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Hite suspending seniority for September, seeking approval from Supreme Court

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 24, 2014 03:18 PM

Updated | 6:20 p.m.

With labor negotiations stalled, Superintendent William Hite said Monday that he intends to impose a system for assigning teachers to schools next year that eliminates seniority as the deciding factor and instead gives principals the power to fill all vacancies and assemble staff.

“It is our intention to implement a range of work-rule reforms, and these include teacher assignment and transfer, layoff and recall, staffing levels, leveling, and the use of prep time,” Hite said in an interview.

The District filed a 60-page motion asking the state Supreme Court to issue a "declaratory judgment" to affirm its legal right to make such changes unilaterally.

Come September, “all openings ... will be filled through the site selection process,” Hite said. Now, only about half of open positions are filled that way, Hite said.

The District also wants to contract out substitute teaching services.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan vowed to fight the District's court action and called Hite's move a decision to "forsake negotiating in good faith in favor of a legal end-around to avoid meaningful contract talks."

He called the District's legal move "a bogus effort by the [School Reform Commission] to avoid its legal obligation to bargain in good faith over all these issues."

"The members of the PFT are partners in public education, not indentured servants," he said in a statement. "Today's action by the School District belittles every PFT member, and signals an unwillingness to reach a fair contract with the city's educators."

Hite's proposed rules will also give principals “flexibility” to use teachers’ daily 45-minute preparation period for professional development or instructional activities, meaning group discussions of student performance data, teaching methods, and other matters. Currently, principals have no control over individual teacher-prep periods, but some buy "extra" preps for the purpose of teacher meetings and collaborations.

Along with the proposal to cut salaries and end automatic “step” increases for years of service and advanced degrees, the seniority issue is a major sticking point in the 14 months of negotiations with the PFT.

In its five-year financial plan, the District counts on $133 million in annual labor savings, growing to $160 million. A contract ratified last week with the union representing principals and other administrators will save a tiny portion of that -- a total of about $20 million spread over five years.

Historically, the PFT has protected a teacher placement process in which seniority largely governs the right of teachers to choose the schools in which they work. Union leaders regard this as an important right and the fairest way to assign teachers in what they consider to be a politicized system rife with favoritism. 

But Hite called seniority “the rule of law” that impedes the District from “matching the skills and abilities of adults with the needs of children and the school communities.” He said it is important to impose these rules now, because “we’re beginning to staff for the next school year.”

Under the contract that expired in August, more than 130 "high-needs" schools automatically fill vacancies through site selection. The rest must vote each year to become or remain a “site selection” school. This year, 33 of 85 schools did, according to the District's Human Resources Department.

HR officials said that the actual percentage of vacancies filled by the site section process has fluctuated year to year. For 2013-14, 578 of 1,426 vacancies were filled through site selection, or 41 percent. For 2012-13, the number was 605 of 923 total vacancies, or 66 percent. The year before that, 675 of 1606 vacancies were site selected, or 42 percent.

During downsizing, as happened last year and this year, when thousands were laid off, the seniority rules squeeze out many promising young teachers, Hite said – in some cases, pushing out those who want to be at a certain school and replacing them with people downsized from other positions who don't really want to be there.

Hite described a graduation he attended in June in which students honored a young chemistry teacher, only to be told by the principal that the teacher would be one of those laid off, because “he hasn’t been here long enough."

Hite said most schools that use site-selection assemble leadership teams of teachers, and often parents, to interview candidates for open positions. Although the final decison is with the principal, "We want the site selection process at all schools to be one that involves a committee of teachers and even parents," he said. 

Last September, Hite also suspended seniority rules for the purposes of calling back teachers who had been laid off during the so-called "leveling" process in October, when teacher allotments are adjusted to match actual student enrollment. The union filed grievances challenging that decision; none of the grievances have been adjudicated.

New School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green has made it clear that he is prepared to impose terms on the union, which he says the state takeover law gives him the power to do. However, that power has not been legally tested.

In a District-issued statement, Green supported Hite's decision and said that "these needed reforms merit additional support from the state and city governments." 

Hite said going directly to the state Supreme Court to get clarification of the SRC’s power was necessary to settle the issue quickly.

The state law that amended the school code to authorize a takeover of the District says that the SRC is not obligated to collectively bargain most issues beyond salary and benefits.

Given that provision, the petition asks the court to state definitively whether the District has the right to impose new terms after a contract has expired. Teachers have been working without a contract since August.

“We do want some confirmation that we, in fact, can take this action,” Hite said. “This is about making our schools better, getting people in front of children who can actually help students get to different outcomes.”

In summer 2012, former SRC chairman Pedro Ramos went to Harrisburg on an ill-fated trip trying to convince legislators to amend the school code to take away any ambiguity about the District's powers to impose terms on its unions.

Under the current teacher placement system, site selection takes place during a window lasting a month to six weeks in the spring, after school budgets have been set and principals get their staff allotments. The goal is for the process to happen while school is still in session, so that committees of parents and teachers can participate in the selection process. 

Under the rules, teachers who are “forced transfers,” as a result of downsizing at their school or for other reasons, apply for available positions, followed by “voluntary transfers,” or teachers seeking new placements for whatever reason. The last to be placed are new hires.

PFT president Jerry Jordan has frequently said that site selection, which was first introduced in 2004, has not solved one major issue that it was meant to address -- getting stable, more experienced teachers in the neediest schools. Some schools do not get enough people who apply for the site-selected positions, so openings are filled centrally in any case, he said. 

 

