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Teachers create website to document District's budget crisis

Photo: Screenshot via phillyteachers.org

A new website by Philadelphia School District teachers.

by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks

Criticize your boss publicly ... and your job security may be at risk.

That's the mantra many Philadelphia School District teachers follow in keeping their criticisms of the current funding crisis confined to anonymous message boards.

But a new website designed by a recently formed faction of the teachers' union, the Caucus of Working Educators, is turning that philosophy on its head with "Philly Teachers Sound the Alarm."

A student's homemade bomb explodes outside of Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences.

Locked hallway bathrooms at Lincoln High School force students to constantly invade the nurse's office.

The lack of access to a library at Science Leadership Academy pushes teachers to buy their own stockpiles of books.

These are just a few of the anecdotes related in the website's first week.

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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Comments (9)

Submitted by Morrie Peters (not verified) on April 14, 2014 10:01 am
AxisPhilly is a propaganda entity created by the William Penn Foundation to further privatization interests. Ben Herold and Ed Week have zero credibility when they tout the "transformation" of Gratz. Anyone who knows anything about Clyatt-Weyman knows that she, like the rest of the Ackerman coven, are awesome at control and awful at creative freedom. We are creating a plantation system in our schools and the overseers are the "bad" principals who can put everyone in their place but do not have the first clue about collaboration. What a mess....
Submitted by Eileen Duffey (not verified) on April 14, 2014 11:33 am
Don't know if this is your real name Morrie, but I will put my real name here to second everything you just said. I spent the Saturday of my "fake spring break" with the parents and community members of Steel School supporting their fight to keep a real public school in Nicetown and to be given a fair say and a deeper understanding of what it means to give up their public school. It was simultaneously fun, empowering, jarring (the signs of poverty), enriching, and unsettling. Public schools force us to look at ourselves and face inequities and the discomfort of our increasingly widening socioeconomic divide. Mark Naison writes about this eloquently in the link below. Please take a minute and read this and you will understand where all my activism is rooted. http://withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com/2014/04/another-reason-why-publi...
Submitted by Morrie Peters (not verified) on April 14, 2014 11:36 am
Can anyone out there see the folly and hyprocrisy of Gleason, Hite and Nutter advocating for the poor? Not one of them cares one iota about anything but money and power. The Daily News, the Inquirer and this publication are all managed by pro-Charter (privatization) interests. Public Education is the civil rights issue of our time and if we continue to let it be whored out by people with no experience running a classroom or a building it will be the death knell for this country. The truth is Baby Boomers are scared to die and they do not want to pay their taxes. The rich exploit this
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 15, 2014 10:19 am
You don't seem to care for much other than money or power either. But since it is YOUR money and power you are advocating for, well that is OK. How else do you explain the desire to force 60,000 or so charter students and their parents back into the failing, chaotic, incompetently run schools they fled? All so YOU can exercise power over them without accountability, at least over those too poor to flee your regime... Pol Pot would be proud of you. Martin Luther King, probably not.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 15, 2014 11:28 am
You have things backward. Since the state takeover the Philadelphia public schools have been starved for resources. (This includes the Rendell years because Ackerman was Superintendent and she used a slight increase in funding to expand charters and Promise Academies and made the School District deficit much worse.) So the Pol Pot analogy you use applies to the state. Now we have a cultural revolution going on in an attempt to force parents to stampede out of starved public schools and into charters. What will be left behind are children from low income families in a return to segregated seperate and unequal schools. I don't think Maritn Luther King would have stood for this!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 15, 2014 3:54 pm
Slight increase? Per pupil funding has doubled since the SRC took over. Of course the SRC/district then squandered much of this increase in a variety of ways over the years, leaving us in the current position. How is the solution to this mismanaging forcing charter parents back into the district schools... Why? Because Morrie's ideology (or maybe just self-interest) demands that all schools be controlled by a centralized monopolistic bureaucracy. That is the thinking of authoritarian tyrants.
Submitted by anon (not verified) on April 14, 2014 3:52 pm
okay, so here's a simple but effective preliminary statement (in lieu of calling a sick out) for the pft to make to call attention to current working conditions and express our displeasure with hite & company's attempted end around of our negotiated labor contract and lack of appreciation for all that we do as teachers. are you listening jerry? let's bring the district to its knees by manufacturing a paper shortage. "gee, i meant to go out and get some this weekend, but just plain forgot." that's right…no one uses copy paper unless it's supplied to us free by the district. no homework, no tests, no i.e.p.s, no nothing. either they are forced to acknowledge our ongoing selfless contribution of basic everyday supplies and their own inability to maintain basic work supplies or they make massive emergency shipments of paper to the schools. either way, we win. what say you all?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 14, 2014 4:01 pm
Jordan listen to his members that is a novelty. He prefers to disrespect and ignore them . His belief is he doesn't have to contact members or answer to them. they get in his way. he also believes it is a burden to report to members what is going on with anything - the contract, issues, grievances. If it was up to Jordan he would have status quo forever or at least to the union is dissolve .Makes his job easier. Email Jordan and ask him are members going go all year with no action taken. I seriously doubt he will reply -but let us know We might be in shock and awe if he does like he always is about the issues he fails to resolve or at least try to. Contact officials at AFT/PFT and ask them what progress or action they taken except a lawsuit that they have to defend -not initiate. Below is the list of some key players of passive bystanders that head the union. jjordan@pft.org - PFT,Pres. akempin@pft.org -PFT,Gen.Vice Pres. lharris@pft.org -Grievance Rep. and Asst. to Jordan tkirsch@aftpa.org -AFTPA, Pres. rweingarten@aft.org -AFT,Pres.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on April 15, 2014 10:05 am
And what other job can you publicly criticize your boss? Who do these people think they are? Let's give them the 13% pay cut and move on down the road. If they don't like it, they can quit. See how long they last in private industry criticizing their boss.

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