Eyes on the Board of Education: December 10, 2020

by Karel Kilimnik 

Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Nelson Mandela

This December edition of Eyes brings the deja vu that comes with seeing the same business interests circle back. Of this month’s twenty-seven Action Items, almost half are for contract extensions or  amendments–and for whose benefit?   We see the expansion of grants from non-profits  and the perennial flow of money to Relay GSE  “to  build a quality teacher pipeline” (Item 14). Former Board member Chris McGinley referred to the organization as “the Relay Fake Graduate School of Education.” 

The Hite administration now wants to add a fourth partner to their Teaching Fellows cohort of Temple and Drexel (neither of whom will  be paying PILOTS nor making a substantial donation as Penn just did) and Relay.   

At a time when life-and-death decisions are being made about whether to send students and staff back into buildings, transparency becomes even more important. But it is still  hard to find crucial information, one example being the inadequate Item descriptions.  Last week, Chief Financial Uri Monson described the District’s financial picture as “fluid”. What happened to the Board’s promise of only considering “essential” business? Why is basic charter reform still not on the table–but layoffs and school closings are?  

Click here to continue reading.