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Comments (201)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 4:43 pm
Strike!!!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 5:54 pm
My union rep today came around and said that they'd been asked to "take the temperature" of the teachers. This teacher said---STRIKE!!!! When my principal can assign me duties on my prep it is no longer a prep. To me, this is the most heinous thing about the proposed rule changes.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:41 pm
Yesterday afternoon, a SD teacher called me and told me this information was mentioned at her school last week. I told her she must have been mistaken because we can't strike because of Act 46. She told me her building rep did in fact say this...here it is Monday, 3/24/14, and I am reading this information here. My building hasn't said a word! What the heck is going on?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:21 pm
Newsflash--- if they impose work conditions that is unilaterally known as a lockout. So lockout, strike whatever people may wish to label we cannot be complacent and submit to this bs. For everyone worried about your teaching certificate it's not worth the paper it's written on if tog agree to be subjected to this union busting crappola. Explain to me how it's not discriminatory that with my PA teaching license it's illegal for me to strike but legal for every other school district in the entire state. Act 46 is unconstitutional. I'm prepping for a strike & like Jerry said at the meeting it's a good thing it's Spring. Let's not be the yellow bellies that CASA proved themselves to be. If the district wants to go nuclear--we need to let them know they've met they're match. They can't run the schools without us. They're treating us as the help. Respect us as educators or feel the wrath. Enough is enough. They've stolen our contractual step increases, they want us to take a 13% pay cut, work longer hours, a longer day and be at the whim & mercy of administrators. Really... who wouldn't strike. This is it people...wake the hell up. We're being screwed and it's not time to bend the hell over & take it. Fight for your rights. Assert that you have the same rights as every educator with a PA teaching license. Strike !!!! Strike !!!!!!! Strike!!!! Let Green & Hite go teach and end up at Penn Hospital like the staffers from Bartram. The two of them together must be insane.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:55 pm
STRIKE!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:29 pm
A lockout would be if they don't let you in the building. This is union busting. They are NOT talking about imposing a contract. A contract is the result of negotiation between two parties who then come to an agreement. That's collective bargaining. They are talking about imposing salaries and working conditions. That means eliminating collective bargaining which public employees have had for almost half a century. The union would become a shell useless to its original purpose...if we let them!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:22 pm
Actually under most state labor laws a lockout is not determined solely by a physical locking out of a facility. Any type of work rule changes that effectively alters the terms of your position is considered a lockout under PA labor law.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:35 pm
If you are still working, even under changed working conditions, you are not locked out. http://tinyurl.com/yu4h4m
Submitted by Bill Hollenbach (not verified) on March 25, 2014 1:35 pm
Fantastic expression oof strength..I'm retired aftyer 35 years in the district, but my daughter's doing her bit now. Everyone needs to see the future as clearly as you. Go pro-active. Go on strike. Good luchk to ypou and all your brothers and sisters in the schools. And don't think the craven capitulation by the principals wasn't the spark Hite was waiting for.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 4:19 pm
This is the absolute toughest place to teach on the east coast along with New York. If we lay down like lambs now because most of you lambs are too scared to walk out because your cert. may be pulled, well grow a damn pari people. This is it, they have us on the ropes, and we need make things uncomfortable with these corpothugs. We have much tougher jobs than the suburbs, get paid less than them and have way more dangerous incompetent principals who are poor communicators and decision makers. I have toughed out 14 years of being bullied by horrible incompetent principals, sexually harassed by some pig teachers, had punches thrown at me by out of control kids, and stuck around long enough to earn two masters degrees and all the credits needed to be a senior career teacher. I've had almost year after year of horrible classes yet I was always prepared with creative lesson plans and worked as hard as I could to get them to learn something on top of teaching social skills and this is what we get in return, an educational professional holocaust against teachers in a place where most people would not dare teach. We, and I, deserve everything we have right now and we can't be all namby pamby with it, hoping that the SRC will come around. It's time to play Hardball. They want all the marbles.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 8:14 pm
Agree!!! Strike!!! should have been done long ago
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:34 pm
Surprised they're not also asking the Supreme Court to approve wage concessions. I assume this means they won't go after pay.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:37 pm
Why would you assume that? Torturers never use all their methods at once.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:22 pm
Work rule changes includes their pay concessions & everything else they want to impose. Meanwhile the Mayor of the city & the Governor of the state are on a taxpayer sponsored trip to Italy. They both need to confess & repent while they are there.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:18 pm
Equal rights & equal protection under the law for Philly educators.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 1:22 am
PLEASE go on strike (and lose your teaching certification). Please, do these poor kids a favor, and ALL of you go on strike. For the children.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 3:21 am
What is your problem???? We are buying paper and pencils in our schools and working our asses off to teach our students!!!! Some of them get extra food from us to supplement what they don't have at home. How dare you say this- you obviously don't know the whole picture here.
Submitted by Cjp (not verified) on March 25, 2014 5:44 am
Why would you say that? I have dedicated 16 years of my life to Philadelphia students. I am a good teacher. I go above and beyond in my classroom every single day, and I believe the best of my students no matter what they do because I understand the baggage they come to school with mostly resulting from poverty. There are lousy teachers but there are lousy people in every profession. Please don't demonize all of us; I work with amazing people and have in the three schools where I've taught in the SDP. Most are people who give their heart and soul and anything else they have each day for the children of Philadelphia.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 6:17 am
Troll. Many of us possess multiple certifications through other states and those who do not can easily seek reciprocity from other states. There will be a mass exodus but no one is losing their teaching certificate.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 1:21 pm
A mass exodus would probably be welcomed at this time... The district will not shed a tear for those who leave. You can and will be replaced. If leaving the district is an option by all means go for it. Leave the job for the warriors. Good luck on your job search.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 12:10 pm
You don't care about the children.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 8:45 pm
Please strike!! Don't let them cheapen your jobs or our children's education!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 8:56 pm
Please strike!! Don't let them cheapen your jobs or our children's education!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 26, 2014 10:37 am
If Philly's government proves anything, it's that more money buys a less competent, less capable public sector.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 4:55 pm
Strike x2
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 5:38 pm
STRIKE, NOW!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 5:03 pm
I am so thankful that I have the career options and freedom to move out of this sinking ship of a district. I feel sorry for my colleagues who, for personal or financial reasons, do not have that same freedom. I want so badly to believe that public education can still work. I no longer believe that it can work in Philadelphia. RIP PhilaSD
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:33 pm
It can work. It just needs to 1) not pay its teachers less than easier to teach in districts in the suburbs, 2) provide some semblance of stability, and 3) have instructional and behavioral supports not necessary in more well-off districts. It doesn't work now because few people care to do what is necessary to make the district work.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 5:58 pm
