Donate today!
view counter

Growing coalition pushes for new kind of Philly teachers' contract

By the Notebook on Jul 24, 2013 04:10 PM

by Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks

A group calling itself the Coalition for Effective Teaching is calling on the Philadelphia School District and the city teachers' union to think about more than dollars and cents when negotiating the next contract. They're pushing to pick teachers not just based on seniority.

The Coalition for Effective Teaching has four new members, including the Urban League and Congreso.

Sharmain Matlock-Turner of the Urban Affairs Coalition says her group joined to send a unified message to both the teachers and the School District.

"The right teacher in the right classroom absolutely matters. Putting together a school culture and a school climate, getting everybody on the same page makes a huge difference on whether or not schools will be successful," said Matlock-Turner.

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

Click Here
view counter

Comments (83)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2013 5:55 pm
Giving Philly principals more power - while wiping out the power of anyone else - will be a disaster. We have far too many inexperienced, incompetent or "only connected" principals. They are too often in a position because of who they know versus what they have accomplished. Principals will hire their friends / family rather than who is best for the school.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 10:24 pm
Absoulutely, Positively TRUE!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 26, 2013 11:30 am
We'll see about Jordan!! Word is we have a meeting on Labor Day at 6pm at the Liacorus Center. On Labor Day?? The rumor is that we are going to vote on a 3 month extension of the current contract. I am troubled by this 1)negotiations should have been ongoing well before September and finalized before start of school 2)if it's voted to be extended then if we strike it will be in December (winter time), 3) Jordan should come out and TELL teachers that we are voting on a contract extension NOT keep it quiet and have teachers thinking they will be voting to turn down contract offered by SRC. Members nee to be informed of this up front not wait until they show up that day, 4) I smell something fishy like the last vote and if teachers fall for it then get his *** ousted!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2013 10:32 pm
You should be aware that by Act 46 Philadelphia teachers may not strike or seek arbitration. This law establishes teachers and other school district employees as second class (or lower) citizens. This law applies only to Philadelphia. Look it up.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 29, 2013 10:10 pm
Sounds like a charter school experience to me. Principals are very much into the divide and conquer technique that they currently have in place. They aren't able to fully higher their friends yet. But they will when all is said and done. Especially the female principals. They are petty, catty, and they suck,
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2013 5:38 pm
Wat about a coalition for effective PARENTING. That's what Philly School children need!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2013 7:45 pm
I agree!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Heck Yes!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2013 5:39 pm
If the urban league is involved it will be a de facto black union.
Submitted by Joan Taylor on July 25, 2013 9:47 am
A union that is black is not the problem. A union that caters to corporate greed and privatization is, though, and that is what we need to protest by turning up at SRC meetings, however inconvenient they may be, and letting our voices be heard.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 4:09 pm
A black union is a problem, just not the only problem. The urban league, naacp, black officers, black clergy, black congress,..all have a skewed view of any situation, bringing color into a situation that had no color. It is a double standard that is vile and trite.
Submitted by Joan Taylor on July 25, 2013 10:34 pm
I don't know what you mean by "bringing color into a situation that had no color."
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 26, 2013 7:53 am
Trying to bring a racial victimhood where none exists. It is a perpetual state of existence for the leaders of these organizations.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on July 24, 2013 5:24 pm
This is just another torpedo being shot at The PFT by a group with its own agenda. "Piling On" is what's it's called in The NFL. Jerry either needs to be up for the job or the PFT will cease to exist within 2 years.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2013 6:46 pm
I worked for a principal who allowed two hateful teachers to run the school. They ran the good teachers out of the building in order to detract from the fact that the two of them were incompetent. This is in addition to their numerous violations of legal and ethical guidelines. But the principal covered for them because they covered for the principal. Yeah, let's let the principals decide. I am sick and tired of people who don't have a clue about what really goes on in these schools attempting to determine what "should" happen.
Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on July 24, 2013 6:29 pm
Yes just what we need, a guy in a funny Cowboy hat telling teachers what to do. The hat is what gives him omnipresent knowledge. Another fool we have to suffer. But in the end the Public School system ends in 5 years and we deal with the Brave New World of only high performing seats. Same low performing students though but those lovely seats will fix the problem.
Submitted by Bum Phillips (not verified) on July 25, 2013 9:07 am
Give me back my hat Mondeshire!
Submitted by tom-104 on July 24, 2013 6:22 pm
Bill Gates and the Urban League Scan this page and then look at the bottom of the page. ************************************* The Urban League has ties to the Walton Foundation (Walmart family) in New Orleans charter schools. Urban League of Greater New Orleans $491,300 ************************ Urban League and Broad Foundation In 2002, Hugh B. Price, President and CEO, National Urban League was an instructor at the Broad Superintendents Academy. (Page 2) ***************************** Also see: Corporate Funding of Urban League, NAACP & Civil Rights Orgs Has Turned Into Corporate Leadership Chris Hedges: The Liberal Elite has Betrayed the People They Claim to Defend
