APPS Member Coleman Poses tells the SRC they are using incorrect information for the Wister ‘turnaround’

Coleman Poses

This testimony was given at the December 17th SRC meeting.

Dear members of the SRC:

Last month I testified about the questionable data that the school district had presented during several meetings with the families, staff, and the neighbors of the John Wister School in Germantown.

I showed one slide, which was entitled “Why a change is needed for Wister,” which, supposedly detailed a precipitous decrease in student enrollment over 2 years from about 275 to about 170.

Coleman Slide #1

I showed another slide, based upon my own research, that showed that the student population at Wister fell from 452 to 383, but that the decrease was due to the school’s losing a sixth grade, and that four out of the six remaining grades actually increased in population.

coleman slide #2

About a week later, to my surprise, I received a phone call from Dave Zega, in Superintendent Hite’s office – informing me that my data were in fact correct. The information that I had displayed in my first exhibit were actually data about another school.   He went on to say that my slide had actually been supplanted by the correct slide in subsequent Powerpoints.

I informed Mr. Zega that I had attended several meeting in both October and November, and that the new data were never presented at these meetings. I then asked Mr. Zega if he wouldn’t mind sending the new information to the Wister principal and families. He informed me that he would need to consult his colleagues. As of today, neither the staff, nor the families to whom I have spoken, have been informed of this new information.

I do not wish to speculate upon why the school district has not disseminated the correct information to the public. I just thought that the SRC, as the final arbiter of this turnover, would be interested in knowing the truth. Thank you.


The Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools is a grass-roots organization of parents, community members, and school staff—including teachers, school nurses, librarians, counselors and safety staff—dedicated to the preservation of public schools. APPS is an independent organization with no political or union affiliation. We are entirely self-funded and do not take financial donations from outside sources. All members donate their time and receive no salary.