Eyes on the Board of Education: February 25, 2021

by Lisa Haver

“In addition to having ending points and ending dates for the interim guardrails, the Board has adopted interim guardrail ending points for each year leading up to the ending date.” From the Board of Education’s Goals and Guardrails

Three new Board members will be seated at this remote Action Meeting.  Each will likely make a speech about their backgrounds, beliefs and positions on education issues.  In a democracy, people should hear this before casting their vote for the candidates they want to represent them.  But Philadelphians remain disenfranchised, in more ways than one. We cannot vote for our School Board members. The Mayor shuts the public out of the entire Nominating Process. City Council lobs softball questions at the nominees at its confirmation hearing.  Who is listening to the parents, students, educators and community members?

At its January Action Meeting, the Board cut off almost every speaker mid-sentence. The Board, apparently in agreement with member Julia Danzy, caught on a hot mic last summer complaining about how many people had signed up to speak, got busy finding ways to shut out District parents, students, educators and community members. Without a public vote, and without any prior notice or explanation, the Board cut back every speaker’s time from three minutes to two. The Board also limited the number of speakers at every meeting, no matter the number of Items on the agenda. They voted, again without explanation or deliberation, to abolish two more of its Committees, thus eliminating the venues that they established with the promise of more dialogue with the community.

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