A Philadelphia Parent: With schools in crisis, we need transparency and accountability

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It’s no secret that the school year started in Philadelphia as well Disaster.

from Missing COVID tests And tracker statistics, to me lost buses And Missing school lunchesThe hoped-for return to “normal” was nothing but.

Across the Philadelphia School District, there are far too many schools to do business with short employmentAnd Unsafe buildingsAnd Logistics luncheseven Blackouts. Persons working at SDP headquarters at 440 N. Broad St. Making sure these basics are safe and in place so that our students can learn.

Now that’s supervisor William Hight announced his departureEveryone—from political escorts to exhausted parents to students themselves—is eagerly waiting to see what happens next.

Philadelphia needs more than just plain executive search. The pending change brings the opportunity for real transformational leadership: from the new supervisor; from the revitalized board of education; It is the elected officials who appoint people to those positions.

All parties involved should step in and do better. Not just for our schools – but for the city’s future.

The Philadelphia School Board has been appointed, which means that its members have the opportunity to be fearless without worrying about re-election. To be leaders for our children without worrying about their political future.

Instead, they can’t even be bothered to listen. that they Limit opportunities for speakers At regular public meetings and last week I started the process of searching for a supervisor using Zoom session is by invitation only. Part of the broken trust with the audience lies beneath their feet, and they and the new moderator must rebuild it.

The research process should prioritize the voices of people who are already in schools, especially regular neighborhood schools, in both elementary and secondary schools.

that it It’s easy to be a high school When you have a philanthropic donor or alumni group that provides you with additional funding and gives new character to your registration. We need people in touch with the reality on the ground in a neighboring school that is underfunded and often forgotten.

The Philadelphia Board of Education and Height were saying that We need to focus on achievementAnd while that’s true, this year’s reopening shows there hasn’t been enough focus on detail.

I don’t envy the people on our school board: It’s a volunteer position with a lot of work and a lot of balls in the air. But their usual line of questioning after every bad decision or misstep followed the “how can we make this easier” model.

The board is supposed to oversee the supervisor, not be encouraged by them. However, they did not hold the supervisor or anyone else in management accountable. This cannot continue.

Council needs to accountability institute Not just for the best dogs but for all the upper echelons of the SDP leadership. Recent scandals should have led to numerous resignations on the desks.

For example, Danielle Floyd, who was responsible for the facilities for The Sudan Liberation Army Disaster / Ben Franklin, is now responsible for transportation. It bears the responsibility of forcing dozens of schools At unfavorable start times To facilitate the bus schedule that still does not work – and students left Stranded and Stampede All over the city. How does this person still have a job?

During his tenure, Hight often appeared Surprised or ignorance About decisions made by others at 440 North Broad. which is? Either he knows what is going on and allows incompetence, or he is ignorant and therefore incompetent. Either way, someone had to be held accountable.

The next supervisor needs to spend a lot less time focusing on bloated PR and more making sure there are no schools taking their turn on the horror story tour.

Too many people on the board and at district headquarters regularly show that they have no idea what’s going on at the actual SDP school.

Anyone who attends board meetings can see the difference in the line of questioning that often comes from Mallory Fix Lopez. She has a student in a neighborhood school that reflects the area’s demographics, compared to the others on the board.

In general, the board has too many votes from schools like Central, Masterman, Sadie Alexander (not Penn Alexander), McCall and Meredith, and not enough from schools like Harntraft, Harrington, or Mitchell.

Similarly, the people Committee appointed by the mayor who – which Recommends to school board members It should come from schools, not from nonprofits and corporations.

Philadelphia is years away from an elected board of education (it will inevitably happen) but until that day, the mayor should feel ashamed to involve the public more at every step.

The burdensome assumption that families will inevitably move to the suburbs to “school” is a vicious cycle.

Many in Philadelphia seem to feel that they do not need to care about public schools, since they themselves are the products of private schools and send their children to private schools.

On the flip side, far too many “public school proponents” are basing their full hopes on schools like Masterman and Central. Entirely a third of the students in the city’s most selective magnet schools are Coming from private schools. Meanwhile, middle-class white parents use kindergarten school choice to introduce their children to whiter schools.

Philadelphia County School Trust Part of the problem that is meant to be solved, And Problematic groups of friends. We need to stop shifting responsibility for adequate employment and capital projects back to neighborhoods. Schools should not have to rely on the generosity of donors and endless public-private partnerships to get the basic needs they need to function.

charter schools Privatization is part of the burden on the public school system, but it is disingenuous to put all the blame on their doorstep when there is Lots of problematic practices to get around.

Fairness is more than a word. The blue stripe makes no sense if you let your kids go without food at school just a mile and a half down the street.

The next supervisor should be able to talk openly and honestly about these issues and then take action, not just rants.

There has been renewed energy in education advocacy groups since the announcement of Haight’s resignation, and the city council has already done so make a decision To hold public hearings on the process for selecting his replacement.

One thing that has consistently emerged from parents in countless meetings since the announcement is that most people really love their school. Imagine if we could harness the energy we put into fighting district leadership and use it to improve our schools instead.

Reformulate Morgan Freeman Lines As he quoted Hemingway at the end of “Se7en”: The Philadelphia public school system is a good place and worth fighting for – we agree with Part Two.

We need a moderator who can make the first part of that right, a board of education, a city council, and a mayor who has the courage to step up to make that possible.

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