The problem lies with the laying off and the "committee". Will they fix the committee so all voices are equal. When lay offs happen hope district schools principals in age and sex discrimination. One administrator once said you be a fool to staff a building with a building of young inexperienced teachers. The building went from a mixed building to 75% of teachers with less than 3 years teaching experience. But no one would abuse this kind of power.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 5:21 pm
Go figure, the district takes the lead in going to the state supreme court to affirm the legality of act 46 while the PFT has had multiple chances thus far as the contract has been breached numerous times since September and remains complacent.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 5:27 pm
Once again, the SDP screws with teachers and staff. Jordan it is time do do something .Show us just once you have a backbone and stand up to the bullies At the District. Time to let the lawyers earn their money too and file some legal action. Get ready Teti. If we don't seniority ,no need for a union. Just one other breach the SDP implements. Email Jordan and crew. jjordan@pft.org tkirsch@aftpa.org rweingarten@aft.org akempin@pft.org lharris@pft.org
Submitted by Rifri (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:42 pm
The district wants to change the process from a democratic process where both sides work out their differences for the good of the whole to a dictatorship. The PFT wants to work out differences for the good of the students. The PFT is not here to find out whether the SRC is permitted to be overbearing dictators. The PFT has never been complacent on any issue.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 11:09 pm
To poster Rifri, you apparently are living in the same fantasy land as the PFT officials by making a statement the PFT has never been complacent on issues.Best laugh ever.Thats the major problem with the union-not following up on issues. Look at the article above and since Sept/Oct.2013 ( and way before that too) NO grievances have been adjudicated.Why? Read the CBA that states that all should have been done months ago according the time frame in the contract. The PFT allows the District to stall on grievances for years,ultimately nothing happens with them. So they don't have consequences,which just permits more breaches . Over due for the PFT officers to step up the game and get all grievances resolved ASAP, like it states in the contract, in a timely fashion. No more excuses.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 5:19 pm
I am appalled by this latest article. Dr. Hite's language is very disturbing, almost discriminatory against veteran teachers. The article says, "During downsizing, as happened last year and this year, when thousands were laid off, the seniority rules squeeze out many promising young teachers, Hite said – in some cases pushing out those who want to be at a certain school and replacing them with people downsized from other positions who didn't really want to be there." The article further states," Hite described a graduation he attended in June in which students honored a young chemistry teacher, only to be told by the principal that the teacher would be one of those laid off, because “he hasn’t been here long enough." It seems as though Dr. Hite is discriminating against veteran teachers; however, I feel the motive is more about dollars (veteran teachers' pay is much higher than a younger teacher). This seems all too familiar. While Superintendent of Prince George County School District, Dr. Hite was also accused of some of the same tactics. From what I read, he was/is facing a million dollar law suit in Prince George County, Maryland. From Philly.com, "Former Superintendent William Hite is now the new Superintendent in Philadelphia but he still got legal ties in Washington DC Metropolitan area: Several lawsuits against Prince George’s County Public schools (PGCPS) and Dr. William Hite Jr are currently pending in both Prince George’s County Circuit and Federal Courts in Greenbelt Maryland. The School Reform Commission (SRC) of The School District of Philadelphia made no mention of Hite’s spotty history nor of the suits when they hired him in 2012. Carol Barbour, 44, of Upper Marlboro, Md., is slapping Hite, 51, with a Second federal lawsuit, accusing him of defamation and other charges including conspiracy. (See the entire complaint ~>Second federal lawsuit<~here) The claims stem from a federal lawsuit Barbour filed in March 2012 against Hite and his previous employer, Prince George’s County Public Schools, alleging racial and age discrimination as well as retaliation. (See First complaint here – the other case). Barbour, who is Latina, worked for Prince George’s County schools as an assistant principal and principal from 2002 to 2005. She claims to have applied for more than 20 jobs there since 2008. Hite worked for Prince George’s County schools from 2006 until 2012, when he came to Philly. "
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:03 pm
It is discriminatory against veteran teachers quite simply because the SDP doesn't want to pay higher salary costs.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:31 pm
I agree!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:02 pm
and then he signs it "Bill", like he is a friend of ours. Ha!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 5:32 pm
If memory serves me right In 2011 the PFT filed suit over layoffs not being done by seniority because promise academy teachers were exempted. A local judge ordered the district to halt the layoffs because seniority was not followed and later resulted in the layoff of promise academy teachers that were initially spared instead of more senior teachers that initially received layoff notices. When the case was referred to the state supreme court, the court would not take the case citing the lower courts ruling. If that is any indication I'm guessing this time around the ruling will be against the district's proposed changes but I'm no lawyer and my memory of what happened in 2011 is not perfect.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:49 pm
The SRC never invoked Act 46 in that case. This time they are claiming different powers. The question is how will the courts rule now?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 12:28 am
This shows a big difference between Hite and Ackerman. That is to say, Dr. Hite is competent enough to get authorization first. In 2011, Dr. Ackerman tried to blatantly ignore a contract with no basis, and then hoped to get bailed out (which created huge problems because we all spent the whole summer wondering who would get to keep their jobs). Dr. Hite is checking to see what's legal far enough in advance that it will be clear. That's a big difference. The other difference is that Dr. Hite's legal theory has some basis--Act 46. In 2011, Ackerman didn't really have a legal theory. She just sorta hoped she wouldn't get caught. Dr. Hite is in a no-win situation. The district is totally broke, and there's not much he can do about it. The District doesn't control funding, and the biggest share of the SDP budget is personnel. So, whether its layoffs, wage concessions, or both, there really isn't anyway around reducing personnel costs. There isn't anywhere else to squeeze. (And before people say the central admin is overpaid, note that even if they all worked for free, it would only be enough money for a handful of teachers. Their salaries look big, but there aren't very many of them; maybe they should be paid less, but even if they were it wouldn't make a difference in the budget).
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 12:54 am
So it's a difference between being executed in the street and being executed in the electric chair. Your compassion for Hite is misplaced. He came here knowing that he was going to carry out the corporate agenda. They both trained at the Broad Superintendents Academy. http://tinyurl.com/l74njlh They just came at different times in the corporate privatization game, so different strategy. No where else to squeeze? What about corporate tax breaks. http://tinyurl.com/mv8cnaz What about the second largest fracking industry in the country, and none of the revenue coming to the state whose natural gas they are profiting off of? http://tinyurl.com/pvjew7s Adaptability is how human beings have survived, but sometimes it's the opposite. If we adapt to what is coming down, this country will be no better than the most impoverished underdeveloped countries in the world!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 12:59 am
And stop throwing money to the damned charters and fix the public schools. Problem solved!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 8:55 pm
