. Money is money. As a matter of fact, it's segregation pure and simple. Kids in my school have no paper on which to write--yes, you read that correctly.

Submitted by tom-104 on December 29, 2011 2:14 pm

In case you missed it...this is a repost of my comment in "Top 10 city education stories of 2011" story on the Notebook:

The use of charter schools to return to separate and unequal school segregation is something which is getting more and more attention. The Miami Herald last week ran a three-part series "Cashing in on Kids". The third part, "Charter schools enrolling low numbers of poor students", details how Miami-Dade County is returning to segregation through charters. It is at:
http://tinyurl.com/7kp7q7c
(Parts one and two are linked on the page.)

The series includes a profile of Florida's largest and richest charter-school management company, Academia. http://tinyurl.com/894crrh This company was started by two real estate mogul brothers (?!), Fernando and Ignacio Zulueta. The article describes the company:

"During the past 15 years, Zulueta and his brother, Ignacio, have built Academica into Florida’s largest and richest for-profit charter school management company, and one of the largest in the country. In Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Academica runs more than 60 schools with $158 million in total annual revenue and more than 20,000 students — more pupils than 38 Florida school districts, records show.

Academica’s schools consistently get high marks for academic achievement, with some schools earning national recognition. Mater Academy Charter High in Hialeah Gardens is considered among the nation’s best high schools by U.S. News & World Report, and recently won the College Board Inspiration Award.

And despite recent cuts in state funding for public and charter schools, Academica’s schools have prospered financially: One of its chains of nonprofit schools has assets of more than $36 million, the company says.

Academica’s achievements have been profitable. The South Miami company receives more than $9 million a year in management fees just from its South Florida charter schools — fees that ultimately come from public tax dollars.

But the Zuluetas’ greatest financial success is largely unseen: Through more than two dozen other companies, the Zuluetas control more than $115 million in South Florida real estate — all exempt from property taxes as public schools — and act as landlords for many of Academica’s signature schools, records show.

These companies collected about $19 million in lease payments last year from charter schools — with nine schools paying rents exceeding 20 percent of their revenue, records show."

How do they get away with this? Read the article:
" Academica cultivates links to lawmakers: Academica has powerful friends in Tallahassee, including Rep. Erik Fresen — the brother of the CEO’s wife." at: http://tinyurl.com/75fe3k8

The charters are being created to be a separate school system for the wealthy and the shrinking middle class. Their much touted "success" is based on draining funds from public schools and restricting the access of students with special needs (see part 1 of the series) and children from low income families.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 29, 2011 3:36 pm

Tom 104---No, I didn't miss it. I commented favorably about your post---YOU GET IT, MY FRIEND. The problem is most folks think talking and mild complaining will get the problem corrected. I come from the school of thought where when you have a cannon, you use it and WE are the cannon in this case. Corbett and his ilk don't give a rat's ass about the inner city kids and his budget for us speaks to that. Consequently, WE need by any means necessary to stop this corruption of the inner city school systems NOW and I am 100% in.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 27, 2011 1:56 pm

I am a secretary III-12 months at least I was I was cut to a Secretary III-10 months what happen to no bumpping. All of a sudden althought I have been at my school for 3 years I have been bumped to another school. How is this possible. This is unfair to everyone. A deep investigation should be done in this matter. I was given a 2 hour notice that I have to pick a new school and to date have yet to recieve and kind of formal written notice. I didn't even get to pick the school because I was out sick that day. I shouldn't have to suffer just because someone else's job has been cut.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 27, 2011 3:09 pm

Absolutely. Our secretary got bumped to another school with little warning and we had a new one with "more seniority" the next day.

Did ANY school get to keep their secretary? The school district isn't a temp agency, last I checked. A little bit of consistency might be something we should work towards. Why was it done this way? Why did they have to shuffle what seems like every secretary in the district around with no notice in such a haphazard way?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 28, 2011 12:29 pm

Only 5 secretaries at 440 have been cut. Why not start at the top and work your way down. If not as if you can ever get anyone to answer a phone at 440 anyway!!!!!

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 1:09 pm

Many of the "former" college interns received positions post graduation. Were they cut? I don't think so. It also depended on whose child they were and who had the most "pull."

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on December 27, 2011 5:14 pm

Wow, YOU shouldn't have to suffer because someone else's job has been CUT? Yes, it's traumatic to have to leave your school, but it's just a tad worse to be laid off and face financial ruin, isn't it? And it's not like you have a classroom to pack up. Just file your Right to Return and think some positive thoughts for the person who's petrified she might to lose their house not that she doesn't have a job.

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on December 27, 2011 10:56 pm

LOL - Typo city! The above message should read: "think some positive thoughts for hte person who's petrified she might lose her house now that she doesn't have a job."

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 28, 2011 12:38 pm

Wow are you for real. I have to take a 10,000 cut in my pay, is that fair to me? What about my house, car and insurance payments? I don't wish anyone to lose their job but this has been done so unfairly! I have been assigned to this school why couldn't the other secretary take the cut. I do more than just type this is the misunderstanding most teachers have, that they seem to think that secretaries are below them. Without a secretary let's see you find a single form you may need or place an order on advantage.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 3:17 pm

why doesn't my neice who will be graduating in June 2014 know how to write in cursive. This is disgrace and a disservice to students. They still have cursive writing classes in private and catholic schools. Those children will be able to go to the work force and the students of public education will still be lacking the skills needed to enter the workforce. I work at a high school and wrote some sentence strips in cursive the students and the students could not read and ask me to read it for them. That broke my heart, know that these children only read as if they are in the second grade. If not for me my neice would have never even known of the skill of penmenship. Remember that. Even in the Promise Academies and the charter shcools they will never be able to hold a candle to the education given in the catholic shcools. This is who we should be modeling our schools after. Not a private for profit company. Many are asking for an investigation of funds and mismangement of 440 but what steps have we taken to pursue this. I personally am writing and e-mailing every senator, state representative, news station, news paper, congressman/congresswomen to put a stop to the corruption at 440 I hope all that give comments to this article will do the same if we band together we can put a stop to this madness and reunite the union to the once powerful force that it once was. Let's do this for all children!!!!!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 4:05 pm

Catholic and private schools have the luxury of removing students who they do not want. Philadelphia schools cannot expel students (well, they can temporarily send them to alt. ed) at all, nor can they select for parental involvement. There are vast differences in the populations served, and I am not talking about race or ethnicity. There are also huge differences in mandates and directives from the state, which constrain public but not private schools.

Cursive writing is not nearly as important as computer skills, which is the skill set that has replaced it in instructional time. As someone with 3 college degrees, I can count on my hands how many times cursive has been important. I type on a daily basis. The students couldn't read your penmanship, perhaps, but can they read print at a higher level?

We don't teach students how to replace typewrite ribbons anymore, either. Cursive doesn't add to one's knowledge of the world, one's critical thinking skills, or one's ability to communicate with the world. By your argument, cursive needs to be taught because older people learned it. I learned cursive in the 80s, but I never write in it, nor does anyone my age. In a few decades, there are going to be few people left who write in cursive exclusively. So why argue to waste precious instructional time forcing children to write with loopier letters?

