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Back to 1965: Evaluating the District’s contract proposal

By Ron Whitehorne on Mar 1, 2013 01:59 PM

The Philadelphia School District has made a package of teacher contract proposals that are extreme, far-reaching, and downright mean-spirited.  

  • Wage cuts of up to 13 percent next year and no raises for five years. Step increases eliminated.
  • Benefits cut. Health and Welfare Fund eliminated.
  • Seniority eliminated. District can transfer teachers at whim. Principals will have discretion to hire, fire, and lay off.
  • Class-size caps gone. District's obligation to provide supplies gone. All but a handful of certified librarians gone. Even teachers' lounges gone.

This would essentially take teachers and school employees back almost 50 years, to 1965, before there was a union contract. The gains that Philadelphia Federation of Teachers members worked so hard to get would be wiped out. 

After the release of these proposals and teachers' howls of outrage in response, Superintendent William Hite tried to reframe the District’s position. Although he showed plenty of rhetorical respect for teachers, the substance of his remarks was that teachers should trust the District instead of relying on protections in a union contract. He ignores the historical reality that these contract provisions were negotiated precisely because the District failed to live up to its responsibilities to provide adequate teaching and learning conditions. Trusting them to do it now, in the midst of the worst fiscal crisis in the District’s history, would be like asking a hungry fox to take care of the chicken coop.   

This contract package is not about gaining flexibility to improve instruction. It is about saving money and solving the fiscal crisis on the backs of teachers and their students. The District's proposals mirror the recommendations of the Boston Consulting Group.

Although it is tempting to see this as the usual collective-bargaining dance in which the District demands givebacks and then backs off at the end, this is not the case. The District has a billion-dollar-plus deficit over the next five years. The five-year plan is about “right-sizing” through closing schools and restructuring compensation, benefits, and work rules for school employees. If the District wanted a decent contract that could improve schools, it would be pressing for more funding in Harrisburg. At the city level, other than a call to go after tax deadbeats, there has been no initiative to get more funding. This plan is a conscious choice made by the elites that run this city in favor of privatization and austerity. 

So what can be done? In my view, the union needs to do three things to defeat this set of proposals.

Mobilize and organize the PFT membership. The Chicago Teachers Union provided a powerful example of how to transform a largely passive, demoralized membership into a militant, fully mobilized force. The CTU hired internal organizers and developed democratic forms that brought the rank and file into the life of the union and the whole contract struggle. A similar effort is needed here.

Reach out to organize and educate the community. The contract that the SRC wants will not only harm school workers. It will negatively impact learning conditions in what is already a bare-bones instructional program. It will mean the loss of experienced teachers and larger class sizes, and the District will be poorly placed to attract qualified new people. The PFT, by helping to build PCAPS, has begun to change what has been a troubled relationship with the community. This work must continue and intensify.

Build solidarity with other unions. Unions are under attack nationally and locally. Other public sector unions are particularly under the gun. Building a united front against these attacks based on the understanding that a defeat for the PFT would have serious consequences for other public sector workers is critical. This means that we have to join others in their fight, notably AFSME District 33 and 47, who have gone five years without a contract. In past strikes, it was the threat of a general strike by Philadelphia labor that turned the tide.

​If all these things are done well, the union could be in a position to back down the School Reform Commission. It needs to be prepared to strike in the streets and make a court challenge to Act 46, which bans strikes and threatens teachers with loss of certification. With broad public support and backing from organized labor, a strike could be won.  

Ron Whitehorne is a retired teacher and is on the steering committee of the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS).


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

 
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Comments (42)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2013 3:12 pm
The SRC and SDP management are honorable people who the teachers should trust. A good handshake by Jerry Jordan and William Hite after stating each sides' promises should be enough to satisfy everybody. When is medical marijuana going to be legalized here? Hopefully soon because I need another hit.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2013 7:22 pm
What can one say about this statement other than how patently ridiculous it is
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 1, 2013 7:44 pm
I think he/she meant it to be humorous.
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 1, 2013 5:30 pm
Met Ron today at the Beeber Rally. Beeber is the prototypical good, honest school so let's close it. As the parents were saying today, The Beeber Principal reports ALL incidents and never lies so he's the bad guy. Hopefully, the citizens of Phila. are seeing through this race based attack on their children and will begin to raise holy hell by any means necessary.
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 1, 2013 5:29 pm

Good meeting you, Joe.    Great school community.  