Bottom line this is union busting. Eventually, the charter schools will become the new public schools because public school will be no more! And the union will be no more. Then the charters will not be able to pick and choose their students. They will have to accept more and more students. They are the new public schools where teachers are not represented. We are going back to the 1950s, 60s, Thus, the district will get what it wants. We have to fight this. We have supported the union and where has it gotten us. We want to see results. All I have seen is that all of the "benefits" that the union from the 70s gained for educators have been slowly given back. We need to take back and keep what we have worked for. I know we are here for the children, that's a given. However, I want my union to work for me and my rights. Not for the children. A union is established to protect workers. I am so tired of hearing about how we do what we do for the kids. It may be politically correct but my students do not pay my dues.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 1:53 am
I agree it is way overdue for workers, citizens, everyone the rich are screwing over to revolt (and shut this city down, until the pols come to their senses) immediately. Otherwise, the clock goes back 100 years in the this city ,leading to the whole country eventually. Several self-serving filthy rich like Gates, Kock Bros., Broad, Walton's, Pew's and a host of others have nothing to do except destroy other people's lives and take away their rights and decent wages. Who knows why these evil people do what they do .They have so much money -it's not like they need more $ .So it comes to ownership,power over others. They are nothing but mean-spirited, selfish ,uncaring group of destructive people that align themselves- to do their dirty work- with the likes of Green, Hite, SRC, Nutter, Corbett, PA legislature , city council ,Gleason and many others -totally misguided creatures. We can't let them decide our fate.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 8:27 am
A handful of teachers is way better than the overpriced staff at 440!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 5:14 pm
Just read about this very sad incident that happened at Bartram High School on Friday. Dr. Hite is quoted as saying he is "very concerned," yet he cut teachers, counselors, nurses and staff members. Does he really understand? "A staffer assigned to calm violence at Bartram High was knocked unconscious by a student, officials said. The staffer suffered a fractured skull, concussion and other injuries. The incident happened on Friday, during a class change. A 17-year-old student got into a "verbal exchange" with the staffer, then "the student grabbed the employee by the arm and pushed him into the wall," said Raven Hill, a district spokeswoman. The employee fell into the floor, unconscious. He was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and is now recovering at home. Criminal charges have been filed against the student, who has been suspended pending expulsion. Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said he was "very concerned about incidents like that," and is working with Bartram's principal and city police to get to the heart of the situation. "We have to continue to ensure that our staff members, and our students, are in a safe and supportive environment," Hite said." Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140325_Staffer_knocked_unconscious_a...
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:22 pm
He was more disappointed that it made it to the press and could not be covered up in time; because we all know that students cannot be held accountable for much of anything anymore across the district.
Submitted by Annonym. (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:56 pm
Hite brought his friend Yvette Duperon as the principal of Bartam. She didn't last a month. Then, Hite put her at Bache - Martin - a much cushier position. (Hite also put her children into Masterman - how convenient....) Hite is a dirt bag - he fits with the Pennsylvania Legislature, Corbett and Gleason - slime, slime, slime...
Submitted by Anon, anon, we must go anon... (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:51 pm
OK--inaccurate and slanderous! Mrs. Duperon has been the principal of Bache-Martin for over five years! We also have a another principal on special assignment. It is NOT Mrs. Duperon--before you use people's names, you should make sure you are accurate.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:30 pm
Hite's friend who was canned from Bartram is Ogo Okoye-Johnson. So, Bache-Martin has two principals - how is that a wise use of resources, Hite? " a children's-book author and an assistant principal from Los Angeles, was hired Sept. 1 by the district to be principal at Bartram in Southwest Philadelphia, Gallard said. Okoye-Johnson was removed by district officials Sept. 19, nine days after classes started." Inquirer 11/27/2013
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:39 pm
Ogo Okoye-Johnson was placed at Bache-Martin School in Fairmount, where she is assisting the principal. Okoye-Johnson's salary is $130,914 per year. Inquirer 11/27/13
Submitted by Anon, anon, we must go anon... (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:51 pm
Right.... I just said it was not Yvette Duperon--the other commenter said the removed principal was Mrs. Duperon.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:43 pm
Okoyo-Johnson's salary and benefits would pay for two teachers.... Hite, how to you justify keeping your friends rather than canning her?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:40 pm
Hite did NOT bring Duperon-- she was my principal 6 years ago and she was amazing. Don't drop names when not accurate
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:41 pm
PA Supreme Court has had some favorable decisions (saving state health centers) that Corbett tried to close in 2013. Give Jerry some credit. He's been cool and collected through this grueling process. As long as we are in good faith bargaining we shouldn't strike but let SRC try to impose and I think the membership will think differently. This is just another assault on unions and the middle class to promote the privatization agenda in service of the corporate elite. The country will be watching. Come on PFT members, stand up and show your cahunas. Be prepared to take action. Get involved.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:19 pm
That's one way of looking at it. The other way is Jerry has his head buried in the sand hoping this will go away. Why hasn't the union prepared the membership for this?
Submitted by Ballzee (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:12 pm
Better yet . . . your cajones.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:17 pm
Its about time a superintendent takes this one. I am so tired of folks coming to my school who could care less about me or the students. Why shouldn't folks work at schools who want to be there. I'm tired of lazy teachers who get a check every other week and do nothing. Let's face it...there are teachers who do not belong in front of students just like there are principals who don't need to manage a school. A change is coming!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:14 pm
But you want to give those principals the right to hire and fire. There is a due process for getting rid of teachers who do not know how to teach. Getting rid of seniority will allow principals to play favorites and the District to get rid of higher paid teachers to "save money".
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:06 pm
Maybe principals favorites are those who demonstrate effective teaching and professionalism. They're not all out to get you.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:39 pm
Yeah, OK!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:55 pm
You would think that...but trust me, I have seen principals get people who wouldn't blindly follow them and likewise reward those who were 100% "loyal". It had nothing to do with teacher effectiveness.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:49 pm
I was written up by a brand new principal who was politically appointed, who had all principal training waived, during the first month of her appointment to a job she knew nothing about- in spite of my 14 years of stellar service to our school. This is a nightmare. STRIKE!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 8:16 am
Honey, THEY ARE ALL POLITICALLY APPOINTED....TED DOMERS, SANDRA DUNKLEY....ect...ect...ect....
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:03 pm
You keep believing what you are believing and I have a country for sale that you can buy! These principals don't give two squats about the teachers they hire.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:31 pm
You're right but in 14 years most Principals I've met have been imbeciles.
Submitted by Rifri (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:49 pm
But you need protection against the one's who are out their to get you.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 26, 2014 8:13 pm
And maybe you have no idea what you are talking about.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 26, 2014 8:27 pm
You are a complete fool if you believe that.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 26, 2014 10:04 am
Firing highly paid teachers is already illegal under federal age discrimination law. Age and pay are more tightly tied in the district than almost any other organization. Certainly, nothing in the private sector runs this way. So you'd have a good claim. Basically what you are fighting for is to make sure that younger teachers are always laid off first and older teachers are never laid off. aka reverse age discrimination which is not illegal under federal law.
Submitted by Rifri (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:12 pm