I absolutely agree with you that there is rampant corruption all over the district, however, I think you should do a bit more research into what you are fighting against. Missives about turning public schools into Catholic schools and mandatory cursive will fall on deaf ears.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 1, 2012 1:59 pm

Have you recently seen reports students are typing on computers? It is not full sentences nor full words. The words the do type are as if they are texting. Everything is condensed. Ask yourself if you were an employer would you want a staff member that can complete a full sentence or type a report that can be read by a CEO or a text message letter you would have to decifer. I can write shorthand but that is no longer a skill taught. I now have to return to school just to understand text writing. The short road is not always the best. I know that a public school will never be like a catholic school but I think that we should look at practices that have worked in the past. Yes I agree computer skills are vital but many basic skills are now considered uneeded and art forms of the past. I like writing my grandparents in my own handwriting. Not to mention my 90 year old grandmother doesn't understand what LOL means.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 7:06 pm

Hmmmm.....she raises a rather good point. I don't believe her argument was that public schools should be like Catholic schools at all. As a teacher, I feel that it is a disgrace that students cannot read nor write in cursive. For one, it is a time saver. Secondly, handwriting is an authentic declaration---legal, personal and otherwise. The real question is this, are we teaching children through the use of computers, or are we teaching them how to manipulate information? Hmmmmmm......seems like the new way isn't better. Kids who graduated 20 and 30 years ago knew and learned more with less!

Think about that!

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Submitted by TIRED OF THE LIES (not verified) on December 22, 2011 6:42 pm

Dear Fernando,

Where is the equity in these budget cuts? How much has been trimmed from the low performing Charter schools? How about the cuts to the Dr. Ackerman Promise Academies? You are lying about the funding. Make it equitable and spread the cuts to all of the Philadelphia students-not just the ones who attend schools that have LABOR UNIONS!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 27, 2011 1:33 pm

Instead of laying off essential school support staff perhaps you should lay-off Asst. Principals. Are they really needed in all schools. CASA protects them, who is protecting the support staff. When the budget cuts came that was one thing that was stressed that no teachers and no asst. principals will be laid off because of Union rules what happened with those rules for all PFT members including secretaries!!!!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 29, 2011 9:35 pm

Assistant Principals are cut every year. This has always been the practice... Even before these cuts. Not every school budget can afford one. If you don't know the value of an AP ask your principal!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 30, 2011 12:44 am

God forbid they should layoff any assistant principals. The principal would have to resort to actually doing their jobs for a change. Bring back the school police and get rid of the assistant principals.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 29, 2011 9:44 pm

Assistant Principals are cut every year. This has always been the practice... Even before these cuts. Not every school budget can afford one. If you don't know the value of an AP ask your principal!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 4, 2012 1:55 pm

At some promise academies, there are 4 - 5 Assistant Principals. And at some of them, each AP has his/her own secretary (this is 100% truth, no joke)

Submitted by TIRED OF THE LIES (not verified) on December 22, 2011 6:48 pm

Where is the equity in these budget cuts? How much has been trimmed from the low performing Charter schools? How about the cuts to the Dr. Ackerman Promise Academies? You are lying about the funding. Make it equitable and spread the cuts to all of the Philadelphia students-not just the ones who attend schools that have LABOR UNIONS!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 11:06 pm

you posted this three times. learn not to hit the button in anger.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 7:06 pm

Thank you Michelle Perloff. I am a nurse with well over 1200 students and do not have an assist. I see 10 diabetics a day and administer daily medications that may only be given by a nurse. There are certain meds, like diastat, which is used for a student who has a seizure over 5 mintes. This med can save your childs life...but guess what...only registered nurses can give this med so your child will not receive this med because there wont be a nurse in the building. Ultimately, this child could end up brain dead if an EMS responder can not get there within the 5 minutes. This is apalling and wreckless behavior. I wish no harm on our students, but I promise you that the school district will have medication errors as well as deaths due to schools not having a nurse in the building.

Look at all of the money wasted by Acerkman and her buddy Estelle. Estelle was making 175,000 a year for approximately 3 years...how about we ask for our money back to keep a couple more nurses...Maybe we can even ask her un-qualified son to return his salary since he wasnt qualified for the position he was getting paid for?

The district is lying about the school nurse ratio. I currently have 1300 students by myself. Michelle Perloff is also over the ratio...How can believe anything the school district is reporting?

how about laying off the 20 people that did a walk through at my school a couple weeks ago. They did absolutely nothing but disrupt our classes. One of the members from the region actually stated "I dont really know much about teaching." Really? Again...ridiculous!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 10:21 am

That is really sad. All I can do is pray for the students at your school. To cut nurses is a really DUMB move.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 7:39 pm

PLEASE--they'll all be back, and of course, this nurse has nothing to worry about after the dust settles. Smoke and Mirrors--Ackermania 101.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 8:34 pm

The fact of the matter is that the people in the regional offices do not know what they are doing. Those walkthroughs have become reminiscent of totalitarian regimes. It is a disgrace that those people keep their jobs while nurses who are critical to the welfare of children are being cut.

Governor Corbett and Mayor Nutter are responsible for this. The governor is sitting on more than enough money to fund those cuts but instead they are playing money games with Gates and his privateers.

Did the SRC pass a resolution effectuating those cuts?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 8:42 pm

The walkthroughs are an embarrassment and yes, reminiscent of Red Scare Tactics. My Principal becomes apoplectic to the point where he nearly trembles. THERE IS NOTHING THEY CAN DO, THANK GOD. We have a UNION and even though Jerry Jordan is no Ted Kirsch, we are NOT sitting ducks and neither is this Principal. In any case, just like the last fiasco, all will be called back and the game goes on. Corbett is the agent of evil and Nutter is either the dumbest person in the Western Hemisphere or a corrupt politician. I know what I think. He's like Obama, he knows he has us in his pocket because the alternative is so bizarre that no clear thinking person would vote for them. Milton Street---Please !!

Submitted by K.R. Luebbert (not verified) on December 22, 2011 11:50 pm

All staff in the AD offices need to go before ONE school nurse/library assistant/noon-time aide is laid off. Walk-through teams DO NOT work with students, heck, they do not even help teachers work with students. The AD offices should each be pared to the Asst. super, one admin asst., and one 'instructional support specialist' (whatever that is). Anyone who does not work with students in schools should be cut. At 440, we only need payroll, a bare-bones human resources, and tech support--everyone else should go. New teacher coaches are actually useful--but all other AD staff should be laid off.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:04 am

Or be put back into the classrooms where they either learn or die.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on December 23, 2011 1:12 pm

Not exactly true. One member of our constant walkthrough team embarrassed several of my kids about how they hold pencils in second grade. It was so bad, even after I asked her to back off that one child hid under her desk each and every time that person came through and she convinced her mother to transfer her out. Yes - the mother told me the kid begged. The worst of it all is that was one child writing above grade level - reading and working in math at those higher levels, too. She would have supported the growth in the group, but is now going to help another school shine.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 1:02 pm

And these people are running our schools? You know, I am beginning to believe we need a total house cleaning of 440 and the regional offices. Their incompetence is astounding.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on December 23, 2011 1:01 pm

I agree. Clear the ranks of all those who have let this idea of checking on teachers go to their heads as POWER. That was not the plan and must be stopped.
We also now have to have rubrics posted on each and every desk, thanks to the same walkthrough member. What can be the benefit of that in second grade??

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 2:53 pm

The story I tell is that on a walkthrough, one of the teachers who was visited made a mistake on the date and was WRITTEN UP by the boob on the walkthrough. She actually had a 204 meeting and the union person made a fool out of the Principal and the walkthrough boob. You simply can't make this stuff up--nobody would believe you anyway. The WORST part is that for the very most part, the walkthrough teams are mindless numbnuts who would be murdered in 2 minutes in a classroom.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 9:34 pm

I bet you these incompetent boobs are either like the former HR director Estelle Williams or worst, her son. I cannot remember the district being so heavy with these folks who don't have a clue what goes on in a classroom to even council anyone on delivering effective instruction. They wouldn't know good teaching if it slapped them in the face. The reason why they want teachers to wall paper the room and mind useless tasks that do not help students learn is they don't know what they are doing, and are making things up as they go along. I am so convinced of this that every so called professional development the district mandates offers nothing anyone can take back and use. Imagine how much they pay these so called presenters to deliver such garbage, a total waste of time.

