Linda Rubin SRC testimony transcript – August 18, 2016

Lynda Rubin
Click the picture to see video of Lynda’s testimony.

Good afternoon. My name is Lynda Rubin. I’m a retired School District counselor and a member of Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools.

As SRC Commissioners and government officials, you have the right to your personal political opinions. But you also have the responsibility to represent yourself honestly and above board.

Commissioner Jimenez crossed a line when she appeared last month on a nationally televised show dishonestly portraying herself as an “undecided voter” and not identifying her government position on the SRC and even her actions as a GOP operative as recently as in the primaries of this presidential campaign. She then parroted opinions that have come straight out of Donald Trump’s mouth, a man whose racist, misogynistic and xenophobic statements have been widely criticized.

The majority of Philadelphia’s students are children of color, representing many languages and cultures. Our children face discrimination every day because of their color, their ethnicity, their sexual identity or their disabilities. And yet, Ms Jimenez went on TV and indicated she just may support a man who made fun of a physically disabled reporter, disrespects opponents with childish name-calling and publicly states he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Ave. and his supporters wouldn’t care.

Not exactly the message we want to send about the behavior we expect from the children and youth of our City, especially in our schools.

For this lack of judgment and so many other conflicts, I add my name to those who urge Commissioner Jimenez to step down from the SRC.

But this is just one example of the many specious and dishonest actions by some SRC members which indicate that they put their own personal considerations above those of students and families. The continued disrespect and gratuitous attacks towards Philadelphia teachers and school professionals only serves to divide our school community. These union members have continued to serve for over 1000 days without a new contract, without adequate books and supplies, spending their own money so that their students don’t have to be reminded that the leaders of this District have, in many ways, abandoned them.

That some SRC members routinely promote disunity and distrust between teachers and parents, and even between different groups of parents, for their own interests is unconscionable. Having two SRC commissioners act as agents for Aspira, Inc. in back-door meetings, shutting out the very people the SRC claims to represent, is a violation of the public trust and, possibly illegal. The SRC’s continued propping up of charter providers whose schools have been shown to be academically inadequate and who have admitted to the misuse of taxpayer funds — against the recommendation of its own Charter Office — is just wrong.

Therefore, I also join those who have called on the Mayor to investigate these actions of the SRC.