Good administrators know there has always been systems in place to remove inefficient teachers but they must follow the proper procedures. Every person deserves due process. To allow arbitrary dismissal of people is a dangerous road to go down. Dictators arbitrarily take out people with which they don't agree.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:37 pm
"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them." Fredrick Douglas
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:59 pm
Love that quote!!!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:05 pm
Thank you!!! What's it going to take??
Submitted by union member (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:44 pm
Besides yelling "strike", does anyone have a real plan?
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:05 pm
STRIKE!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:24 pm
Resumes to other districts.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:56 pm
Stop teaching, make more money in the private sector.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 3:19 pm
Hah. I Would Leave Out The Part That You Only Work 6 Hours A Day, Need Two Months Vacation And Can't Contribute To Your Healthcare. Also The Evil.Corporation AndAll Leadership I'd Evil Part.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 26, 2014 8:21 pm
You are completely ignorant to make a comment like that. You obviously don't have a clue. None of us work only 6 hrs. a day. As for the 2 months off, we don't get paid for that time. If you think teaching is such an easy career, then I suggest you do it. I can assure you that you won't find there is anything easy about it - especially if you teach in Phila, If you've never taught in Phila, then I have no idea why you believe you're qualified to make a comment on this issue.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 26, 2014 8:17 pm
You obviously are not a teacher. Teachers do NOT work only 6 hours a day!! Teachers do not get paid for the summer months and they do pay into their healthcare.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:19 pm
I'm a PFT member and welcome this development. Give me colleagues who are a good fit for the school community. Jerry Jordan- why aren't you negotiating for the kinds of contractual elements that would attract and then keep talented teachers in the district; fair and respectful pay and school-based decision making that rewards success and effort. Limiting seniority does not inherently disrespect seasoned teachers, it selects for the teachers who have learned most about their practice and are most impactful. I don't want another summer watching some of the district's most talented teachers forced to leave while everyone who got lucky remains to yell about solidarity.
Submitted by George Bezanis (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:46 pm
Who makes the decision of who is "talented" and "most successful" as a teacher, because I didn't see where Hite stated what that objective metric would be? The only thing that he said is principals will make that decision and, let me tell you something - that is NOT an objective metric. Hite says he saw a chemistry teacher leave a school last year because of seniority. I personally know numerous teachers who, last year, were forced out of a restructured "Promise Academy" school because the new principal said they "didn't match" the school climate. These were teachers with, in some cases, over 10 years in that building. The one teacher who was forced out was even voted teacher of the year! (Hite doesn't mention THAT example, of course.) SO what was the only measure by which they were forced to leave their building? The principal let go of anyone who knew the teachers' contract or could challenge his authority by keeping a predominantly young and inexperienced teaching staff that wouldn't dare question him. Guess what happened to that "turn around specialist' principal? He was fired halfway through the year for gross incompetence.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:52 pm
Hite is an idiot. He never saw the chem teacher teach a day but uses that teacher to push his platform. I'd like to vote Hite something of the year too.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:55 pm
Also, does that mean that the other Chemistry teacher or teachers are lousy? When people talk about a great teacher being laid off it is almost like the other choices are bad teacher a and bad teacher b. Also how about a budget where NOBODY gets laid off!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:38 pm
Exactly. If a teacher is really bad they should be fired. Teachers should not be arbitrarily chosen by the principal of the day during layoffs. The principals who are too afraid to fire drunk teachers and shunt them off to other schools will now get to pick who has a job and who doesn't.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 8:29 am
AMEN!
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on March 25, 2014 8:24 am
You bring up an important point in "all of this." The fact of the matter is that there does not have to be any layoffs at all. That is a matter of choice. If the SRC were not planning on turning schools over to "charter operators" there would not be any need to lay off a single teacher. The layoffs are a "matter of choice" from the get go. So is the budget crisis a "matter of choice."
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:20 pm
Its a lie. There were open Chemistry positions this year. South Philly had a position posted up until recently. I am quitting by the end of the year, another Chemistry position for the "great teacher". I am quitting because I am sick of the disrespect from pretty much everybody, including some colleagues posting on this site. Somehow they think that they are better than everybody else. Is it up and coming millennial "me" generation? They are up for a very rude awakening: rugged individualism is a very bad strategy for success in education.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:34 pm
Really, a PFT member?????????
Submitted by Cjp (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:39 pm
Generally when people have to state who they are, they are less than honest. By the way, not every young teacher is stellar. We're developing some real ageist attitudes here.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Just like any other profession, age is not a determining factor. What we need are more principals who actually were successful teachers - at least 10 years in the classroom full time. Then, maybe some principals could actually be instructional leaders. Instead, we have politically connected people who will now be able to determine who is "right" for the position. Just like charters, magnets and "new schools" that want students who are "right" for the school.... Hite thought he left law suits in Maryland....
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 8:42 am
This message has been brought to you by the Philadelphia School Partnership.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:08 pm
It is about getting rid of veteran teachers who cost more. The premise that young is better is such an insult to those of us who have dedicated years of our lives to this profession. I'm not discounting younger newer teachers. Many of them have the energy and the drive and the dedication to impact student success just as our years of experience has the same power. I don't feel that we should be pitted against each other.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:59 pm
Nowadays, with the working conditions as bad as they are, the new teachers do not last....they have more options than teachers who have dedicated most of their career to PSD. What will happen when they fire all the career teachers and they bring in young and cheap teachers who will leave after a few years? It will be a mess. Not the best thing for the students of the district. It is all about money people, as usual.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:38 pm
Maybe. But maybe not. There is plenty of ineptitude among the principals. Sure some a great but many others only have jobs because they were given one as a favor by a friend. Good leadership goes really far....
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:29 pm
I am not an indentured servant. I am an educator & I deserve to be respected. This move by Hite shows his true colors. Instead of negotiating he chose to litigate. Let the PA Supreme Court rule. How can we as Philaddlphia educators have less rights then any other educators in the entire commonwealth. We hold PA teaching licenses and to impose terms only on us would be highly discriminatory. I say STRIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on March 24, 2014 6:50 pm
Hite is asking the Pa Supreme Court to confirm that he can destroy seniority. Which is the law in Pa with or without a union. Even one as toothless as the PFT> Knowing a little about the Salons of the Pa Supreme Court I would not bet that they take Hite's bait. They do not have to decide cases that are theoretical since no harm has yet happened. They can take all the time in the world. Why do they want to look like the bad guys? They got elections to think about. If this goes down while we are still in school and we do not strike then we deserve our fate. Stand up or get run over. Which is it Jerry????