I have a few suggestions as how the district can save money, let go non-teaching employees at 440, keep the clerical and technology staff, move the whole operation to one of the empty buildings that are slated for sale, get rid of the regional offices and all the staff. If they cut this level of waste, there will be enough money to keep the folks in the schools working, nurses, aids, etc. Besides, these folks actually impact students where they live five days a week, in the school buildings.

Those folks in the offices, regional and 440, are blind and dumb witted to what it takes to deal with the daily rigors of delivering effective instruction and to create a populace of intelligent, innovative, problem solving citizenry for our city. Thus, they need to go for the sake of the children.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 2:19 pm

Estelle's son is still working at his same job.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 28, 2011 1:27 pm

Bravo!!!! this should be posted directly to the executive offices.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 28, 2011 12:07 pm

I often call to AD-1 for help from the secretary the response is always the same I don't know I am new to this position. Is she being bumped to a school and allow another laid-off secretary with knowledge take her place?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 28, 2011 2:11 pm

Remember, AD1 is run by Wayman. Wayman knows nothing so I'm sure her staff knows nothing. Wayman cut a good secretary because the only people who survive Wayman - including her present ISO staff - are those who "kiss up" to her.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 28, 2011 2:30 pm

To quote the kids at Rhodes, Wayman is ghetto.

Submitted by Kathleen Maguire, MSN,MS,RN (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:40 am

I can't see these nurses being called back.
How can they keep the academics going if there is no children in school- they are out sick or told to stay home by the educational team due to "suspected communicable disease."
This is a tragedy.
SRC- get the numbers from your school health team about the wellness/illness/poverty/no health providers for these children.

How can the union stop the layoff of teachers but not nurses- at this point- what's more critical? Who's going to administer the insulin, epipen, diastat?
Who's taking care of your children or grandchildren SRC and the rest of the district administration?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:10 am

That's my point--they can't and won't do it. Ain't really going to happen. Imagine the lawsuits and Mike Basch is smiling. It won't really happen but I share your disgust.

Submitted by Kathleen Maguire, MSN,MS,RN (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:50 am

Letters are out.
Many of these nurses are those that I hired. My heart and prayers go out to them and their families. I am there with you ("layed" off July 1 after over 18 years).
This is not good.
I hope the public health system can handle the overflow.
Fragmentation of care and poor health care is in the future for the children of Philadelphia.

Submitted by Tracie White RN, BSN, CSN, M.Ed (not verified) on December 26, 2011 1:28 am

Thanks Kathleen. I am one of those nurses you hired. I was called back in October. I left a teaching job with no clue that the SDP would lay me off one day before Christmas. What's worst is that I left a school that sincerely needs a nurse. I pray for my diabetic, epileptic, asthmatic, and students who take daily meds. I spent a little under 3 months reassuring parents and students that their health needs would be met to the best of my ability. I was the third nurse for the school year. I don't know how much more they can take or will they ever trust that their children will be safe in the school. What's worst is that much of the community lives below the poverty level and probably won't complain to the powers that be because they are grateful for what services they do receive.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 26, 2011 10:24 am

Yes, another example of why we need to fight not accept this draconian budget from Corbett. Bullies only stop when you stop them. He doesn't care about our kids as we can plainly see. Our leaders are not helping much either, starting with Nutter.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 7:47 pm

The district is hiring retired nurses to come in a couple of days a week. At schools where it's mandatory to have a nurse (i.e. a diabetic child, etc.) they fill the whole week with substitute nurses. That way the district pays no benefits. Our regular nurse jumped ship and left the district all together. I suspect this will happen more and more until they run out of retired nurses to fill in the gap then the crisis will hit.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:21 am

Oh REALLY! Does that matter? They have families, bills and this is their career, their lives. I realize most of these layoffs will be back in September due to people retiring and other issues, but it is distressful and why NOT cut the MILLIONS from those Promise Academies? They aren't working ANYWAY!!!!! I know a teacher from there making over 154K due to over time and Saturday's. Why is this not being cut? I am appalled!!! Seriously, 5 Library Assistants making less than 40K is not going to BALANCE their budgets!!! THIS is a disaster... and a disgrace.

Why do we have an SRC? We were perfectly adept at NOT balancing our own budgets without them. OUST them while we can still pay our electric bills!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 7:37 pm

This is absolutely wrong. Nurses, SSA's, Sectaries, and NTA's are the professionals that help schools actually run. With everything that is legally required and what society expects schools to do today, these people are essential to the educational program of any school. Why are they protecting 440? All of the hundreds of jobs in the Office of this and Office of that don't actually have an impact on the educational program of schools. We can't afford 440 and we don't need them. We can't afford Promise Academies and we don't need them. We can't afford Regional Offices and we don't need them. Invest in your teachers, principals, and school based professionals and they will get the job done.

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on December 22, 2011 9:02 pm

You're 100 percent correct. The expensive harassment known as "walk-through" and the overpaid staff at 440 should have been cut before school personnel - but this is no surprise. Poor children exist to be exploited, not educated, in the minds of those who control the school district.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 6:16 pm

Explotation!!! of our children is exactly right. Our Governor in concert with our Education Officials with building more prisons, closing more schools, and getting rid of essential personnel who make our schools function. Perhaps a job search would be to apply to the criminal justice prision authority for employment because the on going discussions will not stop the actions and decisions made behind closed doors.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 7:58 pm

Layoff the useless walk through teams and Regional Office Staff, they have no positive impact on any school.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 8:42 pm

The walkthrough team with which I am familiar, is a sorry bunch of misfits, obvious to all, a pathetic, pompous, inferiority ridden stain from district office. I say that with all the charity I can muster during the Xmas season. I bet most of them can't find their way home in the dark. Just warts on the ass of life and again I say that with..........

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 8:38 pm

Word is that CASA is going hard after Wayman because the principal (who snivel like spineless puppies) are tired of her act. The notebook would do well to investigate the fraudulent nature of these walkthroughs and the very real damage that they cause.

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on December 23, 2011 6:03 am

I agree that The Notebook - the only hope for fair reporting of the goings-on in the SDP - should launch an investigation on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) and costliness of walk-throughs.

Submitted by Anon, Anon, we must go anon... (not verified) on December 23, 2011 10:06 am

If you peruse the SDP website under Academic Divisions (ADs), you will find that the ADs employ AT LEAST 58 people (those are just the ones listed on the website--there are more just sitting around). https://apps.philasd.org/onlinedirectory/regionList.jsp These are people who DO NOT work with children, who "walk-through" schools criticizing but not helping, who REFUSE to do demonstration lessons or PDs when specifically asked by school staff. Some of them may still be PFT members, but they should be let go because they have chosen NOT to work with students. Since they are "evaluating" other PFT members on the "walk-throughs", they need to be thrown out of the union. They are completely useless when compared to nurses, SSAs, noontime aides, and school police. If Pedro Ramos truly believes "there are no good cuts left" (as he is quoted in the Inky), then he has been fed a line by someone. Those 58 people could go tomorrow, and NOT ONE child would be harmed, not one school would suffer. Bring back the 41 people laid off this week, and lay off these middle level managers who DO NOT work with students. The savings would be greater than the current lay-offs because most of these managers make more than 80 grand per year.