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2013 6:09 pm
This is the same "coalition" that couldn't spell "coalition" and is funded by the Philadelphia School Dictatorship. So, now surprise they are out to blast teachers. Once again, there is no "progressive" coalition if the Philadelphia School Dictatorship is involved.
Submitted by Jerry J (not verified) on July 25, 2013 9:28 am
Maybe you want to start your own?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2013 6:49 pm
At least they spelled their sign right this time!
Submitted by Dan Fitzsimmons (not verified) on July 24, 2013 7:14 pm
I don't get why people seem to think site selection is such an amazing thing. First, the good teachers still are not going to go the underperforming schools. The only reason why the wind up coming to our schools is because it might be their only choice. Then they're not happy. Given the choice to interview anywhere, then they're going to choose the better schools. Second, just because a teacher is site-selected doesn't make them a good teacher. Being the building rep at my school, I sit on the site selection committee. I've interview many people. One, in particular, comes to mind. She interviewed very well, and we hired her that day. She was everything we wanted. Or so we thought. She was one of the worst teachers I have ever seen. She was fired within two years of coming to our school. Site-selection is not the "promised land" that people think it is. It's not going to make the district a better place. The good schools will still have the good teachers and the not-so-good schools will have what's left, except for the few of us good teachers who do decide to stay in the hard to staff schools. Principal control of hiring and firing is a joke. My first principal managed to drive out some of the best teachers our school had seen. Because she didn't like them. They were fantastic teachers. My principal now wouldn't do that but there are many who would. Since when do outside groups get to have their say in our contract?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2013 7:05 pm
This is a gift to CASA. It will give far more power to principals - many are incompetent, inexperienced, and vindictive. What is CASA "giving" in this time of "shared sacrifice?"
Submitted by Jerry J (not verified) on July 25, 2013 5:23 pm
Well, CASA members didn't get the raises they were told to expect back in January. They are not unscathed in this crisis. Really, the only people I know of untouched are Dr. Hite and some other remaining employees (e.g. Lisa Runner) at 440.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 26, 2013 1:48 am
CASA has lost a large number of its membership - all of the assistant principals and many of the central office positions are laid off. CASA has not realized its raise and CASA is facing the same cuts in salary that the other unions are facing. While it may seem to be a benefit for Principals' - remember - "To whom much is given, much is required!" if principals can choose their staffs they are going to be held accountable in a more strict manner which will result in greater discipline for them if they are not able to raise test scores and maintain an orderly building with less staff.....
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 27, 2013 3:08 pm
Bullshit. They do not have the accountability they should have and there is no one left to replace them. The schools will limp along until a charter takes it over. Forced failure, that's what this amounts to.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 26, 2013 10:42 pm
From my extensive experience engaging in site selection interviews as the teacher candidate, principals have received little or no instruction/direction in the interviewing process. I have been asked "trick" questions, asked to relate confidential information about students, asked questions inappropriate for my field, and have witnessed my resume being handed out to interviewers (teachers, parents) as I have taken my chair, therefore knowing that there has been no advance consideration of any candidate, or at least not me. Site selection in the SDP is a sorry situation. Anonymous National Board Certified Teacher Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching Grantee Ruth Wright Hayre Award for Distinguished Teaching Nominee
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 29, 2013 11:08 pm
Amen brother! Now I know I'm not crazy. 99% of the principals are lazy, vindictive, incompetent and go after the good teachers who actually care about teaching. Probably because they draw attention to the fact that the principal is a total ignoramus. Please suburbs build more schools, I want out!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 30, 2013 12:32 am
Amen, brother. Now I know I'm not crazy. I've been on a bunch of site selection interviews and when they ask some ridiculous question that has nothing to do with the position your interviewing for, you know that they already decided who they are going to hire. It's a total joke out the ass big time!
Submitted by Teacher (not verified) on July 24, 2013 7:08 pm
Anyone who thinks giving principals more power clearly does not know much about the quality of principals in the SDP. Of the three principals I have had in my 8 years with the district only one was what could be considered "competent." He was a strong presence and he made sure we had everything we needed; however, he was not much of an instructional leader. He thought if you managed your classroom well nothing else mattered. The other two! If I told you some of the experiences I have had, you would swear I was making it up! One was completely insane. Seriously. And my current principal hides. Yes, hides. From teachers, parents, students. He has NO idea what he is doing. And he has very little experience and gets no supervision. Whatsoever. I agree that some things need to change, that is for sure, but more power to these people??!!! Unthinkable!
Submitted by Kelly Jenkins (not verified) on July 24, 2013 8:06 pm
Where the hell do these "groups" of people keep coming from?!?!?!?! I bet most of them don't even have their kids in public schools. Oh wait....I think I just answered my own question.
Submitted by lmm324 (not verified) on July 24, 2013 10:37 pm
Kelly - According to this study, 44% of the SDP school teachers send their kids to PRIVATE education.
