by Diane Payne
This jam-packed Action Meeting convened at 5:00 p.m. and adjourned at 10. As expected, many speakers lined up to address the ever-expanding toxic schools crisis. Made explicit from the testimonies of staff, administrators, and parents: there is a serious disconnect between what the District claims it is doing to address this public health crisis and what students and staff see happening. Speakers cited the lack of consistent, thorough, and clear communication; the failure to involve stakeholders in decisions and plans; and a lack of compassion and humanity in addressing parent, student, and staff needs. Those who stuck it out until the very end included members of the Caucus of Working Educators (WE) of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) and members of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA). Some saw as disrespectful the Board’s failure to acknowledge the presence of CASA President Robin Cooper or to bring her up to the table sooner.
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