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Hite to discuss teachers' contract on 'Radio Times'

By David Limm on Mar 4, 2013 05:12 PM

Superintendent William Hite, along with retired teacher and activist Ron Whitehorne and education analyst Andrew Rotherham, will discuss the pending teachers' contract on WHYY-FM's Radio Times on Tuesday morning.

The current contract is due to expire in August. The District's opening proposals -- leaked last week to the press -- include a steep salary cut, restructuring of the compensation system, an end to seniority and elimination of many provisions regarding working conditions, such as access to water fountains.

Hite, who has been superintendent for five months, has said that the proposals are designed to give teachers more flexibility and treat them more like professionals. Whitehorne, a longtime union activist who blogs at the Notebook, wrote in a recent post that the District's opening gambit as contract talks began would wipe out all the gains that the PFT gained in nearly 50 years of collective bargaining.

Rotherham, who writes at Eduwonk, wrote a book about collective bargaining in education and has called for districts and teachers' unions to negotiate in public. He is also co-founder of Bellwether Education Partners, a consulting group. 

The discussion will occur in the 10-11 a.m. segment.

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Comments (34)

Submitted by Betsy Wice (not verified) on March 4, 2013 5:42 pm
Ron, I'll be eager to replay the Radio Times broadcast. I'm pleased that you are the person to articulate our reasonable and passionate position as teachers and as supporters of public education. Best wishes for tomorrow!
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 4, 2013 5:08 pm
This should be a VERY INTERESTING interview! I can't wait to hear it!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 4, 2013 5:19 pm
get him Ron!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 4, 2013 7:23 pm
I hope Ron gets to read this: Teachers are not afraid of being evaluated using among other things, the test performance of students that we teach BUT school district must FIRST give diagnostic test to students to determine baseline. If teacher gain are measured against that baseline, then there is no problem
Submitted by Pseudonymous (not verified) on March 4, 2013 9:35 pm
Give em hell, Ron!
Submitted by Che Che (not verified) on March 4, 2013 10:06 pm
i can't think of a better spokesman.....thanks, Ron!!
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 4, 2013 10:03 pm
Ron--Joe from Beeber. Don't let Hite pontificate about the city's woes and try to run out the clock. Mention The Broad Foundation 500 times.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 4, 2013 11:41 pm
The Broad Foundation must be kept at the forefront of understanding what has happened in Philadelphia. The SRC and Hite are following the same script being followed in cities all around the country. Read about it here!
Submitted by Worried About Losing My Home (not verified) on March 4, 2013 11:15 pm
Ron, please ask Dr. Hite directly how he, a man made wealthy by his contract with the district and who just boosted the pay of fifty employees who don't have anything to do with children by tens of thousands of dollars, can in good conscience cripple teachers financially to the degree that those of us with one income households may not be able to pay our bills. Ask him if he still has a driver, bodyguard and housing allowance.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 9:50 am
Sounds like it's time for a two income household at your place, just like tens of millions of other Americans.
Submitted by Anne T (not verified) on March 5, 2013 2:15 pm
Kind of hard for a single parent with young children to have a two-income household, Anonymous. Sometimes divorced spouses don't pay their share towards the single parent's expenses. Two incomes do not allow for any time with the children. Not a good thing.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 3:22 pm
Then you will have to learn to live within your means. Adjust your expenses accordingly.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 5:36 pm
This is so easy to say as this does not affect you! Teachers devote their lives to their career. With all of the work that I do at night, it is next to impossible to find another job and be able to teach competently. I live within my means, but the money and time spent on my degrees should count for something other than watch people get away without paying their taxes and doing their due share.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 6:32 pm
Everyone devotes their lives to their careers. You are not special. We are in tough economic times. We have millions of people who have had to take 20, 30 or even 40% pay reductions just to find a job. We have millions more who have been out of work for years. It's time for government workers to sacrifice as well. You should not be a protected class. There is no magical money tree from which to pull dollars to give you whatever you demand.
Submitted by tom-104 on March 5, 2013 6:24 pm
And you obviously accept these millions having pay reductions and being unemployed. Where does it stop? At some point the people are going to have to rise up and say enough! Your vision of the future is gloom and doom and austerity. We do not have to passively accept this austerity. We can make a future for the next generation!
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 6, 2013 4:41 pm
Tom 104------I've been saying this with forceful language, some would say, inflammatory language, for 3 years. I don't mean to say, "I told you so," but I knew this was coming. These gibronies don't care about our kids nor us. They care completely about their profit margin period. Unless WE stop it, the inner cities will be wastelands, there will be no Middle Class and no hope for large segments of our population. Tell me now how wrong I was/am.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 6, 2013 8:08 pm
