Charter Operators Believe Anyone Can Open a School

Board of Education testimony May 27, 2021

by Diane Payne

Two Minutes requires speaking in bullet points

  • Superintendent Hite’s arbitrary change in school start times, 1 day before contractually due, with NO prior staff/parent input is one more crushing top-down dictate.
  • Sending kids all over the city to charter schools and special admit schools is a significant drain on the district budget while failing to give any nod to energy use, climate change needs, or the building of strong “neighborhood” schools
  • PA School Nurse of the Year, Nurse Duffy and Lindback award winning teacher Rooney were both barred from speaking & publicly sharing their relevant, and crucial information on Action Items.  Information the Board will not get from the Hite administration.  No one knows how many others were barred from public testimony.
  • Pride Academy is back with a revised application that is not revised at all.
  • No new charter application should be approved until ALL public schools are toxic free and fully resourced. 
  • A substandard application, such as this one, should not be approved ever.
  • This application is loaded with buzzwords and lacking in substance.
  • The revised application has the nerve to point out nearby schools’ achievement records when the very school the founding member is currently principal of, West Philly Charter, has been in academic Intervene on the District’s SPR for the last three years available. 
  • The sole founding member and proposed school leader has short stints in various charter schools without any longevity.
  • The founding member’s foray into opening a new school while the leader of a failing current school calls into question dedication to children.
  • Misspelling the word performance 4 times in a row in submitted documents points to a worrisome lack of performance.
  • No proposed Pride Board members have experience in opening or running a school except one who is on the Board of Math, Civics and Science a struggling Charter school recommended for closure.  
  • I urge you to vote NO on this application.
  • Action Item 40 – various vendors – $1,163,55, brings the total for 2021 change orders to over $5 million. No Board member really knows why, who initiated the order, or if this amount falls within acceptable construction standards.