Submitted by Anon, Anon, we must go anon... (not verified) on December 23, 2011 10:10 am

Sorry, 141 people laid off this week!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 10:31 am

Now we will see the credibility of our new SRC! They are in charge. Their actions or inactions will speak louder than their words.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 1:33 pm

I believe it is all a setup so the SRC can come to the rescue JUST LIKE ACKERMAN TRIED TO DO WITH THE KINDERGARTEN FIASCO.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2011 9:40 pm

I agree again, watching them slithering around, LOOKING for trouble, makes a strong case for retroactive abortion. For the kids--for the most part--I have the patience of Job-----for that motley crew--not so much. Again, the above is said with all the.........

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on December 22, 2011 9:37 pm

Notice powerful people whose jobs are never in jeopardy are always begging sympathy for the "hard decisions" they claim they are making when they terminate employees with a much tinier or non-existent safety net? Shame on you, Fernando, and everyone else involved in this decision. How can any of you sleep at night?

They could have waited until January to make this announcement, but it would screw up their tax records for 2012.

Submitted by K.R. Luebbert (not verified) on December 22, 2011 11:16 pm

Speaking of Fernando, why does a district with no money NEED a 'spokesperson'? Lay him off!

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 1:36 pm

Did their relatives and friends get cut?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 1:45 am

It's time for Philadelphian parents and non-parents to challenge the irresponsible and unethical decission of the Philadelphia School District to dismiss their certified school nurses because of a budjet issue, thus leaving all of our children, many with fragil health issues, to the care of unqualified school personnel, especially in the absence of a certified school nurse.

Our Property School Tax for 2012 is $53.09 per $1000. of Taxable Assessed Value.

This action by the PSD has created a perfect strorm for reaction from the tax paying citizens of Philadelphia. Perhaps a CLASS ACTION SUITE against "paying this tax" would shake those decission makers to recind this decission for the welfare of our children.

We Need Each Other. Let's hear from you!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 1:41 am

It's time for Philadelphian parents and non-parents to challenge the irresponsible and unethical decission of the Philadelphia School District to dismiss their certified school nurses because of a budget issue, thus leaving all of our children, many with fragil health issues, to the care of unqualified school personnel, especially in the absence of a certified school nurse.

Our Property School Tax for 2012 is $53.09 per $1000. of Taxable Assessed Value.

This action by the PSD has created a perfect storm for reaction from the tax paying citizens of Philadelphia. Perhaps a CLASS ACTION SUITE against "paying this tax" would shake those decission makers to recind this discission for the welfare of our children.

We need each other. Let's hear from you!!!

Submitted by Kathleen Maguire, MSN,MS,RN (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:34 am

It time for the citizens of Philadelphia to stop the layoffs.
Who is going to take care of your children/grandchildren SRC and administration.
Overhaul the administrative offices to support the health of the city's children.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 1:03 am

It's time for parents and non-parents to challenge the irresponsible and unethical decission of the Philadelphia School District to dismiss their certified school nurses because of a budget issue, thus leaving all of our children, many with fragil health issues, to the care of unqualified school personnel, especially in the absence of a certified school nurse.

Our Property School Tax for 2012 is $53.09 per $1000. of Taxable Assessed Value.

This action by the PSD has created a perfect storm for reaction from the tax paying citizens of Philadelphia. Perhaps a CLASS ACTION SUITE against "paying this tax" would shake those decission makers to recind this decission for the welfare of our children.

We need each other. Let's hear from you!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 2:29 am

It's time for Philadelphia parents and non-parents to challenge the irresponsible and unethical desission of the Philadelphia School District to dismiss their certified school nurses because of a budget issue, thus leaving all of our children, many with fragil health issues, to the care of unqualified school personnel, especially in the absence of a certified school nurse.

Our Property School Tax for 2012 is $53.09 per $1000. of Taxable Assessed Value.

This action by the PSD has created a perfect storm for reaction from the tax paying citizens of Philadelphia. Perhaps a CLASS ACTION SUITE against "paying this tax" would shake those decission makers to recind this decission for the welfare of our children

We need each other. Let's hear from you!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:39 am

The nurses will NOT be let go. It's all posturing same as full time K being eliminated. Having said that, is Philly the most corrupt city in the nation except Detroit??

Submitted by Kathleen Maguire, MSN,MS,RN (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:52 am

Here's a question.
The Philadelphia Certified School Nurses "bill" Access for their services to certain children. The district also receives reimbursements from the state for mandated programs.
Where did this money go?
What is the district going to do without this extra income?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 9:00 am

They're going to continue getting the extra income and using it however they want. I imagine that, like ESOL and other services, the district gets a grant or per-use money for having the services but there are no strings on the money that say it has to be used for that service. The SDP probably makes money on some of these programs, then cuts them anyway, knowing they can keep getting the money.

Nobody ever said the goons (higher-ups) at 440 would do the right thing, now, did they?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 10:03 am

Their biggest insult was allowing Charters to foist their business model on the kids.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:28 am

Don't forget how Mayor Nutter wanted documents from the district, in particularly the document that lists all SDP personnel making over $80-90K salaries (some are union members at 440, while others on the list are district staff). This was published when it was released to the mayor. Wonder how that document looks today with all of the cuts and reassignments they supposedly made the first time around. Some personnel kept same position and salary but with new title so they survived the cuts. Is there an updated spreadsheet of that same information that can show where the money is flowing at 440 as far as highly paid staff (union and non-union) and where they could potentially save more money?

Submitted by Kathleen Maguire, MSN,MS,RN (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:50 am

One little example of a school nurse day in a school with 1200 children.
Along with his/her other duties (example: administering several doses of insulin, administration of daily medications, inhalers, and other incidentals) the school nurse had to handle:
>4 exposures to peanuts today- all these children were allergic to peanuts
>a student who cut half of a thumb off
>worked with a homicidal/suicidal student
> a student who was stabbed with a pencil
> a student with a suspected fracture of hand after punching a locker

Now- who, in the school, will have the training and expertise to handle these situations?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 10:18 pm

Hi Kathleen...im going to add to the above day: witnessed student get hit by a car...then had to chase after the child as he ran away from the scene because he was in shock...then waited/restrained the student until the EMS responded.

Submitted by The Janitor (not verified) on December 23, 2011 9:07 am

Hello Kathy, I will tell you who will handle all of the medical problems . Of course it will be all the building engineers and secerataries that are left to help out.This School Dist is a joke. They have to stop hiring outsiders that destroy the school dist and start looking within to run this Dist. correctly.

The Janitor

Submitted by Kathleen Maguire, MSN,MS,RN (not verified) on December 23, 2011 10:55 am

Hi.
Not sure who will be around to help out.
Layoffs and termination letters also went out in July to 1201 and others.
Who will be left in the schools?
.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 10:12 am

Now that all the employees have received a layoff notice the Building Engineer will not even be there to assist an injured student. Hell there will not even be any heat in the schools.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 10:18 am

I think it is terrible that these notices are given RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS! Could they not have done it sooner to have people mentally prepare? No- they tell them one day in advance and give them their last pay check. I think its rude and I think its mean.

On another note, I am so tired of hearing about Ackerman, anyone she hired, Estelle, etc. If you did not vote- then please shut UP! Blame the Republican in office who is putting more money in jails and less in our schools.

My prayers go out to anyone being laid off :(

Submitted by Anon, Anon, we must go anon... (not verified) on December 23, 2011 11:54 am

If there is NO money, why is someone still being paid to write and disseminate PR stuff like this? Bring back nurses, lay off PR workers and walk-through teams! Pedro, there are good cuts left! They are desk jockeys at the ADs and 440!

http://www.philasd.org/employees/Core-Team-Newsletter-Dec-2011.pdf

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 11:04 am

Interesting!

