Members of the grass-roots Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools have called on the Board of Education to reject the reopening plan presented by Superintendent William Hite Wednesday. The Board, which approved a version of the plan months ago, would have to place the Item on Thursday’s Action Meeting agenda.
“Dr. Hite’s plan is not based on current data or evidence, or even the District’s own information,” said APPS Coordinator Lisa Haver. “The updates presented monthly to the Board of Education from Dr. Hite and the Chief Operations Officer still do not say that District buildings are ready for reopening. Inadequate ventilation remains an issue, and in many buildings, windows do not open at all.”
“Solicited testimonials from school officials who serve under Dr. Hite or from representatives of the business community are not a substitute for facts and data”, said Haver. “The Board must fulfill its obligation to the families and educators of the District by rejecting this plan and considering reopening only when buildings are adequately ventilated and all personnel are vaccinated. The Board cannot sit by while the health and safety of children and adults are given less than full consideration by the Hite administration.”
December 7, 2020
Dear Mayor Kenney,
On behalf of the members of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools and the member organizations of the Our City, Our Schools Coalition, we are writing to ask that the community no longer be shut out of the selection process for the three current Board of Education vacancies.
The Nominating Panel you appointed has held no public meetings and has none scheduled. The Panel’s 22-minute remote event of November 17 included no opportunity for hearing public testimony. The public has been denied any knowledge of who has applied and how the Panel is weighing those applications.
At this time, we are asking: that all applications for this public position be released to the public; that you delay the December 15 deadline for the Panel’s submission of their recommended candidates to your office; that you direct the Panel to conduct all deliberations in public; that you direct the Panel to include interactive public testimony at its next public convening.
Click here to read the rest of the letter.
by Lisa Haver
Update: the Hite administration has scrapped its reopening plan for the foreseeable future. When the issue comes up again for reconsideration, possibly in Spring 2021, APPS will reissue this statement.
Members of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools call on the Board of Education and the Hite administration to stop following recommendations from City Health Director Thomas Farley on sending back students and staff to District buildings.
The inconsistencies of Dr. Farley’s statements since July demonstrate his failure to present an honest assessment of the dangers of reopening school buildings. No one disputes that face-to-face instruction would be better, but we cannot endanger the lives of teachers and their students, nor those of their families.
To read the rest of the statement click here.
In a letter sent this morning, the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools has called on the Board of Education to ask for the resignation of Superintendent William Hite.
“In light of the many revelations contained in the Inspector General’s report of the Hite administration’s failure to protect the health and safety of the students and staff of Benjamin Franklin and SLA high schools, the members of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools call on the Board of Education to ask for the resignation of Superintendent William Hite”, APPS co-founders Lisa Haver and Karel Kilimnik told the Board.
“Dr. Hite and his team, for over a year, endangered the health and safety of the students and staff of two high schools,” said Haver. “They ignored repeated warnings from parents, principals and teachers. They pushed forward even after the emergency hospitalization of teachers after daily exposure to toxins. The Board of Education should ask for Dr. Hite’s resignation today.”
Click here to read the rest of the press release and the letter to the Board.