Eyes on the Board of Education: November 21, 2019

by Karel Kilimnik

APPS members continue to ask when the Board will institute real education reform.   Rebuild District infrastructure. Stop hollowing out the central administration and diverting that work to outside vendors. Fund smaller class size and the restoration of school libraries. The Board needs to step up and provide leadership in righting the direction of this District. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience within this District–use it. Stop bringing in outsiders with no commitment to the community.  Fill 440 with administrators who can answer our questions, respond to parents, students, school staff, and community members when concerns are raised and questions asked. It is time for the Board to step up and show us that they have the will and capacity to rebuild our District.

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Ears on the Board of Education: October 17, 2019

by Diane Payne

This meeting’s agenda held two hot-button items.  Two Renaissance charter schools, Aspira Olney High School and Aspira Stetson Middle School, had been recommended for non-renewal twice, in 2016 and 2019, as a result of Aspira’s failure to meet academic, financial, and organizational standards. Aspira’s admittedly improper, often fraudulent, financial practices had been well documented in the local media since 2013.  APPS members had testified, written letters, and appealed to local elected officials to resolve the Aspira matter after postponements by both the SRC and the Board. The District held 16 days of legal hearings last Spring in which lawyers for Olney and Stetson failed to refute the many deficiencies exposed by the Charter School Office (CSO). Rudolph Garcia, who presided over those hearings, had presented his report to the Board last week.  Garcia echoed the CSO’s recommendation for non-renewal. Aspira brought staff, parents and students to fight for continued Aspira control of the schools, touting the improved climate at the schools. But last-minute personal testimonies do not negate extensive documentation of the many flagrant deficiencies across all domains at these two charter schools.

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Defenders of Public Education Speak Before the BOE, October 17, 2019


Click on the individual’s name to read a transcript of his or her testimony.

Patricia Brown on Toxic Schools

Karel Kliminik on the contract with KIPP

Barbara McDowdell Dowdall on Germatown Dreams

Tasaday Messina on Toxic Schools

Ilene Poses on Toxic Schools

Lynda Rubin on Charter Renewal Votes

Eyes on the Board of Education: October 17, 2019

by Karel Kilimnik

With the rapidly unfolding debacle of the planned co-location of SLA at Ben Franklin High School, the Board needs to step up and provide leadership on District spending priorities. Stop fattening the bottom lines of outside vendors and increase spending to guarantee that all schools are healthy environments.  The Board needs to start denying contracts to vendors and demanding that the Superintendent build resources and support from within the District. District governance returned to local control over a year ago; it is past time to return to building up District staffing and resources.


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