Lisa Haver SRC testimony – April 21, 2016

Lisa Haver SRC testimony pic 4-21-16

We should take a moment this evening to remember the high school student who was killed this morning at a high school in Wilmington, Delaware. As we have heard in community meetings, town halls and City Council hearings, many of this district’s schools have become unsafe for both students and staff. One young girl was stabbed at Cooke Elementary. The adults sitting at the table in the front of this room have through, their decisions and actions, created this situation. They are responsible for what happens in our schools.

Today the SRC considers its next budget. One program the district should not waste any more taxpayer dollars on is the Turnaround Network. Schools should not be rated by letter or number. Schools are organic, and like children, do not all grow and achieve at the same rate. But when comparing schools, we have no choice at this time but to use the district’s own metric, the SPR. If the goal is to hand public schools over to charter companies so that they can improve, the numbers prove otherwise.

Below are some data comparing Wister Elementary to Mastery charter schools. According to the district’s School Performance Rating, Wister clearly outperforms Mastery schools. The data here look at the Overall rating and the rate of Progress. Wister has an Overall rating of 33% and shows 68% Progress.

School Progress Reports 2014—15 (from SDP website)
The SPR for Wister
SPR for Philadelphia public and charter schools

Wister                                         33%  Watch                     68% Progress

                                               Overall                           Progress                     

                                               Overall/Progress  A is above Wister/B is below Wister

mastery table

7 Elementary and 4 Middle = 11 total Mastery Schools
0 Mastery schools:     ABOVE in both categories
0 Mastery schools:       ABOVE in Progress
8 Mastery Schools:       BELOW in both categories (72%)
3 MasterySchools:       ABOVE in Overall category
3 Mastery schools:       Show 0% Progress
5 Mastery schools:     In Intervene category

Wister in Watch category; NO Mastery school above Watch category overall.

Shouldn’t the district turn over a Mastery school to Wister? Or at the very least have Wister teachers doing training at Mastery schools?

Odds are against Wister improving as a Mastery school. But the district admitted, and the SRC confirmed, that facts and data don’t matter. The district made a promise but it wasn’t to the parents or students at Wister. It was to the owners and investors of Mastery charters.

Also, Mr. Green has yet to explain in full the conversation he had with a PSP executive, 5 days before the January meeting, about having a resolution introduced during the SRC meeting without any public notice or comment. The people of this city deserve better than to be lied to and be the victims of secret back-door deals. We deserve better than to be subjected to the whims of an appointed body which holds itself unaccountable to the people and unhindered by the democratic process. We deserve what the people of every other district in the state has: an elected school board. Taxation without representation is tyranny.