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What will happen at tonight's SRC meeting?

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 7, 2013 12:05 PM

On Thursday night, the five-member School Reform Commission will make some of the most momentous decisions in the recent history of the District as it considers closing 27 schools and making other changes and reconfigurations.

Protesters are promising to be out in force -- both in the auditorium at 440 N. Broad St. and outside. The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, is planning to attend and register her objections.

The SRC has decided to vote on one massive resolution instead of many separate ones. SRC members will be able to propose amendments and will consider them separately before considering the entire resolution, said District spokesman Fernando Gallard.

The District said it has set up ground rules that two people can speak for each school, an additional two for each planning region, and a total of 10 on the general topic of school closures. The deadline for registering to speak was 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and 31 people signed up. Ten of them, including Weingarten, will address the overall issue of closures.

Several elected officials are also registered to speak at the meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m.: City Councilman Curtis Jones (on Lamberton High School) and State Reps. Stephen Kinsey (on the general topic) and W. Curtis Thomas (on the North Central East region).

Besides Lamberton, schools with speakers on their behalf are Fulton, T.M. Peirce, Taylor, L.P. Hill, and Vare elementaries; Pepper and Roosevelt middle schools; and Robeson, Germantown and University City high schools. Four speakers identified themselves as having connections to Germantown High, including principal Margaret Mullen.

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Comments (7)

Submitted by Marsha F (not verified) on March 7, 2013 12:08 pm

Hmm...from the comments by some of the teachers it sounds as if it was never really "for the children" or "about the children" after all. I always knew that; Philly public schools were horrible when I attended them, and for the one year my son attended it, it was horrible. Teachers didn't care, many couldn't even spell or use correct 3rd grade grammar, and were leftist loons.

My son and older daughter graduated high school through a homeschool accreditation agency, and I do not have a single public school teacher to thank for that, or for their standardized testing scores in the 98th and 99th percentile.

How do you like that? Someone with a high school diploma did very well, what many of you with alphabet soup after your names were either too stupid, too lazy or too greedy to do.

Submitted by JUDITH ROBINSON (not verified) on March 7, 2013 12:38 pm

Hello Marsha F!
Tell us more about homeschooling ... If we are changing the "delivery" of education,we should have all options on the table. Little is mentioned about parents right to home school.Yes,take the money and buy a good education!
To pick and choose ,who is a good match for the best interest of the child.

It can be done,as you have. Please tell us more...

Submitted by Not Stupid, Lazy or Greedy (not verified) on March 7, 2013 2:29 pm

I think it is great that your son and daughter received high scores on their standardized tests. What you are neglecting to notice is that you are an involved parent focused on the education of two children.

Now, take a step back and try to imagine being responsible for the education of 100 students with only a handful of involved parents. Now imagine that these students are not held accountable for their attendance or behavior in class. After that thought, think about the fact that when a student is failing it is always assumed to be the teacher's fault. As an added bonus, throw in the idea of being in a high school and getting cursed at every day for making simple requests of the students. Finally, think about going into a career designed to help the youth of this generation get prepared for life after school and then constantly being told that you only do it for the summers and holidays off or for the benefits and pay or because you couldn't do anything else.

Are there teachers who are stupid, lazy and greedy? Probably, but the majority are not. Most of us want to make a difference in the lives of children but are stopped at every turn by people who don't even want to take the chance to do what we do or think about what we face. Before you take a broad stroke and try to paint all teachers with the same brush, remember that there are quite a few teachers who are intelligent, hard-working and selfless. Unfortunately, those are the ones that suffer the most from all of the problems in this and other school districts.

Submitted by T (not verified) on March 7, 2013 2:52 pm

At least you are smart enough to see through the smoke and mirrors. This was never about the children to the PFT. That was a red herring. It was always about the union protecting its turf and trying to get as much as it could. Fighting against vouchers for Catholic schools, fighting against the establishment of charter schools, fighting against any accountability and performance based pay, fighting against tenure reform, etc. All done to protect the union leadership and its members. The kids were never part of the calculus. Period.

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 7, 2013 4:47 pm

T------------------You should really do some background reading on unions before speaking about something you apparently know very little. Unions are good for ALL workers. Have you heard of overtime, time off, vacations, weekends, sick time etc., etc.? Workers better always have and protect their rights. The corporations are completely about profit margin 24/7. Read some history, please.
Yes, there are some bad teachers, lazy and lazier but the VAST majority of teachers work tirelessly for the betterment of children. By the way, again read the history of vouchers and the separation of church and state before making broad statements based on no evidence. Feelings are not facts. Just sayin !!

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 7, 2013 4:22 pm

T------------------You should really do some background reading on unions before speaking about something you apparently know very little. Unions are good for ALL workers. Have you heard of overtime, time off, vacations, weekends, sick time etc., etc.? Workers better always have and protect their rights. The corporations are completely about profit margin 24/7. Read some history, please.
Yes, there are some bad teachers, lazy and lazier but the VAST majority of teachers work tirelessly for the betterment of children. By the way, again read the history of vouchers and the separation of church and state before making broad statements based on no evidence. Feelings are not facts. Just sayin !!

Submitted by Consejera (not verified) on March 7, 2013 4:02 pm

There are two things happening here: 1. The SRC is threatening the livelihood of thousands of people.2. The SRC is destroying public education for the children of Philadelphia. Is it not possible to be against both of these things happening without appearing to be selfish? I, also have children and I want to be able to provide for them. I love working with students and want the best for them. This action will not increase choice. This action will put money into the pockets of charter operators but not into the classrooms of the average Philadelphia student. Reasonable concessions can be worked out. Not everyone is going to be happy with any solution that is worked out. And yes, I do worry about having a job. Wouldn't you?

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