Submitted by Education Grad Student (not verified) on March 1, 2013 7:53 pm
Joe, how long has Mr. Starineri been principal of Beeber? I've heard almost universally positive comments about him from several posters. EGS
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 1, 2013 7:12 pm
He's been at Beeber for 5 years and before that 15 years at Sayre, maybe more. Yes, when The SRC threw Beeber under the bus, they trashed a Principal who is Abe Lincoln type honest, a throwback to times of yore. This whole hostile takeover for PROFIT, is simply immoral at the deepest level and adding Beeber to the closing list, may be the biggest insult of all.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2013 6:29 pm
How much money is the Boston Consulting Group being paid? How is the School District able to afford this but ask for 13% pay cuts? It just doesn't add up...so it must only be union busting. I have worked at schools where there is no paper, no copy machine and not enough books. Schools already do not follow the contract and no matter what you do it doesn't change. It's sad but true.
Submitted by Education Grad Student (not verified) on March 1, 2013 7:23 pm
Ron, I agree with many of your points. As far as educating the public goes, might I suggest the article "The bait and switch of school 'reform'" by David Sirota? He subtitles it as "Behind the new corporate agenda for education lurks the old politics of profit and self-interest." Sirota very clearly presents the motives behind corporate school reformers. The article is about 1.5 years old, but as relevant as ever. Here's the link: http://www.salon.com/2011/09/12/reformmoney/ I attend some of the rallies and watch the news and I see and hear a lot of rhetoric about about the 1%ers, privatizations, the school-to-prison pipeline, and so on. It's important to talk about and educate people about why corporate reform is harmful. Give concrete examples. Talk about the history of Edison in this city and how that didn't work. Use reputable research (especially peer reviewed research). With regard to charters, the research is very clear that in general, charters don't outperform traditional public schools. Give specific citations/references from reputable research as well as the names of the studies, so that interested people can go and check on the research themselves, if they so choose. I see myself as an independent thinker, willing to challenge different points of view and willing to learn and change my own points of view. I have my biases, but I try to be as fair and balanced as possible. I have quite a few criticisms of and reservations about the PFT and other unions. At the same time, I deeply believe in the importance of unions because I am aware of past history when workers had no protections. I also have had a number of family members who are/were members of unions, so I know why they are important. From a public relations point of view, it is hurtful to throw all charter schools under the bus because many parents have had much better experiences with charters than they had when their children attended District schools. Most charters are not unionized, but this shouldn't be a reason to hate them or oppose them in principle. It might better to focus on the practices of charter schools that are detrimental instead of charter schools in and of themselves. Focus on the exclusion of kids with special needs and ELLs. Focus on the lack of oversight, the ridiculous salaries for executives, and the investigations into the shady practices of some charter operators (e.g., Truebright, June Brown). Focus on the backroom deals (a la Universal). Sometimes it seems that opposition to charters from the PFT and PCAPS is because most charters aren't unionized. To many people ,this isn't a very important reason to oppose charters. Many in the public care more about effectiveness and most parents want the best school for their child(ren), regardless of whether it's unionized or non-unionized. I suggest focusing on the practices of charters because it often appears that groups like PCAPS and the PFT oppose charters simply because they are charters and not unionized. Having my experience at the Mastery school, where they worked with the kids instead of throwing them out as well as at Belmont Charter, which serves neighborhood children in a very high poverty community, I have seen that some charters really do work serve kids whose parents are difficult, who have special needs, and who are ELLs. I can't generalize my experience at the one Mastery school to all Mastery schools, but at least at that school, I know that they are not zero-tolerance in terms of behavior problems, and far from it. There are charters that are run with integrity, and it's not fair to group these schools with the charter schools that have operators who exclude high-needs kids, pay the people at the top ridiculous sums of money, and don't abide by the enrollment caps in their contracts. Maybe address the recent KIPP study. Talk about the resources that KIPP schools receive that other schools don't and why they have those additional resources. Why do corporate types like KIPP? KIPP doesn't have a perfect track record with regard to serving all students, but from reading a variety of studies, many of their schools do serve many high needs students, in terms of SES, special needs, and ELL status. (One group of students that they don't serve are students with severe disabilities.) Also, there is a TON of research supporting the fact that SES and poverty affect education and school achievement. Here is a great site from the Education Writer's Association about the impact of teachers and SES: http://www.ewa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_teacher_effectivene.... Many education reformers talk about teachers being the most important factor in education but this isn't what the research says. They throw out the point that "Research says the most important factor in a child's education is the teacher" when this is not true. Teachers are very important, of course, but so is SES. Saying that teachers are the most important factor allows these reformers to justify their policy positions regarding tenure, seniority, etc. The research is very clear that while teachers are an important factor, SES of the student is even more important. Provide the evidence that it matters. In our country, people like to focus on the "bootstrap myth," that hard work and talent = success. This is related to the fundamental attribution bias, by which people tend to attribute the failures of others to internal factors while attributing their own failures to external, circumstantial factors. Talk about why education reformers don't want to talk about poverty; namely, that many of them are rich and in order to address poverty, there needs to be more redistribution of wealth. Redistributing wealth means that they'll have to pay more in taxes and that the 1% won't have as much money to use to influence policies that benefit them. Maybe even talk about why Corbett and many Republicans don't care much about funding education in Philadelphia: Because African Americans and other people of color by and large tend to vote for Democrats. Put these assumptions out there. Maybe address the fact that the states with the strongest education unions or highest percentage of unionized teachers have better outcomes on standardized tests. There's a lot of research to support the positions of the PCAPS and a lot of research that discredits what many educational reformers are doing. Use this research to your advantage! I think that this can really help to build public support for what PCAPS is doing. Using research may help convince some people that there is merit to your arguments. I know that some are suspicious of PCAPS because of the union affiliation. By presenting the research base about why poverty matters, for example, PCAPS and other organizations opposing the District's current directions can poke even more holes in their arguments and those of the corporate reformers. Maybe provide handouts and a webpage with references, and if possible, links to where one can find the articles, books, or other materials with the research. Not everyone is interested, but some will be. Education Grad Student
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 1, 2013 8:00 pm

