A grass-roots organization of parents, community members, and school staff, fighting to defend public education. We work together to provide analysis and demand accountability from the School District of Philadelphia to provide students with a high-quality education.
“I can’t believe what you say because I see what you do.” James Baldwin
Never has a quote been more fitting than with the Philadelphia Board of Education and its new administration. Superintendent Tony Watlington, Sr. comes out of the gate reinstituting the odious practice of leveling–now rebranded as “Enrollment-Driven Resource Review”. Classes that have already established their routines and built relationships over the past month will be turned upside down. The district will again target classrooms that have not reached maximum enrollment allowed under the PFT contract, as if that were a problem to be corrected instead of a more nurturing learning environment. Classes will be collapsed and students will be dispersed to start all over with another teacher and new group of students. Why does the district do this? To save money. Not one board member responded to any of the students or parents who testified against it, nor did they raise it at any time during the 5 ½ hour meeting. The maximum number of students in grades K-3 is 30; in grades 4 through 12 it is 33. Students in the more affluent districts around Philadelphia, where class size is nowhere near that of Philadelphia, don’t have to endure the disruption of leveling.
The following commentary was written by APPS co-founder Lisa Haver and published by Billy Penn on September 19, 2022
Students and families at two Philadelphia schools thrown into chaos just before the academic year have yet to hear those who could have prevented it take any responsibility.
Instead of providing explanations for what happened at Bluford and Daroff — the latter was shut down, and the former will close at the end of the year — Universal Companies, awarded charter contracts for the two West Philly elementary schools over a decade ago, has stonewalled those school communities.
Board Accepts No Responsibility for Charter Debacle
Special Meeting of the Board of Education: August 26, 2022
by Diane Payne
The August 28, 2022 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, on the emergency at Daroff and Bluford charter schools previously managed by Universal Education Companies, reported: “School board officials said the schools’ demise resulted from repeated instances of adults failing children.” The Board made clear at this meeting that those adults don’t include them.
Universal Companies Abandons Two Charter Schools The Board called this special meeting, with the legally required minimal notice buried the day before in the Inquirer and a brief notice on their website, to approve agreements with the individual boards of Bluford and Daroff charter schools. President Joyce Wilkerson and Board Members Mallory Fix Lopez, Lisa Salley, Reginald Streater and Sarah-Ashley Andrews attended in person; Leticia Egea-Hinton, Julia Danzy, Chau Wing Lam and Cecelia Thompson remotely. Superintendent Tony Watlington, after answering the initial roll call, stated he is “still in a learning phase”, then remained silent for the duration of the meeting.