Click on timestamp 14:40 to view Karel’s testimony.
Good evening. I am Karel Kilimnik, a graduate of the Phila School District, retired teacher, and co-founder of APPS. I want to welcome all of you as you start your journey as government officials overseeing the governance of our School District. I attended the first meeting of the SRC as well as the last. It took a long time to bid them farewell but we organized and saw them out the door. Based on years of teaching as well as years of attending SRC meetings, and ongoing research this is what we need from your leadership
We need a board that is transparent and accountable to stakeholders. We need a board that listens. Your advisory committees are a step in this direction. You will hear tonight that there are school communities fighting decisions made for their schools without their participation. The Strawberry Mansion community is presenting you with a packet of info asking you to reverse Dr Hite’s closure decision. He sent $13 million to a vendor instead of investing that money into the school. We ask that you listen to stakeholders before deciding the fate of any school.
The flow of money into the pockets of vendors including Relay, TFA, Jounce Partners, and Catapult needs to be turned off. As a teacher I participated in professional development provided by District staff that was enriching, challenging, and useful . At the time there were no outside contractors invading our schools. Professional Development was strictly home grown and relevant to our students’ needs not simply a vendor marketing a product.
Classifying charter school resolutions as quasi -judicial is inaccurate as they are contract schools. Hiding the information behind the label disenfranchises the public by withholding information.
I liken this Board to being on a jury where 12 people come together to solve a problem. The problem facing us is managing the District so that every child has access to an appropriate, rich, and thorough education. We will continue our role as the watchdog of the newly resurrected Board of Education.