Submitted by Joan Taylor on July 26, 2013 12:57 am
People who see how little the state is willing to invest in public education make up for the shortfall if they can, so if that means putting a kid into a private school, even if it sucks up every last dime, that is what one does. In school districts with appropriate funding, say Lower Merion--or even Upper Merion, the middle class version of its wealthy neighbor-- people choose private education when they want a very sheltered environment for their child, have a kid who really needs kid gloves, or see schooling as an integral part of the networking that will keep their child in the most elite circles. Most suburban parents are delighted and relieved to live in a district that is committed to and able to educate its children. Of course, in wealthy suburban districts, teachers are generally unable to afford to live where they teach. This sets up the irony of teachers teaching children to earn much more money than any teacher in that district would ever earn. The beneficiaries of the teachers' efforts then go on to deny teachers a dignified wage. Oh, Bill Gates and Sam Walton, how much money did your 4th grade teachers earn? (Not enough to enable them to live in your neighborhood.) When are these guys going to spend real money on schools? I mean real money that they feel, that actually forces them to make the kinds of choices poor parents face every day.
Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on July 26, 2013 6:03 am
I live and teach in Philly. I also have children in Philly District schools. I can not afford to send my children to private / parochial schools and, even if I could, do not think I would. Everyone in my family went and goes to public schools. I have never attended nor worked in a private / parochial / suburban school so they are not on my radar. In theory, public education should provide "equitable opportunities," promote the "common good," etc. Certainly, not radical ideas but, in Pennsylvania, apparently not the goals of the powers that be. This upcoming school year is scary for teachers and parents. My children - and students - will potentially be in schools without counselors, nurses, secretaries, sports, etc. My children have never had a librarian (K-8 or high school). They have never had a full music program that suburban parents take for granted. They will sit in poorly ventilated and often overheated classrooms. They will not receive all that is required for a "21st century" education. Yes, there are fewer and fewer Philly teachers - AND administrators - who send their children to Philly public schools. It would be great if people who teach in Philly had to live in Philly but I won't hold my breath. Hopefully, whoever teaches in Philly, will work for schools that they would want their children to attend. This is NOT the goal of the so-called Philadelphia School "Partnership" which apparently is running the School District with their millions from right wing foundations and venture capitalist. This is NOT the goal of the so-called Coalition for Effective Teaching who have decided seniority and unions are the great evils. This should be the goal of the PFT, CASA, 1201, UNITE, etc. in conjunction with families. Somehow, we have to get the powers that be to "put up or shut up" so we do not start school in September in utter chaos.
Submitted by Stewart (not verified) on July 28, 2013 11:56 am
That is not a study anyone should trust for several reasons: First, it was produced by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, one of the lesser-known but still quite active arms of the corporate "school reform" movement. When you take a look at their website, you find that they are tied directly to or funded by all the usual suspects; the Broad, Gates, Hewlett, Templeton and Walton foundations, the AEI, the NCTQ, EducationNext...well, I could go on for a long time with these, but I think that gives the picture of the kind of people the Fordham Institute is in bed with. Nothing that ever comes out of any of these outfits can be trusted at face value, since they design studies and manipulate data and conclusions to fit their agenda. Second, if you actually look at the numbers they give in that study, they are very misleading even based on their own data as given in the report (and that has it's own problem, but we'll get to that below.) For instance, they highlight the difference between all urban families and urban teachers without noting income differences. That they save for a separate discussion, where they don't break out the data by location (urban, suburban or rural.) What this lets them do is claim that teachers are somehow abandoning the public schools, when if you look even at the data they explicitly give, the income-level breakout shows that the range a majority of teachers (and especially urban teachers) fall into (42k-84k/year) actually has a slightly lower incidence of children in private schools than the general public. Yet this paper still claims that the rate is higher based on averaging of the top 50 urban school districts without income data separation, even as their own data clearly shows this to be a critical factor that should be included (and almost certainly wasn't because it likely would have undermined their preferred conclusion.) Third: The data itself is inconsistent, as even the paper admits, though you have to read into the rather dense "Notes on Methodology" section at the end to discover this. What the researchers (and I use that term loosely) did was use Census Bureau PUMAs as their units of analysis, rather than trying to use standard census data for the actual urban units they are supposedly studying (especially in Table 1 where they present the data on cities that you cited.) What this produces is a very skewed picture of some (but not all) urban areas. Philly is a prime example of this. Using the paper's methodology, the PUMAs that contain all of the city also have large significant suburban areas included, such as Lower Merion, that make these highly questionable as units of analysis. They natter on about how the Census Bureau doesn't publish standard data to the lowest aggregate levels (the census block), but this is bunk. You've been able (since well before this study came out) to request data sets from the Census Bureau based on selected groups of blocks and tracts, allowing you to get the very kind of anonymous, aggregate data they pull from the PUMAs, but limited to the geographical unit you actually want to study without extraneous