EGS   Thank you for your suggestions.   I agree we need to employ research to support our arguments.   I'm familiar with some but not all of the material you cite.   While I am not an academic I do try keep up best I can.  The AFT has a research staff and I hope they will be deployed in developing the educational materials we need, drawing on the body of work that's out there.

I also agree we need nuance in how we address the question of charter schools.   PCAPS, incidentally,  opposes charter school expansion, not charter schools per se.   My own view is that Charter schools need more accountablity and transparceny.   They need to provide due process for students, parents and employees, including recognizing the right to choose a union.   Fidelity to these practices should be part of what gets looked at in the renewal process.

If charter schools are doing something right then we should try to replicate it in public schools rather than turning over more schools to charter operators.   This, after all, was the original conception of charters.   While I have serious reservations about Mastery Charter school, I would acknowledge they have made some real improvements at the schools they manage.   I think first hand accounts like the ones you have posted about your experiences there are valuable and we need more of this.

 

 

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2013 9:47 pm
Ron--excellent blog!! I do think it would be wise for Jerry Jordan to let teachers know now to start putting a little bit of money aside leading up to the August 30th contract deadline. This way, in the event of a strike, teachers will have money set aside for bills/mortgage, etc.
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 2, 2013 8:46 am

Absolutely.   I imagine this will be topic at the upcoming PFT membership meeting later this month.   In the past credit union loans were available that tied teachers over during long strikes.  

Submitted by Education Grad Student (not verified) on March 1, 2013 11:43 pm
Ron, I agree with your points about charters and the need for more transparency, accountability, and due process rights. Employees should always have the right to unionize. If companies and organizations don't want employees to unionize, then it behooves those in charge to treat employees well and with fairness. I also agree that traditional public schools should be replicating what works in charter schools. I don't know enough about Promise Academies to know if they are that attempt to implement practices that charters do well. EGS
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 2, 2013 9:50 am

Promise Academies were modeled on the Dream Schools in San Francisco started by then Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.   See: http://thenotebook.org/blog/102537/promise-academies-came-dream-school-h... There has been no indication that this model will be revised now that Hite is at the the helm.

