440 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
May 3, 2012
Dear members of the School Reform Commission,
As a third year teacher in the school district of Philadelphia I have had the unfortunate experience of being left out of major decisions that directly affect my students and me. Decisions made at the District-level often disregard the fact that we are the ones implementing policies directly with students and parents so our expertise should be considered as well.
While I have expressed skepticism of the current plan to implement “achievement networks” I have been attempting to discuss this issue with as many of my colleagues as possible. During these conversations we bring up intelligent points that deal with specific on-the-ground issues of these policies. The most recent decision to reduce the instructional time of our students by eight days is one example of this.
I urge you to provide opportunities to utilize the skills and experiences that we have in the community to help fix problems we see every day. Perhaps the solution will involve more volunteer hours on our part; perhaps we can connect organizations to our schools through our own networks; or, perhaps, we can mobilize parents to take a stand against what you are trying to do.
Before you rely too much on any outside consulting group please consider this: teachers want to help students however they can and we will tap our networks dry in the process. All you have to do is let us in the door.
One Letter Per Day Campaign