Submitted by teachmyway (not verified) on December 23, 2011 11:56 am

Politicians think that it is ok to cut the people that are in the trenches everyday working with our children, the people that have gone to state universities and have paid alot for tuition, but now the politicians are so desperate that they are taking more and more from our children, how is this ok? Our children are at risk and the more they skim and take away the more they are preparing our children for a life of crime and incarceration. I believe that is what they want, cause if our children had all the resources that children in some suburban counties get, who would go to the prisons that they pay so heavly for? I couldn't post in Philly.com because for a year my comments have been under review lol guess I was talking to much about our super and her decisions........ so thankful I could post in Philadelphia public school notebook, matter of fact I think they stopped all Philly school teachers from posting comments in their paper and that is why I do not buy it

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 11:09 pm

I must say not all teachers. You have to be a bit clever in making your statements. Mine usually get through

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 12:04 pm

It is not okay and what the people of Philadelphia need to do is march on Harrisburg and say enough is enough. We want equal education in Philadelphia. The state took over our district and it is the state's responsibility to our schoolchildren to fund our schools properly.

Let's be honest -- this mess is on the hands of Governor Corbett and Mayor Nutter. They play their political power games with our children and put the interests of privateers above the best interests of our children.

Our children are still "Beneath the Wheel" of politics and politicians, and of course, the privateers who want to dismantle public education for their own personal profit.

What a disgrace our school system has become. The state takeover has been and still is an utter failure.

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on December 23, 2011 2:20 pm

Not a single one of these people needed to be laid off. If the unions had granted concessions there would be no need for layoffs. A good start would be to make the union members pay for half of their healthcare costs, just like everyone in private industry does. Then outlaw collective bargaining for public sector workers entirely, just like the federal government does with its workers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 2:52 pm

I am a taxpayer as well educators should be treated with more respect. Educators are the with our children/grandchildren for numerous ours however you undermine what that do to educate our children. Its okay for a football player to make millions of dollar for running a ball. I would like for you to go into a classroom and attempt to teach. Maybe then you will realize they deserve every perk that they get and even more.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 8:29 pm

You wouldn't have any kids in your class if they were absent or sick.
The school nurse is just as important as you are.
They also have a license to practice.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 2:23 pm

Go to Wisconsin if thats what you want. Because things are working out so well there.

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on December 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Judging by your grammar, they didn't do any favors for you. What I am talking about is basic fairness. These are civil servants. They should not be getting outrageous benefits on the backs of taxpayers, for whom they work. These perks are no longer affordable and are bankrupting cities and states around the country.

Submitted by Your Neighbor (not verified) on December 23, 2011 5:06 pm

Then stop giving the Corporations their "perks" make them PAY their taxes, just like me and you do. Stop giving them ALL the breaks.

By the way, the PFT GAVE the school district $58 million dollars recently.

Submitted by tom-104 on December 23, 2011 10:08 pm

What is bankrupting the country is endless war, corporate and banking bailouts from gross mismanagement, and massive corruption due to removal of all federal regulations. And now you say we must pay for this by reducing our living standards? You first!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 27, 2011 5:02 pm

Teachers are taxpayers. My grammar may not be the greatest - I'm 90 years and didn't have the opportunity to complete school. . But I know the importance of educators. Why are the politicians still getting perks - where is that money coming from? Fairness to who - just you!

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on December 27, 2011 10:38 pm

As a teacher, I thank you very much for your comments. It's absurd to say we are civil servants. We're not processing paperwork, we're preparing young human beings so they may live productive adult lives. We accept marginal pay in exchange for the personal satisfaction of seeing our students thrive. However, the satisfaction is less easy to achieve when there is no appreciation and absurd amounts of blame.

It is nice to know there are people out there who support us. Your comment boosted my morale. Thanks again.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 23, 2011 11:05 pm

As I understand, these layoffs had to be completed now because raises were due in January. There is so much wrong with this system. I am feeling a complete lack of drive to show up each day with n employer who treats their employees in this manner. I have been teaching for only 3 years, and I have never felt so disconnected. The toll is horrific for those who have been laid off in the past year, but I also have such low morale and disdain for this employer that I question my effectiveness. I am a 3rd year Special Ed English teacher assigned as a prep and .5 multiple disabilities teacher providing no instruction at all.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 9:56 am

You have to think of the kids as your employer. I felt the same way as you-- who wouldn't in the face of the mass chaos in the District? I was laid off and brought back in October. I finally learned that if you think of the SDP as your employer, you can't do your job because they'll tell you 17 conflicting things at the last minute. Instead, shut the door to your classroom and do what you know is right for the students.

Although, assigned as you are, it might be all you can do to just make it through the year and get somewhere better next time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 3:35 pm

I was laid off last summer, rehired in October, force transferred in November - and promptly quit. I had finally had enough of the SDP. Two months later, I am working as a medical transcriptionist, I am treated with respect and appreciation by my employer, I look 20 years younger, and I feel absolutely great. Most of this comes from being in a field with a great future, working toward a private pension that is fully insured (public pensions are not) at a time when state employee pension funds are collapsing - but mostly because I am treated like an adult with a brain, not a lackey to be threatened by "walk through" morons. When I was first laid off, I thought it was the worst possible thing that could happen to a teacher. Now I know the truth. I was one of the lucky ones. It's the teachers who weren't laid off who got the worst of it - working in schools that are now seriously short-handed, badgered by highly-paid 440 supervisors and administrators who add nothing whatsoever to the learning process, and constantly facing the veiled threat of additional layoffs. God bless you all! My heart and my prayers are with you in these very difficult times..

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 7:41 am

The promise academy region is no more.

As of Friday afternoon, that entire staff was "let go" and Joel Boyd turned over AD3 to Linda's staff at AD1.

The promise academy schools still go to the extended day but they are now empowerment schools again.

They are running a scam and pretending they still exist but I'm reality, they do not.

I saw this coming over the summer, they should have just dropped the PA when they knew Ackerman was out. 8 million saved... How about ditching summer slam? 25 million saved. Wait until there is a lawsuit against a school fo
inadequate child safety for lack of a nurse.

Submitted by PA Teacher (not verified) on December 24, 2011 8:14 am

The promise academy region is no more.

As of Friday afternoon, that entire staff was "let go" and Joel Boyd turned over AD3 to Linda's staff at AD1.

The promise academy schools still go to the extended day but they are now empowerment schools again.

They are running a scam and pretending they still exist but in reality, they do not.

I saw this coming over the summer, they should have just dropped the PA when they knew Ackerman was out. 8 million saved... How about ditching summer slam? 25 million saved. Wait until there is a lawsuit against a school fo
inadequate child safety for lack of a nurse.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 9:13 am

Joel Boyd was a joke - one of Ackerman's followers. Does this mean Wayman stays? She is nothing more than an incompetent bully. She knows nothing but how to threaten. All the regional offices need to be disband. We can run our schools without their threats and idiot walk throughs.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 12:32 pm

It's funny how in the "good old days" school districts were run with a superintendent, principals and the teachers. Nothing else was needed in terms of management. If you "need" regional offices then that means your school district is too damn big and needs to be split into smaller districts.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 1:17 pm

From what I understand, he was one of Dr. Ackerman's students who started out at Wilson MS, then worked part time to finish his schooling and then appointed to a nice position before she left.
There were many competent, seasoned professionals who should have had that position.

Submitted by Anonymous PA teacher (not verified) on December 24, 2011 11:14 am

How do you know this? Can we read about it somewhere? Maybe this will finally be the end of this ridiculous "turnaround" model. A nickname for our school is "Broken Promises Academy".