data from surrounding areas. When this paper was published, you could already do much of that work yourself as well, especially through the use of DataFerrett, an excellent cross-agency demographic data tool produced by the Census Bureau. So they not only used a poor methodology, they lied about why they didn't use a better one. Fourth and finally: There is also one factor that is unique to Philly that other urban areas even of similar size do not possess: the network of Friends schools. This is a large and relatively inexpensive (in terms of private education) set of private schools that have an appeal different from most private schools. I'd lay strong odds that if you actually did the direct survey work, you'd find that a fair percentage of the private school students in Philly, from teacher and non-teacher households alike, would be enrolled in Friends schools. This is just another in a long line of these terrible "studies" that are thrown out by the corporate education reformers to try and fool the public into agreeing with them.
Submitted by Geoffrey (not verified) on July 24, 2013 9:04 pm
Just remember that Whyatt-Mondesire's ex-wife was principal at Strawberry Mansion when scores were raised to incomprehensible levels, only to decline after Ackerman gave her a $10,000 bonus for her bogus results.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2013 9:59 pm
Glad you made note of the fact that his ex-wife, who just retired, was named in connection with PSSA cheating scandal.
Submitted by Teacher (not verified) on July 24, 2013 9:10 pm
Powell-Mondesire was the principal I was referring to as "insane." LOL
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 26, 2013 1:00 am
Get the facts straight, Powell - Mondesire did not receive a raise, nor did she receive a bonus. She was moved from the position of building principal to the position of Turn-Around Principal. She was still a principal. Say what you want, but the Strawberry Mansion that was presented on national TV WAS NOT the Strawberry Mansion that existed under Powell - Mondesire's watch. The school was not perfect but there was order and the instruction improved. Teacher says they were there - then they should know the hard work that went into preparing the students for testing which results in improved scores. Why - when dealing with impoverished or minority students does improvement equate to cheating???????
Submitted by Annonym (not verified) on July 26, 2013 6:52 am
Strawberry Mansion under Powell-Mondesire was the prototype for cheating. It was well know that "games" were played by Powell-Mondesire to boost test scores. She was rewarded by Ackerman - like Ressler and other principals - for cheating and helping Ackerman get her bonus.
Submitted by Geoffrey (not verified) on July 28, 2013 9:56 am
Here are the facts:
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 28, 2013 5:26 pm
Read the entire article - it was payment for going "above and beyond the call of duty" - do you know the hours that were put in? do you know the personal sacrifices that were made? If the answer is no then stop with all of the empty accusations and move on with verifiable and clear facts.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on July 28, 2013 6:01 pm
They were paid for kissing up to Ackerman and inflated test scores. Again, Strawberry Mansion was the pinnacle of cheating.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 28, 2013 11:56 pm
It appears that you have made up your mind - there is no way someone could be rewarded for their hard work and there is no way that students at Strawberry Mansion could have actually achieved. Which means that you represent the best and brightest of Philadelphia's teaching staff - always believing the best and assisting our students in doing their best.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 30, 2013 12:43 am
And to piggyback on you, doesn't the mayor have a spouse that runs a charter school operation? Hmmm. It's all crooked bullshit! Anyway you slice it!
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on July 24, 2013 9:19 pm
Everyone should understand that you do not get good teachers in the classrooms and you do not get good teachers to stay in teaching by trampling on teacher rights and treating them like second class citizens. You do that by treating teachers like the professionals that they are. The "last in first out provisions" known as LIFO are statutory protections for teachers from wrongdoing of administrators. They are written into the School Code. They are rights which inure to every teacher personally and they can not be contracted away. LIFO became the law long before teacher unions ever existed. They were written into our School Code by the General Assembly after hearings about the abuses of those in power. The teacher's contract provides the exact same protections from abuse with only a few additions to protect "basic fairness." There are zillions of things more urgent to be changed in the school district than seniority which only comes into play when there are budgetary reductions in workforce and in only a few situations. There is no possible way to fairly and unbiasedly compare teachers across subjects and from school to school. The present reductions in workforce are "choices" made by our elected leaders and the SRC. The choice to layoff teachers will be further exacerbated by the SRC turnovers which they will vote and approve on Friday. How we choose our principals is a much more urgent problem. They should also all be chosen through a credible, open and honest site selection process. Great schools are great communities -- site selection, in a professional community, should be a symbiotic relationship.
Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on July 25, 2013 5:30 am
Thank you, Rich. Is anyone in the "Coalition" listening?
Submitted by Education Grad ... on July 25, 2013 10:37 pm
Rich, The Coalition for Effective Teaching clearly isn't as informed about seniority as you are. They think it's a union issue even though it's both a union and statutory issue. Regarding principals, you go right to the heart of the issue. If principals were competent and site selected, then maybe teachers would be a bit more open to site selection in the way that it works in suburban school districts in the area. EGS
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on July 25, 2013 10:29 pm