Stop hiding behind the kids and trying to use them to further your selfish agenda. What this is about is a public sector union that wants to get as much out of taxpayers as possible. You fight every initiative that is intended to help the children if it doesn't benefit the union. You fight against any type of accountability or performance based pay. You don't contribute a dime to your healthcare costs, while those who pay your salary contribute a significant portion of theirs. You want to retire at the same age as your grandfather even though you stand to live decades longer than him. Well the trough is now empty. You either accept what the district can offer or you are free to find employment elsewhere. Don't count on taxpayer support in your contract negotiations. Keep bringing out the people who don't pay taxes and are just looking for their free stuff from the government and have plenty of time to protest.
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 6, 2013 9:33 pm
Troll Alert.
Submitted by Christa (not verified) on March 6, 2013 9:22 pm
You're right ANONYMOUS...I come to work to put up with students who blatantly refuse to do their work, constantly and consistently fight with one another, throw themselves into doors, try to attack others and a myriad of other inappropriate behaviors because I want to bleed the taxpayers(the few that there really are) dry. You're right, why should I deserve to receive a living wage so I can afford to live, why should I receive benefits for a job that took me from being a healthy woman in her 20's to a 30 year old woman with blood pressure issues because of the stress and anxiety I suffer from. You're right I have absolutely no right to ask for anything, BUT then you have NO RIGHT to expect me to provide a service to your children or any children in Philadelphia simply because I work for the government. You and all the people who share your viewpoint should visit a Philadelphia, District RUN elementary school and take a good hard look around and see what really goes on. And what exactly do you think will help the children of Philadelphia learn? If you are not in a classroom with them on a daily basis, how can you begin to talk about what could help them? Having classrooms that are ridden with mouse and rat droppings as well as cockroaches, would that be suitable to you? Having students who constantly and consistently disrupt instruction, would that be suitable? Please tell me which one of the district contract demands you think would truly help our students learn?
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 6, 2013 10:18 pm
Ignore the trolls. Don't stress yourself out. He/She/ It isn't worth it.
Submitted by Fran (not verified) on March 7, 2013 1:35 am
No one knows what goes on inside a Philadelphia Public School better than a teacher! Students consisitenly disrupt, "wrestle" one another as a parent described fighting to me and make instruction impossible for the 75 pere cent of students who want to learn. Many principals, especially where I am, strongly discourage use of incident reports. Teachers are routinely punished from within for writing a report. These number of reports are used on the principals report card for his/her boss. I along with many of my colleagues have serious health issues related to job stress. Overall, our students miss out on the education we have to ability and willingness to give. Every day we are diminished.
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 7, 2013 7:35 am
Not at charter schools. There, the kids, have a complete turnaround. It's simply miraculous, a miracle, I tell you. RIGHT !!!!
Submitted by cheap logos (not verified) on August 15, 2013 8:33 am
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Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on March 5, 2013 6:48 pm
It's not o.k. for someone to work hard and not make a living wage. It hurts everyone when this happens. Subtracting 13% of 55k puts that worker in a position to only support him/herself, not a family.
Submitted by Linda K. (not verified) on March 5, 2013 10:52 pm
stop wasting time with this Anon person and keep your mind on the issue as you have been...ignor Anon
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 9:21 am
Given the economic times we are in, the 13% reduction sounds reasonable.
Submitted by Anthony (not verified) on March 5, 2013 4:24 pm
Another troll alert.
Submitted by Pseudonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 6:55 pm
Yes. The Dow closed today with an all-time record high. Clearly there's not enough money for us teachers to barely cling to the middle class.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 1:33 pm
State Senator Vincent Hughes is right! Make Corbett provide more education money and get it from the non-residents who are stealing our Marcellus Shale and laughing all the way to their bank in another state.
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 5, 2013 4:47 pm
Vincent Hughes warned us of this years ago. He said, "Elections matter" and, of course, he is right. Corbett has no conscience where our kids and we are concerned and the reason he's in Harrisburg is because so many of us sat home and didn't vote. It reminds me of the old saying, "We have met the enemy and it is we." As ridiculously uncaring and non supportive as Nutter has been, if he ran for mayor today, he's be reelected. What's wrong with this picture ?? !
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 5, 2013 6:42 pm
Meant to say, he'd be reelected.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2013 9:21 pm
Nice job this morning (Radio Times), Ron! THANK YOU!
Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on March 5, 2013 10:06 pm
A lot of talk about a professional contract. Good. What about professional management. I teach in a High School where I do not have a single student reading at grade level. The majority (at least 75%) are at about 6th grade. What dies this sorry state say about management. The district knows most students cannot read but they pretend that a magical teacher can teach 30 students all at sub grade levels at once. That is nuts and letting unprepared kids make it to High School when the read at 6th grade or less is poor management.
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 6, 2013 4:34 pm
Great Job yesterday, Ron------Joe Pitchforks.

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