Karel Kilimnik testimony to the SRC – February18, 2016

Karel Kilimnik SRC testimony 2-18-16

Good evening everyone. I am Karel Kilimnik, a retired teacher, PFT member, and co-founder of the APPS.

If you are truly concerned about the children and families you would never have approved 3 charters. You would know, as only chair Neff seems to, that every charter takes money away from the district run schools. You just approved over 2,000 new seats (your term not mine). And yet you claim magic math saying it will not cost the district more money. What planet do you occupy? What kind of math did you learn in school? You continue to spend money that you don’t have. You continue to strip resources from district schools without blinking an eye so how can you possibly care about the students and families in this district?

In October the district selected 3 schools to enter it’s Renaissance Charter program allegedly based on data. Then it turns out you used faulty data for Wister , a school that made over 50% progress and is doing better in your data world than any other Mastery school despite suffering from brutal cut backs like very other district school. Who do you think made all that progress happen? Space aliens? You select a charter operator for Cooke (an ESOL cluster site) that has never run an elementary school before and has little experience with English language learners. Great Oaks depends on tutors rather than teachers to help children learn. Oh ,did I forget to mention how you lied to parents and teachers at Cooke, Huey, and Wister from the beginning as to where and when parent meetings would be held. Who in their right mind would trust you to have their child’s best interests in mind when everything you have done in this process is tainted by lies and deceptions?

You continue to support Dr. Hite’s commitment to creating chaos & turmoil in the district by not posting specific site selection dates for teachers being forced to seek a position in another school by stating oh it will happen sometime in March, April or May and by putting the final decision to match each school with a charter operator at the April SRC meeting presumably after the site selection process has closed thereby throwing teachers into limbo as to what to do. Will teachers be able to rescind their transfer if their school does not get a match within the Ren Charter program or will you continue to create upheaval by the forced removal of teachers from each school community.

Now that Ms. Simms , a devoted fan of the Broad trained superintendent pulling down $300,000 a year, proposed a motion from the floor to return Wister to the auction block and has absolutely crushed your argument that data is the criteria for putting schools on the chopping block what criteria is being used to determine the suitability of a school for your Renaissance Charter program?