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 12:01 pm

I'm a PA teacher. We were notified of this on Friday Afternoon, plus there was a PA conference call where Joel had all of the principals on the line confirming that he is no longer the AD3 Superintendent because there is no more AD3 (I believe he is still bring his ineptitude to AD6 - middle schools)

Joel Boyd was a guy who was a principal for 2 years at Wilson (read: one of the easiest schools in the District) while he was earning his doctorate degree in the Ackerman program. She was hiding him in an office downtown doing pretty much nothing. She had to justify his paycheck and eventually stuck him with AD3, then Linda left and he was given AD6.

Joel has ZERO clue on how to run a high school. He has zero concept of credit requirements. He has zero clue on what a preparation period is considered. He thinks that World History and American History are the same prep because they are history classes (I am not being silly, he has said this to me). He used to do that to Middle School teachers at Wilson, 7th grade and 8th grade Math are the same because it's Math?!

He came up with the crap idea of Pathways while being hidden by Ackerman downtown... and then thinks it's AMAZING to roll out. The SRA curriculum (Corrective courses) is so offensive to students and teachers... the district should be ashamed of themselves. 8th grade students who scored ADV or PRO on the 8th grade PSSA are given ADDITIONAL Math and English classes in 9th grade instead of their first year of a language (this is done so they can hopefully get year 3 and 4 in if desired). He thinks kids can be pulled out of classes for enrichment at anytime and it doesn't affect their schedule or the teachers it disrupts. How is a student supposed to catch up Joel?

I sat in a meeting with him and he called stuff like that "the weeds"... "get out of the weeds..." WTF does that mean Joel?! It's not minutia I am telling you about, it's reality of a high school. Those are real concerns that you can't wrap you bloated head around. My kids hated you when you did walk throughs. You are so lucky my kids didn't deck you for getting in their faces like you did about stupid uniforms. Uniforms?!?! REALLY?! How about not telling them this is a turn around school, give them a ton of support and then turning around and taking it all away the next year. That message is 20x worse... if means you think they really aren't worth it. No wonder they don't give a crap about education... they see the politics played. You wouldn't know what to do if you had to live a day in their shoes.

Uniforms? You're an idiot, Joel.

Submitted by tom-104 on December 24, 2011 1:45 pm

"Joel Boyd was a guy who was a principal for 2 years at Wilson (read: one of the easiest schools in the District) while he was earning his doctorate degree in the Ackerman program."

Could you specify what you mean by "he was earning his doctorate degree in the Ackerman program." Do you mean this was an actual degree in and actual program or do you mean it sarcastically? If it was an actual program, what was it?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 1:29 pm

Boyd was at Wilson for one year. Then, he was in the "Empowerment Office" for middle schools. Then, he was Asst. Sup. I think he was part of the Broad Fd. - which Ackerman represents. This is not a doctoral program. It is a "leadership training" program. Where did Boyd teach? What did he teach? How long did he teach? A few years ago, he claimed he came to Philadelphia (I believe from Florida) because "Philadelphia is the place; Ackerman is the leader." (or something to that affect) Now, he can follow Ackerman to New Mexico...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 1:40 pm

The Broad Foundation, I imagine. It's a residency program for urban administrators. Ackerman is deeply invested in it.

Many people dislike the Broad program because it fosters anti-union and pro-charter views.

Submitted by tom-104 on December 24, 2011 4:14 pm

Ackerman started serving on the Board of Directors of the Broad Foundation on March 19, 2009, while she was Superintendent of Philadelphia public schools. Other members included Joel Klein, chancellor of NYC schools (who went on the join Rupert Murdock's News Corporation as executive vice president) and Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of DC public schools. (See this PDF for reference http://tinyurl.com/89sfrzv). Ackerman's name was dropped from the Board of Directors on their website this past summer when the scandal over her dismissal erupted.

For more information on the Broad Foundation see this fact sheet from Parents Across America: http://tinyurl.com/3ltddl6

These two paragraphs in regards to the past year in Philadelphia public schools should be noted from the section “How the Broad Foundation affects public school families” from the PAA article linked above:

“Broad and his foundation believe that public schools should be run like a business. One of the tenets of his philosophy is to produce system change by “investing in a disruptive force.” Continual reorganizations, firings of staff, and experimentation to create chaos or “churn” is believed to be productive and beneficial, as it weakens the ability of communities to resist change.”

“A hallmark of the Broad-style leadership is closing existing schools rather than attempting to improve them, increasing class size, opening charter schools, imposing high-stakes test-based accountability systems on teachers and students, and implementing of pay for performance schemes. The brusque and often punitive management style of Broad-trained leaders has frequently alienated parents and teachers and sparked protests.”

Ackerman was bought out of her contract in San Francisco in mid-2006 after six years as Superintendent. http://tinyurl.com/77kkh8p. During the period after she left San Francisco she was the first Superintendent-in-residence for the Broad Foundation’s Superintendent’s Academy in 2007-2008.
http://tinyurl.com/84hdtq7 (Do a search in the PDF for “Ackerman”.)

When the scandal over which charter provider should take over Martin Luther King broke, Mayor Nutter appointed Chief Integrity Officer Joan Markman to do an investigation. (The full report is at http://tinyurl.com/7d3u4b4) In the report, there are two separate instances where it states Ackerman was being “shadowed” by trainees from the Broad Foundation’s Superintendent’s Academy. (Do a search for “Broad Superintendent Academy” in the PDF.)

This raises several questions. Was Ackerman using her position as Superintendent of Philadelphia public schools to have an additional source of income from the Broad Academy? Is this legal? Who in the District and in city government knew of her affiliation with the Broad Foundation? Given that the Broad Foundation is one of the leading national organizations promoting the privitization of public schools, is this affiliation why she was appointed Superintendent of Philadelphia public Schools despite her past history?

Happy New Year everyone!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 29, 2011 11:47 am

Thank you for this valuable information. I am in the middle of researching these links now.

Submitted by Anonym (not verified) on December 27, 2011 11:07 pm

http://www.gse.harvard.edu/academics/doctorate/edd/usp/students/17th_coh...
Joel Boyd was in Doctorate Program.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 1:24 pm

Darien Driver was in another co-hort and "friend" of Ackerman with little experience but placed high in adminsitration

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 3, 2012 10:10 pm

Driver was once very productive...but when out went her staff in June...Guess we know who was doing all the work

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 29, 2011 8:51 pm

There is an article in today's paper that confirms the "cuts" to the Promise Academies, but does not say that this is necessarily their "demise". The Promise Academies are a gross waste of money---why isn't anyone seeing this? Why isn't there something being done to get rid of the extended day, and the "nonsensical" "enrichment" programs being offered? Honestly, I don't consider "knitting" and "beading" an essential component to one's academic well-being.
The kids despise the extra hour---and the end of the day, they are saying it in droves through the mass cutting of class. Less than 1/3 of the students stay in school the full day to finish out their classes until 4 pm.
The day is grueling, the teachers are tired and the students are not taking to this extended day well at all. Please spare the jobs of those that have been laid off, bring back the teachers and the nurses---and get RID OF THIS TRAVESTY.
They are kidding themselves in telling the students that the schools will be open in the summer. Where will the money come from? Are the PA teachers once again be victims of the "Forced Transfer" process that occured last year?