It is a matter of trust. Trust formation is the single element of effective leadership which emerges in study after study of effective leaders. Trust is a leadership game -- the leader has to ante up first. So is culture change a leadership game -- the leader has to ante up first. True professional learning communities should choose their own leaders. It is the best practice for attaining effective leadership.
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on July 26, 2013 9:20 am
Mr. Migliore, I understand the need to protect teachers from the wrongdoing of administrators, but please explain further how seniority is necessary for "due process". Shouldn't every teacher be granted "due process" regardless of seniority? How is "last in, first out" tied to, or necessary for, "due process"? I would think that seniority is more to protect experience (which is of course a good thing) than to ensure fair treatment. The controversy comes, when experience alone does not translate equally to motivation or even ability. Teaches should have a way to give honest feedback about their principal without fear of reprisal. At my neighborhood school, the teacher satisfaction rating (used in the SPI) was 100%, yet when the school's academic achievement came under criticism, teachers blamed the principal. They are definitely "under the gun" of the principal enough already.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 31, 2013 1:13 am
Yes, thanks Rich. Amen Bro! Oh but Mr. Hatchet Man Super said that by taking away our lunch time and making us oversee recess will make us more professional. Going back to pre 1965 will give our profession more prestige. Thanks you baldy headed prick! I'll never forget that assholic comment made by our Super Jay Z's slightly less ugly doppledouche!
Submitted by Joan Taylor on July 25, 2013 6:12 am
I would love to see a group like this go after corporate welfare or put themselves on the line for the underpaid service workers in our city. If the group really wants to work on education reform, how about doing the courageous thing and demanding increased support for our students in the way of per-pupil funding? Right now, this is one more group coming after the group they ought to be working with: teachers. We're really a pretty decent bunch. We care passionately about kids. We go to great trouble for them. There are some exceptions, as there are throughout corporate America, but getting to the point where all teachers are above average is not going to happen in schools where there are no counselors, nurses, secretaries, instrumental music teachers, and so on. Let's stop making excuses for a state that doesn't want to pay for poor children to go to school, whether that be in rural or urban PA. The Coalition needs to get on the moral side of this issue and start supporting the same goals that we teachers have for our students.
Submitted by anon (not verified) on July 25, 2013 5:22 pm
i've got to agree with your sentiment. most teachers i've met are a pretty decent bunch and do do a pretty good job playing out the hand they are dealt. how perverse to ourselves portrayed as public enemy #1. with all the screwed-up, twisted, corrupt problems going on in this city, our future terms of employment is the one single issue that these diverse groups can muster the energy to coalesce around. it boggles the mind. these reform advocates alway assume that change - any change - will necessarily be for the better...can't get any worse, right? anyone who actually works in a sdp classroom knows that's bull. our teachers know how tough a job it really is, how hard they have to work to achieve even the limited progress they make with a lot of our students and that sometimes the only thing holding it all together in the classroom is just their sheer will not to allow matters to plunge into pure chaos. things can get worse. change for change's sake is not the answer. teaching in a philadelphia public school is a tough, tough job and it takes years to become proficient at it. i continue to learn and get a little better at it each year. the administrators arrive anew, each with their smoke and mirrors and magic bullet proposals to stand things on their head. they strut around making a lot of noise and then, sooner than you expect, are gone, only to be replaced by another, equally full of himself. only the teachers and staff remain from one year to the next - from sibling to sibling - the one constant, the steadying influences in the school. this new coalition sounds like someone's pushing to get their t.f.a. associates moved to the front of the rehire line. like many of you, i'll be starting this school year with a new principal - my 5th principal in the last 7 years. change for change's sake in action. perhaps the coalition could tell me how this person is supposed to be in a position to make intelligent career-altering decisions on the staff employed at my school?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 27, 2013 5:55 pm
In Chicago, TFA has indicated that their teachers will NOT replace laid-off teachers. We need to push for the same assurance in Philadelphia.
Submitted by Annonym (not verified) on July 27, 2013 5:14 pm
Most TFA - just like last year - will end up in charters. Mastery, Young Scholars and Universal will have TFA teachers in their newly acquired "Renaissance" schools. So, while few may be in District schools, they will in replacing Philadelphia unionized teachers.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on July 27, 2013 6:22 pm
I read the same pronouncement regarding Chicago and TFA. I have learned to be skeptical of headlines. Doublespeak abounds in these times. What is needed is a highly alert reader, who does not accept headlines at face value. TFA recruits will be taking positions of unionized workers. The facts contradict the headline. Education reform is kept alive by a citizenry that tires easily of critical thinking.
Submitted by tom-104 on July 27, 2013 9:00 pm
You are right to be skeptical about what TFA said in Chicago. Check out this column from Schools Matter @ The Chalk Face: A Snarky Letter for A Heartless Leader: My Response to TFA Chicago’s Josh Anderson Anyone connected with corporate education reform believes they are in a war. They probably study the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu's " The Art of War" at the Broad Superintendents Academy. His most important maxim is "All warfare is based on deception." The problem is that most of the people on our side have not figured this out yet and are therefore defenseless.
Submitted by Timothy Boyle on July 25, 2013 7:10 am


