Testimony of APPS and community members to the SDP Board of Education October 7, 2021

Click on the title to read a transcript of the individual speaker’s testimony.

2020-2021 Star Assessment by Dana Carter

Where Do We Go From Here? by Kristin Luebbert

This is Not Public Engagement by Diane Payne

Stop Speaker Suppression by Diane Payne

New Special Admissions Equity Plan is Not Equitable by Stephanie King

Board Needs Transparency in Search for new Superintendent

Eyes on the Board of Education, October 28, 2021

by Karel Kilimnik

“The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.” James Baldwin

Will the Next Superintendent Be an Educator or a Business Manager?

Searching for a new superintendent opens a world of possibility in a District starved for transparency and genuine community involvement. Selection of the last superintendent occurred in a cloud of secrecy hidden from the public until the final two candidates selected by the SRC were unveiled. There was great hope as we transitioned from state rule to local control a mere three years ago but this Board has deflated those expectations as they instituted Speaker Suppression and continue rubber stamping whatever Items Dr. Hite presents. The Mayor’s selection process for appointing Board members also hid behind a brick wall. Transparency and public participation were blatantly missing. The Board could step out of their box, be bold and listen to the public.  Will they actually listen to the public or will shadow donors continue to pull their strings in this selection process? 

 For the past ten years the District has been led by a superintendent committed to balancing the budget no matter who suffers. Teachers and school staff, students, and parents have been traumatized as schools were closed; counselors,nurses, and teachers were shifted around the District like pawns on a chessboard; ongoing remediation of unhealthy buildings was ineffective. We need a leader with a vision for rebuilding what we have lost, restoring trust, and listening instead of mandating. Someone who has at least ten years experience in a school and has not roamed the country climbing their career ladder. Is the Board up to this responsibility or will we simply have another business oriented superintendent? 

Continue reading

Board Withholds Information About $375 Million Bond Deal

by Diane Payne and Lisa Haver

The Board of Education held two meetings on the afternoon of October 7: one to consider a bond issuance of approximately $400 million and the other to allow members of the public to address their concerns about the District.  

The Board followed the letter of the law by posting a small notice about this special meeting in the classified section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. They also entered the time of the meeting, with no details, in their online calendar.  The Board held this meeting at 1 PM, knowing that most stakeholders could not attend, with teachers and students  in school and most parents at work. When the Board finally posted the Action Item, just days before the meeting, it gave nothing but the title–not even the amount.  The legal notice had more information than the agenda posted online and in the copy distributed at the meeting. The Board clearly wanted to vote on this $375 bond issue after a minimum of public disclosure. 

Continue reading

Testimony of APPS and community members to the Board of Education, September 23, 2021

Click on the title to read a transcript of the individual speaker’s testimony.

Board Must Hold Hite Accountable by Lisa Haver

Board of Education, Do Your Job! by Stephanie King

When Will Accountability Become Part of the Board’s Focus? by Dr. Cherie Micheau

End the Incompetence! by The Racial Justice Organizing Committee

Speaker Suppression Continues by Diane Payne

No to Empowerment Charter re-Application and No to renew Tech Freire by Ilene Poses

Classroom Air Quality Needs Improvement, Now! by Lizzie Rothwell

Learning While Healing by Lynda Rubin