While my staff (and many others in schools of Philadelphia) were hard at work yesterday focusing on the curriculum of our school and how we are going to interview students for the future, the School District was beginning the process to dismantle itself. Over the past few months we have seen charter networks expand their purview and demand increasing their numbers. Regardless of your political leanings, we should all recognize that this is a major shift in policy.
The public school system was formed in 1850 in Philadelphia and has had a strong hand in equalizing things in this city ever since. With the state takeover in 2001 things started to change (unfortunately, for the worse). Now we have budgets spiraling out of control with no relief in site from the city or state, and our Chief Recovery Officer is saying that we are "not making progress quickly enough." My response: how can we make progress if our resources are regressing?
The people in charge play on the apathy of the populace. The only solution: don't stay quiet. A well-known adage states, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." We need to make sure that the entire state hears our voice. I am proud to say that I voted in the election yesterday - but we need to do more than that. Attending rallies (like with Nurse Duffey) and taking part in the community budget meetings and School Reform Commission meetings are only a start. Share your concern with your families, friends, and neighbors. Make sure all 1.5 million people in Philadelphia know that we will not keep silent.
"If you will it, it is no dream." - Theodore Hertzl