By what metric is Congreso a new member? Who are the other two new members? Did anyone ask CET why over 70% of the schools that have full site selection still have vacancies? Or why some of our Promise Academies still have 20+ vacancies?

I have yet to hear CET say anything about how site selection in Philadelphia has actually worked over the past 2-3 contracts that is rooted in data. If the answer is, "Site Selection has not been implemented evenly so we don't want to study it", then its time to move on something that actually benefits kids.

Or, figure out how to improve the robust site selection process we already have. 

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 8:46 am
How very sad to see Jerry Mondesire and the NAACP now on the side of the corporations and union-busters. I never thought I would see the day that a once-powerful voice for freedom would be used to try to silence those of workers (many of whom are their own members). It is an indication of just how low this coalition has sunk that they would be calling for the end of seniority and other collective bargaining rights for union members instead of joining with those who are fighting to bring back the 3800 school employees who have lost their jobs. Schools are opening in five weeks without any support staff, but their aim is to strip the rights of those who are walking into these buildings in September. What can you say about a collection of people who have aligned themselves with the likes of David L. Cohen and Mark Gleason? Who cannot respect the legitimate process of contract negotiations that is taking place right now? Lisa
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 8:53 am
Immigration reform, the unemployment rate in the African American Community, racial profiling, the high incarceration rate of African American males - these are just a few of the issues that these organizations in the this co-called coalition should be addressing if they are TRULY INTERESTED in helping their constituents. I can only imagine the back room deals that were made between these organizations and other entities determined to eradicate public education in the city of Philadelphia (Philadelphia School Partnership, Mayor Nutter) to have them suddenly address the teacher's contract.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 8:43 am
It's now officially "teacher Hunting Season" you wascally wabbits !! Might as well draw a target on your forehead and call it a day. Sooooooo sad......
Submitted by J.J. McHabe (not verified) on July 25, 2013 9:02 am
So let me get this straight. As of today (July 25th, 2013) The School District of Philadelphia does not have enough funds to open it's doors in September, and this Coaltion of Effective of Teaching (or whatever the heck their new name is) is talking about Site Selection? We need an Allen Iverson press conference "we talkin' bout Site Selection????". Seriously? What is wrong with this group??? Once again,...The SDP (as of today) does not have enough funds to open in September, and this group takes time to have some big hokey press conference (notice the serious looks on their faces) that principals should be able to pick their teachers. Wow. Just wow!
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on July 25, 2013 9:32 am
Ms. Matlock-Turner and Mr. Mondesire: Why are you advocating for the destruction of public education in Philadelphia and supporting the corporate raid on public schools? What is happening is the people you purport to represent are having their right to participate in the governance of their public schools stripped from them systematically. That is part and parcel of their right to participate in our democracy? That is what is being taken away from them. And you support that? Please, begin to think deeply about what that means to every minority person in America. How many struggles? How many deaths? How much human suffering have our ancestors gone through to attain those rights? The greatest civil rights issue of today is the stripping of the rights of citizens to participate in the governance of their public schools. What kind of country have we become, that does not understand the need for a free appropriate public education system which is subject to the processes of democracy. The rights of our citizens to vote are being stripped from them. The rights of people to vote for their school board has already been denied Philadelphians. Now you want to privatize public schools and send them to schools where parents and students have no public rights. Is that what you support? There is more than public education at stake here -- democracy itself is at stake here.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 9:54 am
