Diane Payne – SRC Testimony – October 15, 2015

Diane Payne

What kind of city do we live in that accepts as “normal” the deliberate destruction of its public school system? Public education was founded on principles of common good and not corporate greed. But, our public school system is being systematically destroyed by the very officials entrusted with its care.

How is it possible that Dr. Hite’s Action Plan 3.0 is not identified as the shill for Boston Consulting Group’s and Philadelphia School Partnership’s plan to cut up the money pie of public education in our city?

Dr. Hite is the highly paid steward of our public schools. (Somewhere around $350,000 – more than the mayor.) So, if schools continue to fail under his watch why isn’t Dr. Hite closed down, turned around or transformed?

Dr. Hite and this SRC continue to shut out the public. If one tactic they use in their arsenal of destruction doesn’t work, they just switch tactics…no parent votes this time.

The justification for the ongoing closures, transformations, and turnarounds (which are all euphemisms for selling off our public schools) are built on lies, lies which rarely get identified in main stream media. It is left to the bloggers and truly grassroots advocacy groups to shout from whatever rooftop they can the truth of what is happening.

Lie One: Charter Schools are public. They are not. They use public money but that is about where the public ends. 3 minutes does not afford the time to list the reasons why they are not public nor are they for the common good. The avenues for investigative journalism are countless on this topic.

Lie Two: Public Schools are failing. Schools are NOT failing… society, government, politicians and school district officials are failing. How dare you label schools as failing when the lack of resources is at historic lows, when policies are steeped in junk science – common core, standardized testing, VAM to name a few.

Students, teachers, community members and parents come here month after month to beg, plead and finally to yell but your positions of appointed power immune you from public accountability.

Dr. Hite and this SRC is going full steam ahead in dismantling our public schools as well as dismantling professional jobs worthy of respect, due process and compensation. Just look to Source4teachers to see how you get what you pay for.

My question today on resolution A2….what evidence did you use to select Mastery Charter School teachers as coaches for our staff rather than the expertise and knowledge of your own district teachers?