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:15 pm
Um.....it HAS gone down. It IS going down right now. This is not an "if it goes down" situation any more.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:13 pm
Thank you. The time is now people.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:30 pm
Principal favoritism has been prevalent with every principal I've worked with and it affects morale. It is based on personality and NOT ability. To give principals the inherent right to play favorites would be devastating.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:07 pm
Agreed. Also, if principals can use our prep how they want, those of us at schools that are the roughest, who cannot get subs or whose new teachers leave out of frustration, we will be forced to cover classes and not get any prep payback. It will be horrendous. Last year, I had almost 50 missed preps at one point.
Submitted by Lisa Haver on March 24, 2014 8:18 pm
Hit e can't have it both ways. He is OK with letting PSP impose its own "rule of law" on the teachers at Blaine and W D Kelley and forcing them out for no reason. Some of the children there, who came from schools closed last year, would be losing their teachers two years in a row. You can't say keeping good teachers is important when you want to renege on a contract but it isn't when PSP goes school shopping.
Submitted by I Teach (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:28 pm
Let's be real... We all know those teachers who like to "extend the weekend" or just don't come to work!! When we don't come to work, our colleagues will have to cover classes! Can't blame the principal when our colleagues bail out or abuse absences!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 11:42 pm
When teachers are given more than they have time to do, I don't blame them for needing to take some time off sometimes. So much of our work is "after hours". Now if they take our prep it will be even worse. Of course it is hard to cover for others that are out, but I can't blame them. the conditions at our schools often make it necessary to take time off. And then you have subs who won't come back because they get no support from administration or even worse, are bullied by admin. It is a mess. Coming from another district that had its act together, we NEVER had to cover classes. Nor did we do any paperwork for attendance. Philly is the most dysfunctional!
Submitted by Cjp (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:03 pm
I work for two good principals right now and worked for one other but the rest have been terrifying dictators, lunatics and incompetent morons.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:02 pm
I am a retired teacher who began teaching in 1972. I've faced numerous strikes over the years and fought for the rules that SHOULD be in place!! Seniority, unrestricted prep time, etc. Principals have too much power under the current system and it will be much worse they are given the power to hire and fire. Many of the rules the contract contains didn't start out because the teachers wanted more power or to be free from being fired, they began because of the ABUSES of the very same powers the school district wants to impose. I didn't forget this--perhaps teachers today need to be reminded or schooled in why the rules came about!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:53 pm
Who are the "right teachers" and could someone please define the "right skills?"
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:36 pm
I am a firm proponent of site selection but very concerned about abolishing seniority rules altogether for exactly the reasons stated above. It is actually very difficult to attract 'talent' with the working conditions we have to offer. Today one of my students threatened to harm himself. I could not reach the counselor because they were in a classroom teaching because we are so short staffed. I have some very fragile students whose health frightens me because we have a part-time nurse. These are our working conditions, plus much more. I do not have the answers but imposing work rules is not the way to create a positive learning community. It is a good way to create unhappy workers who want to strike.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:19 pm
This is The Broad Foundation speaking. End Unions and all democratic processes and worker rights and replace them with corporate for profit schools with workers who are essentially drones with no rights at all. Workers who can be replaced at will and with no cause at all. At least now, nobody with even a sliver of sense, knows what Hite is all about now so if solidarity still remains a problem, then we're the hopeless twits which is what they think we are anyway.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:50 pm
Did Hite really send me an email signing it "Sincerely Bill"??????? Well "Bill" can sincerely kiss my union ass.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:58 pm
MINE TOO
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:07 pm
Let me add, mine, too!
Submitted by Headstart teacher (not verified) on March 24, 2014 11:42 pm
Yep, ole Bill can pucker up and plant one on my union loving behind.
Submitted by Ready to teach the district a lesson. (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:46 pm
Hite is a carpetbagger that had to sneak out of Maryland for all the crap he tried to pull down there. If he's so good at what he claims he can do why didn't he do it down there? As usual all the political saps like Nutter hired another flybynighter who promises the sky and then leaves them with the bill, but no results worth a damn (aka Vallas and Ackerman). The first thing we will ask for to end this strike will be for Hite to be fired. An overpaid carpetbagger is a helluva lot easier to replace than a district full of the toughest teachers in the world!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 1:58 pm
Yes, he did but some of that has followed him North and that'll be coming out soon too. Billy Green has always been a swarmy, entitled, spoiled brat and that's putting it mildly. The lines have been drawn so the ball's in the court of The PFT. Why wait any longer to strike, not a sick day or anything lukewarm like that but a flat out, stomp down strike !!
Submitted by Annonym. (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:42 pm
There are so many incompetent principals who now have even more power to tell us what to do during a prep? I already come early and stay a few hours late. Without the break provided by a prep to photo copy, do endless paper work, etc. the school day will be insufferable. Teachers who already cut corners will not teach - they will do everything during class time. Students will sit with a book and told "read." Is this what Hite wants?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 12:50 pm
That's the way it used to be. Growing up, I attended quite possibly the best public elementary school in the country. I remember plenty of times doing quiet work while the teacher graded papers. There wasn't the constant need/requirement to walk around the room every second of the day. Yeah, I am so old I remember a time when teachers were allowed to sit down.
Submitted by Christa Parlacoski (not verified) on March 24, 2014 7:41 pm
Ok ladies and gentleman....the time has come...are you going to fight to keep your job with protections or are you going to run scared because they "might" take your certification? a certification that will be useless once the district becomes charter and you can't a) find a job or b) keep a job because charters can fire you at any time for any reason. In almost all other school districts in Pennsylvania there would have been a strike months ago...in almost all other school districts in Pennsylvania the breakdown of negotiations in "good faith" is absolutely a reason to strike...you are being discriminated against, your certification comes from the state not the school district...you worked your butt off for it, why wouldn't you fight to keep it, even if that means they could try to take it away? There are 1000's of teachers, they will never be able to replace all of you to finish the school year...they would have to have a due process hearing for every single one of us who are tenured. Going on strike is nerve racking but are you truly willing to let them win?? Standing together as 1 solid union we will not be defeated.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:24 pm
exactly! everyone is brave and full of fight, sitting at home hiding behind their blogs. now let's see how all these bloggers and those who never show up for Union meetings (even in their own buildings) act!
Submitted by Rifri (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:27 pm
What a disgusting and disgraceful move! It shows that this carpetbagger is not interested in the needs of the students of the Philadelphia. What message is he and the SRC sending out to the Children of Philadelphia... If you can't negotiate, then BULLY PEOPLE! In the end, dictatorship will not win! It's time to be UNITED and rationally figure out what our next move should be!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:39 pm
Not hiding behind a blog...went to the union meeting last week...now I have to defend myself to a fellow pft member, WOW!
Submitted by Kelly Jenkins (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:06 pm
