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Students to lead discussion at Monday’s SRC meeting

By thenotebook on Dec 12, 2013 04:13 PM

The School Reform Commission will hold its next Strategy, Policy, and Priorities meeting on Monday, Dec. 16. Leading the discussion on the topic of student engagement  will be students themselves.

To accommodate students, the meeting will start at 4:30 p.m. instead of the usual 6 p.m. start time.

Members of the youth advocacy groups Philadelphia Student Union and Youth United for Change are expected to participate. Students interested in being a part of the discussion are asked to bring their ideas and concerns about the topic. They do not have to register to speak.

A copy of the meeting agenda will soon be made available on the District's website.

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Comments (12)

Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on Thu, 12/12/2013 - 19:34

Here is something that might engage the students; how about a few more dollars for books, supplies and equipment.

And a little less money spent on 440 bureaucrats.

I am sure students would find that extremely engaging.

Submitted by Morrie Peters (not verified) on Thu, 12/12/2013 - 21:37

Let's play: "Hide behind the children"

You must read Dan Denvir's most recent piece. It effectively outs Comcast/Cohen/Rendell in their attempts to manipulate the livliehood of educators and the process that is public education. I believe we now have the smoking gun needed to encourage all citizens in the Delaware Valley to move from Comcast as their provider. They want to mess with our livliehood, let's mess with theirs.

How is that Dan Denvir, with his limited resources, able to find enough smoking guns to take the lid off this whole popsickle stand while untold millions of dollars funneled into the AFT have produced nothing but more charters? Why was Weingarten barnstorming the country with Duncan pushing these anti-democratic boondoggle charter operations? Why was Jordan with Ackerman in Colorado when Hope Moffet was crucified?

Connect the dots and follow the money:-(

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 01:10

Sadly for members, the AFT and PFT are so ineffective and the reason so many things have happened that doesn't help their members and and end up with crappy contracts as well as diminishing of the union.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 12:10

Great...another wasted meeting having kids read from scripted notes from their adult handlers on the same old,same old. YUC, PSU, PCAPS, PUPE, Christie from Campaign for Non-violent schools (who by the way, never shows up with any students) and Helen Gym will be in the background coaching the students who have no clue why they are there.

Guaranteed these are the issues: Not enough books, not enough money, unhealthy lunch food, out of control safety in the schools, transportation issues, special ed issues....yada yada yada. The point is, adults should stop using students as mouth pieces and step up to be partners and lets get thing accomplished instead of going to 440 every week to whine and get in the paper.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 16:01

You sound very defensive.
Your response to these issues is...yada,yada, yada?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 16:33

no, my point was, that time after time they harp on the same issues with no progress or resolution....the adults are just using these students to further their professional activism....

why can't people be honest without being labeled defensive. Is that your response the the argument, that people are defensive who call it as it is?

what is your prediction for how it's going to go on Monday? What is your response to my points, without getting defensive, of course.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 16:58

here's my prediction....

-whine fest-with the same issues, same topics and no resolution

-99% of the student attendees will be disinterested and on their cellphones

-mama gail, helen gym, cecilia thompson, orlando acosta, rebecca pouryow, Counselor Garcia, maybe Vernard Johnson, minimal Home and School representation, SRC reps and School District employees will outnumber the general public - as like every SRC get together.
#bored - #lessons in futility - #waste of time

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 17:16

while we are at it...add Danita Bates to the cast of characters and with all these adults who need to feel relevant, the students will just about get a word in edgewise.

Submitted by Hiram (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 17:36

I'd like to address the accusations made against our organization (and our allies) that we are "using students as mouth pieces" to "further our activism." While these accusations are nothing new to those of us who work in the field of Youth Organizing, they continue to remind us how far we have to go before young people's work, voices, and passion are recognized as being valid by adults.

By trying to come off as an ally of the youth we work with, you insult them by implying that they are "coached" and "have no idea why" they're at school district meetings. You obviously have never taken the time to actually speak to any one of the young people who are members of either PSU or YUC. Your words show me that you, like so many other adults, find it impossible to believe that these young people are able to understand policy issues, articulate their frustrations and concerns, and/or organize themselves and their peers to respond. Where are the calls of "coaching" and cluelessness when students from Central, SLA, Constitution, etc. attend meetings and rallies at 440? Why is it that these accusations are only used against our young people, who come from some of the poorest neighborhoods and schools in our city? In an average school year, PSU & YUC work with up to 150 students weekly in our chapters. We work weekends, we work though holidays. Because we believe they know best what they need from their schools, and car articulate it in ways no adult could.

The confidence in the validity of your accusations is clearly lacking, which is why you hide behind an "anonymous" label as you disrespect the work of our young people simply because YOU can't believe your eyes and ears when you actually see them doing what they do best. Surely there has to be SOMEONE behind the curtain telling them what to do. There's just no way THOSE students would be able to do that on their own.

The issues you "guaranteed" are the issues that young people in West Philadelphia, South Philly, Kensington, etc. are facing and will continue to struggle against if something is not done. They are the reasons almost 4000 of them took to the streets last year. They are the reasons why they've represented their city across the country from LA to Chicago to NYC. The fact that you would rather attack our organizations "anonymous" as opposed to standing WITH the young people to fight back is why these issues can continue to be "guaranteed."

As a result of the 18 & 22 years that PSU & YUC have existed, countless of men and women have entered the world with a higher level self-confidence, critical analysis, and commitment to their community and city, than they do before joining. If you are not brave enough to attack the validity of work, and that of the young people publicly with your real name...then keep it to yourself because we have serious work to do. Your cowardice is something we can't afford waste time on given the current crisis we are facing.

We appreciate the work that our adult allies, Christi Clark and Helen Gym, do on a continuous basis. Neither one of them has a base of young people that they work with on their own which is why you don't see them "show up" with any. Again demonstrating how ignorant you are to what actually happens within our organizations.

If you'd like to continue this conversation you can reach me at hiram@phillystudentunion.org.

Hiram Rivera,
Executive Director
Philadelphia Student Union

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 19:37

What a well articulated and powerful statement on behalf of the students who have the courage and youthful wisdom to stand up for themselves and serve their community. Some of our best thinkers are our students. What those students do is amazing and they should be encouraged and helped at every step of the way.

I have nothing but respect and support for those students, their parents, and those who have taught them how speak up in the right ways.

They have a right to speak on matters of public concern which effect them. That is a guarantee of our Constitution.

They also have the right to participate in the governance of "their schools."

We need to guarantee them a voice, and we need to guarantee them that their voice is a "true voice" in what happens to them in their schools.

Thank you Mr. Rivera.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 19:09

Mr hiram, Out of 90 high schools and middle schools, how many chapters do you have? Not even half. Not even a third. Dont inflate your numbers with 4000 and dont inflate the numbers of chapters you have. I'm not a funder that you're looking to get money from. You dont need to be impressive here. You organize and protest sporadically and when you can maximize your exposure. If it werenit for the kids you manage you wouldn't have a job. You're not even from Philly which means you don't have roots or a a true vested interest in this fight. You are an E.D. of a non profit making a salary off the backs of youth activism. Good try at an attempt to justify and validate yuc and psu. the only people that you and the other adult leaders are fooling are the kids you're using. For everyone's sake list your group's accomplishments and milestones to show what wonderful, worthwhile work your students produce.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 02:25

Thenotebook.com PLEASE MAKE A LIKE BUTTON! Now the cards are on the table what will be the next move. Are the students finally going to have a voice. The plot thickens... stay tuned

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