Submitted by Annonym (not verified) on March 2, 2013 9:06 am
The "Dream Schools" were also did not succeed. They were Ackerman's "baby" - a lot of pomp and photo ops but apparently not much else.
Submitted by tom-104 on March 2, 2013 10:07 am
And a lot of money which is part of the huge deficit.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 3, 2013 5:18 pm
This is, I think, a turning point in Philadelphia education. The PFT has some very important strategic choices to make. If it adopts a nuanced view and puts some serious effort into offering substantive (and realistic) proactive measures for improving Philly schools, then it could be a partner in a potentially groundbreaking educational system that offers a really good education to as many students as possible, while maintaining many of the important gains for professional teachers that have been won over the past 40 years. However, if the PFT sticks to its fairly standard "solidarity + teachers rights" mindset and spends most of the energy just opposing things, it's probably going to be left in the dust. When a Democratic president, mayor, and Secretary of Education, stand ready to essentially bust a union, it's probably time to take a hard look in the mirror to see why individuals that have historically been political allies of unions are turning away from them. The "corporate money" argument is actually really thin. It explains a few interest groups and some charters, but most education "reformers" have mostly good intentions. The "starve the government to lower taxes" argument explains why the likes of Corbett and Scott Walker oppose unions. But when the mainstream liberal leaders begin to distance themselves from a teachers unions, I think it's time for union leaders (and members) to take a very honest look at what is leading the Democratic Party to step away from what has been one of its most loyal political supporters. One impact that (effective) charter schools have had is to show that, while poverty is a really important factor in life outcomes, a school that uses resources wisely and focuses most of its effort on building the best educational environment possible can do a much better job than is currently being done by many neighborhood schools in Philadelphia. I don't think the big difference is union v. non-union. But unions need to work proactively to show that they can be a major part of creating schools that offer to all students the education available in the best schools (charter or traditional). The School District of Philadelphia isn't adequately educating the students of Philadelphia, particularly the low-income and minority students. The PFT needs to take a long hard look at itself and figure out how it can be a part of the solution to that problem. Blaming poverty and fussing about the Health and Welfare Fund isn't going to gain much support outside of the established membership.
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 3, 2013 6:14 pm

We agree unions need to think beyond their membership and embrace reforms that help our students, but I would take sharp issue with your characterization of the union position.    Both the NEA and the AFT over last two decades embraced much of what's call professional unionism perhaps best represented by TURN (Teachers United for Reform Now).   PFT, while not part of this trend, also agreed to significant changes that responded to demands of reformers like expediting the removal of ineffective teachers.   What has become increasingly clear, however, is that this reform agenda has been hijacked  by forces that seek to destroy unions.

Rather than treating unions as partners to improve schools, the political leadership in both parties, has tried to eat their lunch.   The Democratic Party, or at least a significant section of it, have moved away from unions to embrace the corporate school reform agenda and the money from this lobby.   This is part of a general rightward shift in that Party where Labor is increasingly treated as a step child.   

The PFT and AFT helped develop the PCAPS Excellent Schools plan which makes a strong argument for progressive school reforms that challenge the status quo.   Unions and the community must come together around programs that improve the quality of education while also being fair to teachers and school staff. 

 

 

 

  

Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 4, 2013 5:10 pm
Anonymous, I totally agree with your following comments: "One impact that (effective) charter schools have had is to show that, while poverty is a really important factor in life outcomes, a school that uses resources wisely and focuses most of its effort on building the best educational environment possible can do a much better job than is currently being done by many neighborhood schools in Philadelphia. I don't think the big difference is union v. non-union. But unions need to work proactively to show that they can be a major part of creating schools that offer to all students the education available in the best schools (charter or traditional)." "The School District of Philadelphia isn't adequately educating the students of Philadelphia, particularly the low-income and minority students. The PFT needs to take a long hard look at itself and figure out how it can be a part of the solution to that problem." Unions are very important, especially in the SDP where there is a history of management treating teachers and other workers unfairly. Workers need to have input in their workplaces and to have dignified places of work and fair compensation for their work. I also believe strongly that poverty and SES do have a strong impact on how children do in school. While the vast majority of teachers in District-run schools are good, hard-working, caring, effective teachers, there are some teachers in District schools who need to go. Yes, principals need to do their job and be more proactive in counseling out or removing teachers who shouldn't be in the classroom. At the same time, I once saw and heard a parent complaining about her child's teacher to another teacher. This parent's complaints were completely legitimate based on what I witnessed in my time student teaching at the school. Other teachers saw that this teacher was ineffective and could not effectively manage a classroom and this was happening year after year after year. This other teacher to whom the parent happened to be complaining was the union rep. The reply of the teacher/PFT rep was, after listening to the parent, and I quote, "I can't say anything, I'm the PFT rep." I understand that the PFT building rep's job is to help other teachers. At the same time, saying something like "I can't say anything, I'm the PFT rep," does nothing to help the PFT from a public relations and credibility standpoint. This kind of comment does nothing to build good will and support among parents at the school. This kind of comment portrays the PFT in a negative light by communicating to the parent that his/her concerns don't matter. I don't know how universal the "I can't say anything, I'm the PFT rep" comment is, but it has no place in our schools. Replace that comment with something like, "I understand that you have concerns. The best person to speak to about your concerns is the principal." If students and parents are consistently complaining about a particular teacher, the PFT needs to take this feedback seriously. The PAR Program (http://www.pft.org/Page.aspx?pgid=51&article=259&r=consulting%20teachers) shouldn't just be initiated for new teachers or because of an unsatisfactory rating on a formal evaluation. If an experienced or tenured teacher is having major issues with any of the core areas of teaching practice, there needs to be an action plan. The union either needs to be proactive in helping teachers who are struggling day to day (even if it doesn't show up on a formal eval) or take some other action, possibly trying to help this individual who can't cut it in the classroom find another job/career. Allowing even a small number of teachers to stay in the classroom when they cannot teach or manage a classroom undermines any attempts of the PFT to say that they care about kids. It totally undermines the credibility of the union, especially with parents and students who have had the experience of having a child in or being a student in the class of one of these teachers who can't teach or shouldn't be in the classroom. EGS
Submitted by MBA to M'Ed mom (not verified) on March 1, 2013 9:51 pm
I worked at a charter school in Holmesburg and I loved it. It was well run, and felt very much like a 'normal' public school. I was in a classroom with a teacher who was incredible in differientation and I learned a lot. I had never heard of the school prior to getting hired but I would have felt comfortable if my child had been able to be selected in their lottery process.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 2, 2013 1:20 am
If only we could also bring tax rates and educational quality back to 1965... Or are these things completely unrelated.
Submitted by Edu Grad Student (not verified) on March 2, 2013 12:19 pm
For others who have more experience in education and labor, my question is, do other districts have provisions about copy machines or desks? Is it standard to have provisions about a desk and copy machine? Is the PFT contract similar to other contracts for teachers in the Philly area? I know that most other teachers in the Philly area have NEA representation, but I'm curious to know if provisions about desks, copy machines, and supplies are standard practice. Education Grad Student (I'm applying for an account, that's why I posted as Edu Grad Student.)
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 2, 2013 3:47 pm
Education Grad Student-The reasons those provisions are in the contract is because prior to 1965, things like teacher desks and mimiograph machines were not provided. We can NOT trust the district to provide these things that's why they are in the contract. Yes, it's assumed that the district would provide these things, but they wont if they don't have to, otherwise, why take them out. If it's assumed the district will provide it, why not leave them in?
Submitted by Philadelphia School District Veteran (not verified) on March 2, 2013 9:08 pm
We had no access to the copy machines In 1964, my first year teaching in Philadelphia (South Phila. High English). The assistant principal reprimanded me for sitting down during my mandatory lunchroom duty (I was trying to catch up on grading papers for 5 classes of 35-40 students). For my birthday my husband bought me an ancient rexograph copier. Public education needs its teachers' unions..
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 3, 2013 10:23 pm
I totally understand why the provisions are in the PFT contract. I'm curious about whether provisions related to copy machines, desks, and supplies are included in the contracts of teachers unions in other nearby districts, e.g. Lower Merion, Upper Darby, Upper Dublin, Central Bucks, Cheltenham, Springfield (Del Co.), Chester-Upland, Garnet Valley, Radnor, and so on. So, were all school districts not supplying copiers, supplies, and desks, or just certain districts?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 2, 2013 9:10 pm
I used to teach in a system with no class size limits, no copier, no textbooks, no teacher desks, no water fountain, no librarian (or library), no water fountains, etc. I was teaching in a 3rd world (errr......."developing") country as a member of the Peace Corps. I never expected to encounter such conditions here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Submitted by ConcernedRoxParent (not verified) on March 4, 2013 9:33 am
Unfortunately, you can say strike all you want. Many of the teachers I have spoken to have indicated that they would cross any picket lines, because they cannot afford to lose a paycheck or their certifications!
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 4, 2013 9:29 am

I say better lose a paycheck now then lose thousands of dollars in wages and benefits over the life of the next contract.   As for certifications I believe the union would win on this issue in court.   This part of the law is punitive and has nothing to do with a teacher's qualifications which is what certification is supposed to be all about.   Nothing is certain, no one wants to strike and that course is full of risk.   But what is the alternative?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 4, 2013 3:16 pm
Go for the sick-out first. I agree, a strike is better than this catastrophe of a contract.
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 4, 2013 4:09 pm

If we are trying to win parental support a sick out is a bad tactic.   The AFT historically has avoided it for that reason.   NEA locals, on the other hand, have employed it.   Our posture needs to be that we seek to avoid a strike but similtaneously educate the public about the issues involved.   Informational picketing, media, and taking our case to churches, community meetings and other unions is the way to go.

Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on March 4, 2013 5:57 pm
When I was in high school, teachers did "2nd job dress" days to bring attention to their situation. (New York teacher have had restrictions on striking for decades.) Many of my teachers (in a small, rural school district in upstate New York) had second jobs. So, they dressed in their "second job" attire - truck driver, contractor's assistant (dry wall installer), waiter/waitress, grocery store clerk, weekend ski instructor, ETC. It reinforced, I assume, that teachers are part of our community. (Where I lived, some teachers lived "in town" and others did not but their lives were not that different from everyone else.) While this might not "fly" in Philly, I agree, we need to build HONEST and MUTUAL relationships with parents/ caretakers / community groups / etc. The draconian budget / contract will not only hurt teachers' income and integrity but all Philadelphia schools - whether charter or School District.
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 4, 2013 5:03 pm

Great history.    We need this kind of creativity to reach out to the community.  One idea would be to  shoot some video,  interviewing teachers about their daily lives, the challenges they face, both in the classroom, and, like other workers, to survive and raise families in this toxic economic and political environment.   I bet we could get Media Mobilizing Project interested.  Putting a human face on teachers and these issues is critical.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 3:20 pm
I wouldn't expect that much support from many of the Philadelphia parents. They are worried about their free stuff from the government and not concerned with your free stuff from the government.
Submitted by Geoffrey (not verified) on March 4, 2013 3:15 pm
Philly Parent wrote an excellent description of her life as educator and mother of three Philly school students. The PFT should us stories like hers as part of an advertising campaign in order to put a human face on the Union. We need to counter the lies of Hite, Nuttter, Corbett and their ilk and show that teachers are very much part of the fabric of this city. The PFT also needs to sever all donation to members of the Democratic machine who have their back on us. Use that money for television and cyber campaigns.
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 4, 2013 4:08 pm

Geoffrey    I agree with your points.   Philly Parent's story is powerful and she is one of the most knowledgeable and sharpest commentaors about Philly schools.   Please email your suggestion to Jerry Jordan.   He will read it.  

Submitted by Geoffrey (not verified) on March 4, 2013 4:08 pm
Ron: Do you have is e-mail. Or, if you know him, it might have more impact coming from you.
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 4, 2013 4:27 pm

Geoffrey   It's jjordan@pft.org.   I do know him and share stuff with him but he needs to hear from active teachers.   If you cc me (ronw292@gmail.com) I would be glad to second what you say about phillyparent.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 5:50 pm
Then they would be treated like the scabs they would be. They need to work with the people who were on the picket line after its all said and done. Comments like this only hurt our position. United we stand, divided we fall!
Submitted by reformer (not verified) on March 4, 2013 9:47 am
the net effect of the chicago teacher union effort was it saved jobs. it did nothing to improve the education for childremn in that city. the difference in the two cases is that philly is flat broke. there's little chance of more money coming from the state and revenues (or the economy) aren't the same here as they are in the city of chicago. the only way to fix the problem is to gut the system and start all over again. what we have now is not repairable. it needs to be destroyed and replaced. bureaucrats like hite and ackermen and faux businessmen like hornbeck and vallas aren't the answer. an executive who's consumer-driven is. the days of the sweetheart contracts for the pft are over. almost everyone in town knows that...except you guys.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 4, 2013 1:11 pm
I think in essensce we need to also try and help save the schools that will become charter schools. So in reality 3 additional schools will close if they become charter schools.
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 4, 2013 2:22 pm

You are right.   The Renasissance Charters cost more money too.  Meanwhile, they are closing some of the Promise Academies, the District turnaround model, which, while it has its problems, at least remains District and union.   Shows the bias toward privatization.

 

Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 4, 2013 5:16 pm
At the very least, there needs to be public comment on turning over the schools to charter operators at one or more SRC meetings. From the looks of it, the SRC is choosing the schools that will become Renaissance charters behind closed doors, and this is totally unacceptable for the entity that oversees publicly-funded education in this city. EGS

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