This one is a double edge sword for me for couple of reasons. While I understand the argument for seniority, I have my issues with it. It actually is the only issue I have with our contract and the union. One of our 1st grade teachers had been a counselor in the district for 20+ years. When the counselors were laid off, she landed this position because of seniority. In a conversation with her, she revealed to me that she had 0 (yes, ZERO) years in the classroom, but because she had a teaching certificate, she was called back as a teacher. When she was called back as a counselor in November, my principal couldn't get a replacement teacher because we had three 6th grade classes with a total of 61 students. So even after leveling, we were forced to level our classes. I inherited a class of 27 students who had received very little instruction for two and a half months. I am fortunate in that I work with a group of ladies (I'm a male) who have helped me in every aspect of my job. We talk during our prep about what we are doing in our respective classrooms that work and what doesn't. We share lesson planning so we only have to write them a couple of months out of the year. At my former school, I was a teacher coach, so I had the opportunity to work with everyone, from the newest tenderfoot of a teacher to the most experienced. Not only was it my job to help teacher become better at their craft, I also looked at myself as a buffer between the staff and administration when it came to building walk-throughs. I knew what the principal would be looking for and made it a point to tell people, especially those who were not "on her good side". But because of personal differences with her, some chose to ignore my warnings, widening the rift between them and the principal. Although I was on the leadership team, my allegiance was always to the PFT, sometimes putting me at odds with her, but because of my relationship with her, we always found neutral ground. Every year when PFT elections would come around, I would be asked to run and I would always decline because knowing what I knew about my coworkers, there were several of them that I would not feel comfortable going into a meeting as their union rep to defend their actions. And unfortunately, the majority of them were the more seniored staff members. Those of us who have seniority need to make sure we are doing what we need to do to ensure our employment, with or without seniority. We cannot continue to teach children the way we were taught. We cannot sit behind our classroom doors complaining about things happening in our building without offering possible solutions. I have worked for 3 principals and have gotten along with all of them because I was a part of the solutions, not the problems. Me personally, I can't afford to go on strike. But I also can't afford a 13% pay cut. I was due my step 11 pay increase on September 22nd but we all know what happened there. What I had saved in the event of a strike is being eaten up in student loan payments, which would have been covered by the increase. I thought about jumping ship and leaving the SDP, but that's what Hite wants. I won't give him the pleasure of replacing me with someone willing to get paid half of what I am. So in that aspect, I'll see you on the picket lines if it comes to that. Enough of my soap box. On another note: Why the hell am I sitting here reading 40 posts from opinionated ANONYMOUS people?!?!?!?! Come out of the shadows. LOL
Submitted by anon (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:14 pm
So you have issues with seniority because your counselor was put in a first grade classroom and had zero experience. We'll how would you like the decision about whether or not you are the "right" fit for a school to rest with a principal that's had zero experience as a teacher? Yep! That's right! A principal who has never taught a day in his life, has never tried to get and keep the attention of 30 children while shoving common core standards down their throats, regardless of whether or not they had a fitful night's sleep, a warm coat or a decent meal, gets to decide the fate of his teachers. Get over your issue with seniority or you might find yourself at the mercy of one of the new regime's administrators! Seniority wasn't written into the contract for nothing!
Submitted by Kelly Jenkins (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:18 pm
My position on seniority will never change. It has nothing to do with my current situation. I was using that as an example of the broken system around it. My issue is that in my opinion, I have run across many people who need to be in another profession, but are protected by seniority. And as for a principal with no teaching experience, at the end of the day, that principal with no experience is still my boss. So if I want to keep that particular job, I have to roll with the punches. The day I get up and dread going to work is the day it's time for me to change professions. As long as I don't forget that my primary focus is to educate the 26 little minions in front of me, I'll survive.
Submitted by PepperOrphan (not verified) on March 24, 2014 11:42 pm
I'm with you Kelly.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 12:18 am
So am I.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 6:20 pm
The issue is not only with seniority, but what else? Principals will be able to dictate what teachers do on their prep time. Soon it will be class size, longer hours, less pay. You see you're not getting your step increase. It's the dismantling of our contract, piece by piece. The fact that your principal might have had it out for people who were not "on her good side" shows the problems many other people mentioned. If your principal doesn't have it out for you because you are a buffer between her and the rest of the staff, then your preps might not be dictated. Another teacher who isn't on the principal's good side will have their preps dictated. There are many principals in the SDP who are not fair and have favorites. That's why having a negotiated contract is the utmost importance. It keeps everything equal.
Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:47 pm
Hite states in the email: "If you have questions, or if you need any assistance in answering questions over the coming days, please contact your supervisor. " Who is a "supervisor?" Principal? Union rep? Hite also claims by controlling our prep time, it is for the "good of the students?" Hite might have taught, at the most, 4 - 5 years. Then, he climbed the administrative ladder. I assume, like most administrators in this District, he couldn't handle the work load and pressure of teaching. I still have at least two hours of work ahead of me tonight... Hite has not clue nor any integrity.
Submitted by Rifri (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:17 pm
Hi everyone, Please take time to read Bill's love letter to you. It's on your SDP email. If you are one of the right teachers, you need not worry. If your not the right teacher, you need to worry. What makes a teacher right? Who knows? If your the right teacher today, you will be the right teacher tomorrow. Right? Right is right, right? Or is right only right until you get more experience and proficient in your profession. Or are you only right until the wind blows in a new direction? Then, right is wrong, right? That make wrong, the new right? Right? Who is he trying to fool! How ridiculous is his letter.
Submitted by Rifri (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:04 pm
Sorry for the grammar errors.... Don't write when you're angry! Hi everyone, Please take time to read Bill's love letter to you. It's on your SDP email. If you are one of the right teachers, you need not worry. If you're not the right teacher, you need to worry. What makes a teacher right? Who knows? If you're the right teacher today, you will be the right teacher tomorrow. Right? Right is right, right? Or is right only right until you get more experience and proficient in your profession. Or are you only right until the wind blows in a new direction? Then, right is wrong, right? That makes wrong, the new right? Right? Who is he trying to fool! How ridiculous is his letter.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 8:51 pm
The scariest quote this week came not from Dr. Hite but from Bill Green: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140324_District__Philadelphia_t... "As leaders, they recognize they need the flexibility with teachers they provided to Dr. Hite and his team." Green said of his principals. "They led by example, and we look forward to working with them to change outcomes for the 118,000 children in non-performing schools. When the PFT makes that their goal rather than excessive benefits and salary impossible work rules, those children will have a chance at success". How dare he portray teachers as a self-centered group of non-professionals who care nothing for the kids and are only working for a paycheck. Does he really believe that students in non-performing schools don't have a chance to succeed unless the PFT succumbs to the SRC's contract requests? The negative propaganda campaign is what's making us look bad in the media and I think Jerry needs to go pro-active to negate this smear campaign.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:56 pm
How about members of CASA "selling us out" to save their own worthless, incompetent hides. Be sure to thank the 83% of administrators tomorrow who sold us up the river
