The actions of the SRC throughout this school year and continuing with many of tonight’s resolutions smacks of a well-planned time-line of giving away our assets and the future of our City’s children to corporate interests under the guise of education reform. I co-authored, with Lisa Haver, the Notebook commentary condemning the 6 months of secret meetings the District held with charter executives on how to write a law acceptable to them. Parents, educators and community had to learn about this from the news.
You not only buy curriculums and programs, but instead of having knowledgeable educators in-house to incorporate those into our own School District plan as used to be the case, you leave the responsibility for roll-out totally to the vendor.
You are increasingly de-professionalizing teaching and principal leadership roles by relying on scripted instructions and an emphasis on data points as opposed to a reliance on teachers and principals who have been educated in and understand differentiated instruction and encourage the use of critical thinking skills. And you wonder why both the PFT AND CASA have balked at your contract offerings.
You are further enabling the de-professionalization of the teaching and principal professions with your ever-increasing funding of teacher and leadership factories with the intent to recruit from these same companies, such as Relay, Teach For America and The New Teacher Project as opposed to actual graduate schools of education.
I have to point to your recent approval of the Deep Roots Charter application. When you first denied them, they hadn’t gotten out of the room before you begged them to come back and reapply, which they did in 3 months with “no substantive difference in the applications” as stated by DawnLynne Kacer on the night you approved them. I attended the Deep Roots application hearing. This group has no previous experience in running a school, no experienced principals, only a few who are still awaiting their certifications. They don’t even know what they don’t know, as evidenced by their total lack of understanding that No Excuses and Restorative Justice systems can’t be combined as Deep Roots first planned because they are diametrically opposed to each other in theory and practice. Deep Roots’ academic plans were as deficient. Something is not on the up and up with this approval.
But in approving such a school so deficient in knowledge and experience in running any academic program, much less a successful one, the SRC has proven that it does not care about the true educational welfare of the students it serves.
And with this, I call upon you to vote to dissolve the SRC now, as it will take a year or so to accomplish legally, so the District can be reconstituted under local control with actual accountability to the citizens of this City.