Perhaps in the new year the efforts should be placed in making our school better---EQUALLY---and stop the nonsense of schools getting more than others. Is "beading" and "knitting" worth the extra money? Don't think so!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 29, 2011 10:21 pm

Some of the money may come via grants. The SDP should have to list all grants, schools that receive grants, etc. For example, the Dept. of Labor grant that goes to selected high schools provides a lot of extra staff. These schools, like Lincoln HS, had far fewer cuts. I'm sure the SDP is going to use grants to prop up summer school for the "promise" academies.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 4:36 pm

As someone who works the ridiculous longer day, with a high percentage of kids cutting my last class (3 to 4 PM for a required academic class? Who are we kidding?) I agree completely. SOMEBODY please bring some sanity back and get rid of this wasteful "model". And while you're at it, take the walk through teams and all the other paperwork bs we have to do with you!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 5:55 pm

I was scared I would be brought back from layoff to a PA. Not because I won't work longer hours (I'm already at school from 7:30-4:30 most days), not because I don't want to work with that population (my school is very, very low-performing, universal free lunch, whatever measure you want).

I was afraid because of all the bizarre mandates about 13 bulletin boards, extra hours that from all accounts are futile, admin handpicked by Ackerman (read: brutal and inept), and being blamed for all manner of things while being set up to fail. Oh, and I'm not a student; I won't wear a uniform.

Do you think most people at PAs would rather see their school go back to normal? I'm curious what the feeling is inside these schools.

There are high-performing schools in Philly that on their face should be low-performing when you look at demographics (poverty, etc). Not a single one of them are Promise Academies, and PAs weren't modeled after what they do. If we wanted to learn from them, we would be giving teachers more freedom instead of less.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 6:43 pm

I would love to see my school go back to a "normal" high school. The kids would agree with this also. The entire PA model is a farce, and if anyone can't see this, they are just plain stupid!
The kids don't adhere to the uniform policy, and for the most part, state that the school was better BEFORE it ever became a Promise Academy!
I would love to return to a normal school day-----I am a dedicated teacher whose day DOES NOT end at 4pm! Having said that, I would rather devote the time to my planning and preparation as opposed to withstanding my 9th period class---with only a handful of kids showing up for class!
Ackerman is GONE! So, why can't be pull the curtain on this "sitcom"? With all the people losing their jobs, it is criminal to keep pouring money into an "experiment" that isn't working?

Isn't there anyone else out that that can see this?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 1, 2012 4:26 pm

I agree that summer school is a joke and a waste of time and money. I hve had students literally state, "Why should I bother to work hard or come to class when I can go to summer school for 18 days? I can do what I want all year and still pass in the summer. As far as the PA are concerned, it was a joke from the very beginning. How are you going to implement all of these special programs at a PA with no money. Guess what? William Wade purchase three 50 inch flat screen televisions for the Cougar lounge at ML King to use with game consoles (Xbox and WII) as a way to bribe the students into conforming to school policies. Well the joke is on him because, although there are televisions, he has been unable to purchase games or the game consoles. Additionally, he purchased these tv's in lieu of mounting the 6 Smart Boards in teacher classroom, which could be used to enhance instruction. They have been locked in the storage room since September. He's so busy being arrogant, he does not even realize how idiotic he is.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 1, 2012 5:30 pm

Ackerman brought Wade from Atlanta. Wade is tainted by the cheating scandal in Atlanta since he was at one of the middle schools tagged with cheating. Wade spent a year at Vaux and was sent to "rescue" MLK HS. The only thing Wade can rescue is himself. What experience did he have as a teacher? What qualifies him to be a principal in Philadelphia? All the nonsense of "turn around" specialists is not more than another expensive gimmick to fill the pockets of the few at the expense of the many.

How many principals are "instructional leaders?" Very few. Those who are instructional leaders are often trashed by the Regional administrators because their bosses know nothing about instruction (e.g. Wayman). Until principals are required to teach for at least 15+ years, we will have many administrators who do not know instruction.

Submitted by ESOL Teacher (not verified) on January 1, 2012 11:38 pm

Summer school is good for enrichment and reinforcement of skills, but it shouldn't be used to allow failing students to pass. A few years ago, one could teach ESOL in creative and memorably fun ways doing summer school and the children learned so much more than they do now, when ESOL teachers simply hang out in the room during skills training (test-taking drills) and "push in."

Summer school should be all about creative writing, reading for fun and task-oriented crafts to build critical thinking and academic skills. Unfortunately, it's just become another way of processing children through to the next grade where they'll be allowed to flounder hopelessly until the next round of summer school negates their failing grades.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 25, 2011 6:36 pm

Lemme guess! PA teachers for the '12-13 school year will be "Forced Transfered" once again!
Any word on if they are going to get "rid" of the extended school year!
It's about time that they see it for what it is.....a gross waste of money!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 3:12 pm

If this the case why are there not budget cuts at these PA schools? How many PA schools are there.?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2011 1:32 pm

I don't know Joel Boyd but he can't be more incompetent than Linda Wayman. The first time I was in her company, I was truly embarrassed for her and just wished she would stop talking or whatever that was coming from her mouth. She seriously seems to have never taken a grammar course, not even at Temple or Cheney or some other farcical so-called school.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 26, 2011 2:27 pm

I agree that overall Summer School is a joke but The ESY Program for the VERY spceial needs kids is a great program, and one that is very necessary. These kids come every day during the Summer for the very most part. The other programs, though, are a huge waste of time, just a place for the kids to congregate like on the corner.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 3:23 pm

The students come because teachers have become babysitters and free camp for the parents. Can't you see that. I have a neice that only allows her daughter to attend so that she does not have to send her to a camp which she would have to pay for. FREE BABYSITTING what a ideal

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 4:34 pm

The camps are free too although I am sure you can find some camps that charge too. Bottom line is the kids come and love ESY.

Submitted by The Janitor (not verified) on December 26, 2011 5:18 pm

Lets all work for free.......

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 26, 2011 6:23 pm

Please consider attending "Occupy 440" on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 11 AM in front of the school district building at 440 N. Broad St. There was a story in the Inquirer on Christmas Day about a school nurse saving a child who went into cardiac arrest. Come January, school nurses are going to be few and far between. We need to ask quite a few questions. The one laying heavily on my mind is why the charter schools and promise academies remain fully funded while the regular public schools are being cut back to skeleton crews. Why is the city and state allowing the creation of two separate and unequal school systems for our children? Please come with your questions. All concerned citizens are invited. It concerns your tax money.

Submitted by Mole (not verified) on December 27, 2011 9:18 am

If you think that 2011 decimated the Philadelphia public school system, wait until you see what 2012 brings. We'll be looking back on this past year with nostalgia. I'm afraid it's about to get very, very ugly, friends.

Submitted by Raheem (not verified) on December 30, 2011 7:06 pm

What do you think 2012 will bring that is worse than this year?

Submitted by Mole (not verified) on January 2, 2012 7:21 pm

Well, if you're talking on a general level, here are a few of my predictions for the New Year.

Given the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report that about 2/3 of college grads minted between 1992 and 2008 are working in low-skill jobs that require only high school diplomas - and employ many workers who have even less than this; and given the appreciable rise in college tuition rates over the last several years; and given the determination of several prominent Congressional members to cut the student loan program for colleges/community colleges to the bone despite the Obama administration's avid promotion of college for all - we are going to see an astounding drop in the number of high school grads who are willing to encumber themselves with $60 K worth of debt (and default will NOT be an option!) in exchange for a job serving coffee at Barnes & Noble.

