Last Thursday’s SRC meeting saw parents, students, educators and members of the community come out to let the unelected body with it’s newly appointed and anointed Chair know what we thought.
Here are some pictures from Harvey Finkle, the people’s photographer.
And here’s a link to the article on the meeting by the Inuirer’s Kristen Graham: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140221_Green_s_first_SRC_meeting__High_drama__big_plans.html
Here’s the new SRC chair with his patron, Gov. Corbett. The Governor and the Republican controlled legislature selected him without even allowing testimony from parents, educators and the community. Now, as he is sworn in, we need to send him a clear message on where we stand:
• On a fair contract for teachers and school workers!
• On the need to fight for full funding of our schools!
• On charter school accountability!
• On returning our schools to local control!
Come to the SRC meeting
Make Your Voice Heard!
Thursday – Feb. 20
Gather inside at 4:30pm,
Philadelphia public schools achieve DESPITE the governor! We did it ourselves, no thanks to Gov. Tom Corbett!
Gov. Tom Corbett’s draconian cuts to public education have robbed our children of vital programs and services. As a result of unprecedented state education budget cuts, students have had to do without sufficient number of nurses, counselors, school aides, librarians, teachers, supplies, and activities.
Now Governor Corbett is coming to Philly to highlight the successes of high-achieving schools. But Corbett did nothing but make it harder for schools to successfully educate children. Schools like Central do well despite the governor and his brutal cuts. We did it without you!
Join us this Friday, January 17, to highlight the achievements our city’s schools made without help from the governor. And tell Gov. Corbett he can only take credit for HURTING our schools! Join parents, students, and activists to protest the governor and his cuts that have damaged our public schools!
Don’t let Governor Corbett take credit for the hard work of Philadelphia’s educators and students! We did it without you, governor!
The Full Funding Friday Campaign moves into its 14th week.
Here are the schools where rallies are planned for this Friday. We really appreciate all the people who have volunteered to come out and join with school staff, parents and students. As before, we will have flyers and other materials on hand. Times will be 7:45 am for elementary schools, 7:15 am for high schools. There will be no school based rallies over the holidays.
December 20, 2013
Bodine High School 1101 N. 4th St.
Bryant Elementary 6001 Cedar Ave.
Lawton Elementary 6101 Jackson St.
Loesche Elementary 595 Tomlinson Rd.
Longstreth Elementary 5700 Willows Ave.
T. M. Peirce Elementary 2300 W. Cambria St.
Wagner Middle School 1701 Chelten Ave.
Parkway West, MYA, 4725 Fairmount Ave.
A delegation of four PCAPS members met yesterday afternoon with Senator Anthony Williams, a sponsor of the so called charter school reform bill, S.B. 1085 while a larger group gathered outside at his South West Philly office.
It did not come as surprise that Williams, who accepted over 3.2 million dollars from charter school and school voucher proponents in his 2010 run for Governor, remains steadfast in his support for this bill which would effectively remove any control over charter expansion from local school districts.
The bill would allow colleges and universities to create charters, an authority now reserved for local districts. Williams said he is sponsoring the bill so as to be able to shape it and favors a compromise, hybrid model in which the District would retain some authority, but he was not clear on what this would mean. He also reiterated his opposition to the District imposing caps on charter enrollment. PCAPS argues that if the District cannot impose caps and otherwide control charter growth, it cannot solve its fiscal crisis and we can expect continued school closings and impoverishment of neighborhood public schools.
Williams, widely regarded as the front runner for Mayor in 2015, has long been a supporter of charters. As a state rep. he joined with Republicans to pass the 1997 charter school law and founded the Renaissance Advantage charter school in Southwest Philadelphia, serving as Board Chair for many years. The school was almost closed in 2003 for failing to maintain the required number of certified teachers, poor record keeping and low test scores. The school failed to file tax returns for five years.
When asked about the school’s poor performance during the gubernatorial race, Williams said. ”I don’t hide from the realities…if a school does not work, it should not exist.” But the reality here is that the legislation he is supporting will make closing charters much harder, doubling the length of time for charter renewal from five to ten years.
A final irony in the SB1085 law is it strips out the language that requires charters be “models of innovation” for public schools. This was the whole reason for creating charters in the first place. Now the supporters of this legislation have quietly dropped this language and, more or less openly, are promoting a privatized system supporting by tax dollars that will supplant public schools.
Photographs complements of Harvey Finkle, whose keen eye has been focusing in on the struggle for peace, freedom and justice for four decades.
Demand Senator Anthony Williams Reverse Himself on SB 1085
We Want More Charter School Accountability, Not Less
Tom Corbett and Anthony Williams agree on less accountablity for charters
Senate Bill 1085 is a dagger aimed at the heart of neighborhood public schools. It would effectively remove any controls local school districts have over the monitoring of charter schools and would further aggravate Philadelphia’s fiscal crisis. The District could not cap charter school enrollment, the period for charter renewal would be doubled, and universities, rather than the district, could approve new charters without reference to the needs of the local district. This represents a further shift toward privatizing education.
This bill is supported by the corporate school reform lobby but opposed by virtually all other education advocacy groups. With the exception of Senator Williams, the whole city Democratic caucus is against it.
Senator Williams wants to by Mayor of Philadelphia. But he is leading the fight to dismantle our public schools. Is this acceptable?
Join us at his office. A delegation will meet with him and the rest of us will demonstrate outside.
Where: 2901 Island Ave, Suite 100
When: Monday, December 16th, 3:30pm
Helen Gym thanks Rush Choir for their moving performance. photo credit: Hillary Liandoupolus
More than a hundred people gathered in the cold at the corner of Bustleton and Cottman yesterday to demand full, fair, funding for our schools. Teachers, parents, students and community activists all were on hand. The Northeast High School band marched from the high school and performed as did the Benjamin Rush Choir, who did two inspiring pieces.
The rally was co-sponsored by PCAPS and Parents United. Organizers from the AFT and PFT helped spread the word in schools. The Home and School Council, along with Parents United reached out to area parents. Veteran Northeast area peace and justice advocates also turned out. Fight for Philly provided the sound system and the powerful voice of Fred Jones who led the chanting.
Speakers included Leianne Yancey, a Comly elementary student who gave a speech that moved and inspired the crowd. The video of an earlier presentation at her school has been seen by over a thousand people. Tonayia Coffer, a Fox Chase parent and rally organizer, Sheila Armstrong, a teacher and a member of POWER, Joan McGowan from PFT, and Rosemari Hatcher, President of the citywide Home and School Council also addressed the crowd. Helen Gym from Parent United kept things moving as MC and Ron Whitehorne from PCAPS provided some comic relief as a guitar strumming, singing, Grinch.
Rally organizers hope to build on this and develop a Northeast area network that can strengthen the fight for public education. As the flyer the group distributed to passers-by noted: “The Northeast region has a reputation for strong, neighborhood schools, but the current budget crisis threatens to unravel public education through out the city. Cuts to bi-lingual staff at schools that serve large immigrant populations and severe overcrowding at some schools are particular concerns for the Northeast.”