Amen, Rich. Lisa BTW, there is an SRC meeting tomorrow, Friday, at 8 AM. On the agenda is the SRC's reversal on its previous decision not to Renaissance three neighborhood schools. The question is: why the change now and where did that money come from? Also on the agenda is yet another PSP intrusion: A-1 Categorical/Grant Fund: $1,081,800 Grant Acceptance from the Philadelphia School Partnership to support staff salaries and benefits at three Schools ---from the SRC resolution list for Friday. This needs some serious explanation and discussion.
Submitted by Concerned Phila. (not verified) on July 25, 2013 7:37 pm
Yes, why are 3 magnet schools - Science Leadership Academy, The Workshop (a new school which is kicking out the automotive program at West Philly High and taking their space), and Hill-Freeman's 9-12 program - getting money from the Phila. School Dictatorship for additional staff while other schools don't even have secretaries, counselors and nurses? Why is the DICTATORSHIP determining staffing in public schools? Once again, where are the voices of the so-called progressives who are drinking from the DICTATORSHIPS wells?
Submitted by EWF (not verified) on July 25, 2013 7:55 pm
Philadelphians are drinking from the well. They reelected Nutter, reelected people like Dwight Evans and Anthony Hardly Williams, and didn't get out to vote in the gubernatorial election.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on July 25, 2013 3:20 pm
Rich-In case you are not aware, Ms. Matlock Turner IS corporate 101 on WURD Radio. The last thing she is, is part of the 99%. Listen to her from past shows and you'll understand why she's involved. Reggie Bryant couldn't even remotely listen to her nonsense about money making investments through education and its appendages.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on July 25, 2013 4:04 pm
Thanks for the schooling Joe. I am unaware of what she stands for. These are interesting times.
Submitted by Jerry J (not verified) on July 25, 2013 5:13 pm
Matlock-Turner has VERY close ties to Dwight Evans. She was super involved with the West Oak Lane Charter School, as was he. I don't trust her one bit.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on July 25, 2013 5:10 pm
I knew that, why didn't I remember it !!!!! Memory, not so good anymore. Yes, she's a trip and VERY hard on your ears.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 9:32 am
I might be inclined to think in terms other than dollar and cents, if my mortgage lender did also. With a 13% pay cut, losing my house is a very real possible consequence of the privatization attack on Public Education in Philadelphia and its targeted vicious assault on the teaching profession. Explain to me why I need to settle for less compensation than my skills, dedication, expertise and proven know-how deserve? A multi year pay freeze, increased hours, increased caseloads and now I need to willingly sacrifice a $700/mon. loss of income when the SDP already pays close to 14% less than neighboring districts? Seriously.?...Muzzle the corporate privatization gluttony reigning supreme in Philadelphia, cut back those outrageous management salaries, consultant fees, crony appointments before you dare suggest the UNION condone greater sacrificial intrusion into the personal lives of the professionals lending their skills to the School District. Demand the City Council immediately collect those delinquent property taxes that Mayor Nutter has sat upon complacently for the past 6 years.....Or is capitalism only suppose to result in greater income for insatiable billionaires and phony philanthropic foundations in ad nauseam; Gain wealth, forgetting all but self...except not for teachers? That's sanctioning a rather one way flow of cash, don't you think?.. Alec, Gates Foundation, Broad and TFA charlatans all have secured their increasing portion of the district budget, on demand. The district willingly invested heir dollars into built new residences for TFA, paying low cost graduate coursework, while legitimate loyal teachers are losing their homes, pulling kids out of college to balance the mismanaged district books. Or perhaps teachers are suppose to work for nothing? Sure!...Why not, you go first!
Submitted by Bob Lendzinski (not verified) on July 25, 2013 10:43 am
If all of these groups were as passionate about electing the right public officials, public education, the economy, etc. would not be in this mess right now. We, the teachers, are NOT the problem! YOUR elected officials, who bow to the whims of private enterprises (in this case the testing companies), are the problem! Stop voting Democrat. Stop voting Republican. Just vote for the BEST candidate, one that is REALLY "for the people".