How will this affect SDP students? Well, since this school district has all but castrated its vocational training programs in its determination (spurred on by the federal government, I admit) to make its students' "college ready" , it will have a profound effect. Why in God's name should a student struggle with science and math and social studies and English and a plethora of standardized tests - why should he/she sweat and fret over college admission and, later, college studies - when the ultimate reward will be employment as a receptionist in a nail salon, or a file clerk at Comcast? Who will be willing to live in poverty and debt for a decade or more in order to finance a useless degree in Communications or Fashion Design or Theatre or Art History or Advertising or Psychology? Answer: not many. When the SDP dismantled much of its vocational education programming, it essentially put all its eggs in one basket marked "College" - and now that basket is up-ended. We are struggling mightily to educate pupils who will end up serving fries and cleaning restrooms - when they might have made fine medical transcriptionists or tool-and-die makers or electricians or plumbers - (you know, the folks who are weathering this Depression far better than the rest of us.)

Bottom Line: When the end rewards are non-existent, the high school drop-out rate will go nuclear.

Another prediction: Huge layoffs of federal government workers will not only mimic the destruction of such layoffs at the state and municipal levels, it will devastate the black middle class. Upon what will these layoffs be predicated?
My guess is a collective European economy that belly flops sometime in the first half of the New Year and drags the U.S. even further down into its own economic quagmire. The Feds will have no choice but to downsize, and fiscal conservatives will start swinging the axe with wild abandon. First to go will be the funding for any programs featuring the words "Diversity", "Minority" or "Multi-Cultural". Welfare will be targeted. At least one major state (like California) or city (like Detroit) will default. The mood of the country will turn dangerously sour against minorities and immigrants... and teachers, whose general left-leaning political stance will come back to wallop us all right in the face. Firearm sales will be very good this year. The Philadelphia crime rate will go up and up and up. School violence will continue to rise. A new round of SDP employee cuts will make life sheer hell for those left behind to do four times the work with one-fourth the resources.

I'd say that these things will make 2012 "a year to remember."

On the way out: Eric Holder, the book publishing profession, and still more SDP workers.

On the way in: Heaven help us all!

Submitted by Raheem (not verified) on January 3, 2012 11:12 am

I read your thoughtful reply. The outlook does look dismal if your predictions come true. :-(

Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on January 3, 2012 3:02 pm

I think kids should be able to read, write, and think critically even if they don't go on to college. Here's an interesting article of current and predicted: http://machinedesign.com/article/advice-for-occupy-wall-streeters-1117

Submitted by Carol Jackson (not verified) on December 28, 2011 11:50 am

It is very interesting to me that many who were laid off within the Academic Divisions and 440 will be offered other positions within the district. The ISO's were told they to choose a school, John Fragiapani will now be the principal at Edison while Eloise Dupree will be the principal at Alcorn. Steven Spence has been demoted once again....to a Director. They are friends of the boss, Penny Nixon. There exists an office within 440 that has new hires as of last week but a Director was cut whose office actually helps schools....it is a sad day within the SDP.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 29, 2011 8:34 pm

Is this true when do parents and teachers and staff find out? Tuesday, that is dumb

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 29, 2011 10:08 pm

LaTonya Miller has been promoted - Executive Dir. of Curriculum. LaTonya, well connected via family, taught 1 year (6th grade I believe) about 10+ years ago. Then, she climbed the SDP ladder in regional office positions, curriculum, etc. What are her qualifications? Shouldn't someone in leadership at least teach the bare minimum of 5 years? I assume LaTonya is also a friend of Penny Nixon.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 1:04 pm

Believe me- this is how it works. You are only looking at one person.
Or- there are lateral "friend" transfers from the city with no qualifications.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 1:58 pm

Check out promotions in OSIS.
How does one get promoted without credentials or experience in that field? Who is related to whom? Who is friends with whom?
Talk about layoff for the nurses? How is OSIS and the director supporting and advocating for School Nurses?
Do school nurses have faith in their current leadership? Or are they afraid of "backlash" and retribution?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 9:49 pm

LaTanya Miller along with Nancy Bratton work under Darienne Driver. LaTanya Miller recently returned to the SDP after a few years torturing the poor souls in Chester Upland School District under Greg Thorton. She was brought back as an ISO last year working under Pam Brown where she continued to exhibit her poor attitude and "do nothing" work ethic. She and Nancy facilitated the "worst" Professional Development for School Based Teacher Leaders that I have ever participated in. They are ill equipped to train anyone and it shows, which leads me to believe that LaTanya has a Penny Nixon connection. Their office responsibility includes providing professional development in content areas (laughable) which they fail to do. The reality is they have no clue what they are doing and it shows. The leadership of Darienne Driver, who has never been a building leader is poor........so poor that they have Siel Cannon overseeing the office at an astronomical daily rate. Why not just terminate the bunch of them and allow Siel to run the show????? She is doing so anyway.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 1, 2012 1:19 am

LaTanya Miller never ever makes it into the AD9 office before 10:00. She talks on her cell phone while walking down the hall, that way she doesn't have to answer questions or speak to anyone. The door to her office opens off a lounge area. Many times her door is open if she thinks no one is in the lounge. You can hear her on the phone......personal calls, or she is stuffing gift bags with tissue paper. Usually there are several high end shopping bags lining the wall too.Guess after her shopping sprees she is afraid to leave the bags in her late model BMW. Not one time has she been observed carrying a brief case, or doing anything that resembles work related duties. In most professional settings it is customary to greet your co-workers , not LaTanya....just plain rude. Her behavior would not be tolerated in other organizations , no matter who she knows. Just another example of the low level types that keep on " tell them we are rising".

BTW...where is Pam Brown ?

Submitted by Anonymous on December 30, 2011 5:48 am

I agree that it is a sad day in the SDP. Penny Nixon should be ashamed of herself. She lacks character and the ability to do the job. Why didn't she layoff the Deputies and Deputy Chiefs many of them collect huge salaries and don't do anything? Wondering did she cut salaries in her office. Why are Michael Masch and Nicole Westerman still there collecting huge pays for gross mismanagement of funds. Nicole Westerman was brought in during the time of Weighted Student Funding (remember that?) and what does she do now????

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 1:48 pm

Does this mean there will be 2 Principals at Thomas Edison H.S?? Ed
Koch and J. Fragiapani. Who is paying those salaries? How many nurses' salaries would that pay for.

This also needs to be investigated!! Ramos( SRC ) where are you!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 31, 2011 3:37 pm

I see the hornet's nest has been distrubed and all should prepare the storm that is coming. 440 will be investigated and sadly there will be many to pay for this corruption.

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on January 1, 2012 11:05 am

NOTEBOOK STAFF: Please explain why you don't investigate when stories like this are rampant. The public doesn't know that unnecessary and unqualified people - many of whom impact the district adversely - are protected from lay-off, while nurses, any of whom could save a child's life, are cast out.

When reporters shirk their responsibilities, the system is perpetuated.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 1, 2012 1:00 pm

Thank you! I have not heard one thing about our union backing up the nurses after the lay off....where are you???? its going to take the death of a child before the district realizes that you need a certified school nurse in the school building...and the sad thing is that the district wont necessarily care about the child...but will care about getting sued and money being taken from their pocket...maybe the district wouldnt need to pay for so many lawyers on staff if they just did what they were suppose to

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 1, 2012 6:47 pm

A friend in Delaware says there are schools without any nurse down there.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 3, 2012 10:24 pm

How people with proven track records get cut but Boyd stays? What are these demotions/ cuts based on certainly not productivity/ output and help to schools. Oh...I guess these aren't data driven decisions

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 28, 2011 12:39 pm

Linda Weyman does need to find a job that she can be good at because it is definitely not this one. She and her staff come into schools -- I call them the "Smack Patrol," and bully Principals and staff because behind all that bullying, there is no substance at all.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 28, 2011 1:41 pm

Wayman and Nixon are friends. Now, instead of "friends of Arlene" it is "friends of Penny." When will find out about Wagner's cheating record under Penny Nixon?

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