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:06 pm
We have had fair funding Fridays, we have had rally after rally, we have written to representatives, we have organized demonstrations, we have gone to Harrisburg, we have attended SRC meetings where we were treated like dirt, we have attended PFT meetings, we have joined with other organizations, PCCY, Parents United, Action United, we even went to Central HS where we were blatantly ignored. If we do not strike now, then we get what we deserve. Striking now, during PSSAs, is when we have the most impact. The time is now. STRIKE NOW, STRIKE NOW, STRIKE NOW.
Submitted by Mayday (not verified) on March 25, 2014 3:12 pm
Agreed! A strike now would not last the week with the state panicking about incomplete PSSAs. the problem is that we do NOT have solidarity. NO ONE can afford to strike, but we need to. So let's put our big girl panties and big boy briefs on, and take action. No one is going to lose his or her cert.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 3:12 pm
A-friggin'-men, take a damn chance!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 26, 2014 8:42 am
We don't have the solidarity we should have because the officials at the PFT did or does not bond with their members, respect them like they should,communicate with them properly, have their back when SDP violates the contract on so many issues it's hard to keep count, divides the union by the Jordan plants and brown noses and everyone else in the membership that is basically ignored when help is needed, making member feeling powerless for many years because nothing is done when the CBA is breached ,Jordan and the PFT staff giving a scripted excuse and substantiating why the District violated the contact ,not taking appropriate action on many issues- like arbitration and using the courts if necessary , not usually displaying a caring feeling when you contact them or talk to them in person,and the list can continue. The way you unite people is not by illustrating those kind of attributes. What the PFT needs and has for some time is an actual leader that can bring members together and make us feel welcomed and part of an organization that will back you up in time of need.That's why unions members are referred to as brothers and sisters-not a long gone distant cousin as we feel by the PFT officers and some staffers. Even though, members are the union , a good leader unites and leads us. Do most members feel that with the leadership of the PFT? If they had good relationships with their members the attendance at all the protests and meetings,etc. would increase dramatically.Unfortunately, most members feel helpless because that's what our union fed us. We need to stop thinking that and feel powerful.But that will be hard to do with the same players in place. Ask Jordan and the other officials at PFT how he has united the union,if any of them even reply to you and let us know what the reply is. If they state marches , pep rallies, protest, meeting , and so on -that isn't anything. We all want solidarity but we need more than words. We need to actually see it from the top PFT people to rub off on it's members. This should have been done all along but the get comfy in their cushy jobs and time passes.Too much time has past so we need action now and quickly. Email the top three players making union decisions that affect us.Ask them how they are bringing us together to win this fight. jjordan@pft.org (PFT ,Pres.) rweingarten@aft.org (AFT,Pres.) rkirsch@aftpa.org (AFT,PA ,Pres.).
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:53 pm
My daughter is playing school...she is the teacher.....I made her stop and said, "Over my dead body will you become a teacher." How sad is that? How sad am I? :(
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:49 pm
Couldn't we do a sick out during pssa. Maybe that would show Hite we are serious.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:31 pm
I am feeling nauseous right now.....might need to call out.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:14 pm
Me too.. must be some kind of flu bug going around..
Submitted by Oh Mister Wilson (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:48 pm
Hite and Green publicly profess that this move is only being made to make staffing the schools easier...BS...guess who will be "just right " for that open teaching position...the veteran making a living wage,,, or the TFA youngster who has to live at home with Mom and Dad because they don't make a decent living?! Oh, but it is all about the children!!! Everyone better watch out for this one because it will eventually hit all of us! I can't understand how this kind of "corporate bullying " can happen in a democratic city. Everyone should contact their representatives and demand action!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:47 pm
Haven't you heard? Neoliberal http://tinyurl.com/ccrgm Democrats like Cuomo, Nutter, Obama, and Hillary Clinton are all in with corporate education reform. The Clintons are tight with Eli Broad. This is from Obama's first Inaugural gala. Be sure to look at all five slides on the right. http://tinyurl.com/n3rbzjj The 99% need our own party with a program for the 99%. The 1% already has their Democratic-Republican Party.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2014 9:40 pm
Charter school expansion. If PSD can't do it, let the schools who are thriving teach our children!
Submitted by Jonathan (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:14 pm
Question: If the SRC is acting in compliance with "the state law that amended the school code to authorize a takeover of the District that says the SRC is not obligated to collectively bargain most issues beyond salary and benefits", in order to change prep use and seniority, Why isn't the SRC legally obligated to follow the state law that requires them them to assure full (and equitable?) funding for the district? Isn't that why they were created in the first place?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 12:06 am
The SRC has no control over funding. None. Zero. The SRC is in an impossible place: They are supposed to try to run a functional school district with not enough money, provided by the state and the city. It's fine to object to Dr. Hite's tactics (though at least he's trying to get the law sorta out pro-actively instead of just acting first). But what's the solution? He can't agree to a contract with money that the district doesn't have. All of this anger/vitriol needs to be directed at the state and the city council. They are the ones who can give the SDP more money.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 9:25 pm
I am so glad to hear someone else think what I've been thinking. The SRC was put in placed to solve our financial crisis but since they are in place we have gone from bad to worse with no endng in sight. Obviously, Hite wants to looks like he is doing something and look like he is so tough and swift but he is a puppet manipulated by the SRC and the politicians behind it. Who trully cares about the children of Philadelphia Public schools?: TEACHERS!!!!!! We showed it everyday even when our voices are being ignored. I say STRIKE NOW!!
Submitted by Mike K (not verified) on March 24, 2014 10:31 pm
As I read every post, I felt really scared. Some people don't get it. While I was forced from a school that I loved being at I understood that the seniority process is the workplace rule. Principals should be able to staff their buildings as they want. The problem that I see is that too many principals aren't really qualified to run a classroom let alone a building. We need to make a statement to the "Bill Show"-striking is going to be a reality if the Supreme Court allows this to happen. Be ready!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 12:20 am
If the PFT strikes, it may be suicidal. The PSP and others will be more than happy to pump more into charter schools, open more charters, and then there will be no District jobs for PFT members to come back to. If the PFT wants to be relevant in the long term, it will need to start offering solutions. And site-based decisionmaking is not only reasonable, it's how almost every other school system in the country operates. Part of the reason so few Philly principals are any good is that it's incredibly hard to attract good principals to a district that doesn't give principals control of their schools. Who in their right mind would take a job leading a school, assume all the responsibility for it, but not be able to hire staff? Everybody is talking about how much easier it is to teach in the suburbs. Well, suburban principals pick their own teachers. As do rural principals. As do the principals in many other big cities now. The argument that site selection is bad because principals are bad is the same argument that teacher-bashers use to support standard, scripted curriculum: we can't let teachers make decisions because the bad ones will screw it up. If we, as teachers, want to be respected to do our jobs correctly, then we have to be willing to allow the leaders of the schools the same respect.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 25, 2014 12:04 am
This has been a paid commercial announcement from the Philadelphia School Partnership.

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