Submitted by lmm324 (not verified) on July 25, 2013 12:38 pm
Bob - Ok. What happens if neither candidate meets your needs. Where do you go? Hint. Nowhere. The teachers unions have historically supported democratic candidates for decades. Yes. Decades. IMHO, it's clear the democratic party no longer cares about public education. There's a token voice hear and there. Please keep in mind that HALF of those democratic politicians have their kids in private education, which speaks volumes. So, the mindset becomes that you're picking the lesser of two evils. The teachers always supported the democrats because of the union. The democratic party is not your friend anymore. If anything, they are becoming worse than the republicans. The union needs to rethink its position. It's time for the union to strike a deal with the republicans. Come to a mediation with the caps on funding of charter schools. BTW, I'd forget about a third party. We're stuck with the two party system.
Submitted by tom-104 on July 25, 2013 2:05 pm
You solution is a deal with the Republicans??? Corbett, Bachman, Palin, George W. Bush .... they would be a good circus if it wasn't our lives we are talking about. Both parties represent the 1%. To say we are "stuck with the two party system" is to ignore history. Everything changes. In times like these all things are possible. We need a party that represents the needs of the 99%
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on July 25, 2013 3:07 pm
Tom--FYI--IMM is a troll of some sort who just makes stuff up as he goes along--A Howard Stern Wannabe.
Submitted by lmm324 (not verified) on July 25, 2013 7:43 pm
Sorry Joe, I'm far from Howard Stern. I never listened to him.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 5:44 pm
Good point. The country did not begin with Democrats and Republicans. Whatever happened to the Whigs? Guess we didn't get stuck with them. You can either accept the situation or you can change it. Or you can let the Karl Roves and the Cheyneys and the Bushes and the Kochs and the Gleasons change it for you.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 6:36 pm
Don't need to see this Mondesire clown at another rally. Backstabber.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on July 25, 2013 7:02 pm
Agreed-----He's known far and wide as not a serious person, an opportunist of the 1st. degree. Yes, he needs to lose that hat......or rent a horse and a lasso.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2013 8:55 pm
Must be a member of the local black cowboys!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 26, 2013 12:16 am
Big hat, no cattle. This reminds of when Arne Duncan dragged out Newt Gingrich and Al Sharpton to promote his latest scheme. Mondesire is just a black puppet that the corporate carpetbaggers hope to give them some street credibility. There needs to be a public review of every Philly principal every year. It only takes one crappy principal to mess up a school full of good teachers. If Mondesire actually knew something about teaching he'd know this by now.
Submitted by Anthony (not verified) on July 26, 2013 1:22 pm
I can't believe the NAACP is in on this. Everyone wants the spotlight to push their own agendas!! The writing is on the wall. The plan is to privatize education in our city. If you work at a low performing school be ready at any moment to be turned over to a for PROFIT charter. The SRC, Corbett, and Nutter want to eliminate the PFT. They want to have at will Walmart style employees so they can pay them crumbs and manipulate them to conform to their at will agendas. They work charter school employees like modern day slaves. THEY NEED TO WAKE UP AT HOLD THESE PARENTS ACCOUNTABLE AND STOP PLACING ALL THE BLAME ON THE PFT. They have boxed us (PFT) in a corner we have no choice but to STRIKE!!!
Submitted by Coach Boxing Day 2013 Sale (not verified) on December 21, 2013 7:03 am
Canada Goose Boxing Day Sale 2013

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

By using this service you agree not to post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable. We reserve the right to delete or remove any material deemed to be in violation of this rule, and to ban anyone who violates this rule. Please see our "Terms of Usage" for more detail concerning your obligations as a user of this service. Reader comments are limited to 500 words. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

Follow Us On

Read the latest print issue

Philly Ed Feed

Recent Comments


Public School Notebook

699 Ranstead St.
Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 839-0082
Fax: (215) 238-2300

© Copyright 2013 The Philadelphia Public School Notebook. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy