Testimony of Karel Kilimnik to the Philadelphia SRC on December 17, 2015
I am speaking to SRC Resolution 7. You, the anointed SRC, who most citizens wish to see dissolved, are now proposing extending a contract to the Broad-trained superintendent William Hite, who has brought a degree of chaos and turmoil to our school district not ever seen before. You wish to extend this man’s contract for an additional five years even before his present contract is up. Why now? Reminds me of the SRC renewing Arlene Ackerman’s contract and then terminating her at the cost of nearly $1 million dollars. This is becoming characteristic of the unelected SRC. Renew the superintendents contract and then pay an extraordinary amount to get rid of them. Is this happening now or do you want to simply amplify the disaster he has rained down upon all of us? What Dr. Hite has done is create stability for the business community not for our children.
- Hite has made his doomsday budget the new norm for funding schools. Nurses and counselors are on a wish list and librarians are extinct. It’s clear from testimonies presented at the SRC that he is clueless about the role of a school library.
- Hite has said he wants to out-source Head Start. How does this help children?
- Hite has overseen the constant turn over of teachers as schools are “transformed” or redesigned; brought in new, inexperienced principals who allow chaos to develop in their schools, he has closed schools thus forcing students to travel away from their neighborhoods.
- Transportation has been increasingly privatized and can’t handle transporting children in a safe and orderly manner.
- Hite brought in the supremely incompetent Source4Teachers and refuses to break their contract. How much does he really care about our children?
- Hite has shut out parent voice in his determination to turn 3 more schools over to charter operators.
Wister parents, students, teachers, and community members turned out to let Scott Gordon and his Mastery machine know that they are not welcome at Wister. You, Dr. Hite, stripped parents of their voice when you commanded that Wister become a Renaissance charter school. What happened to all your talk about providing parent service? Out the door when Scott Gordon comes calling to expand his Mastery charter school district. The district under Dr. Hite’s leadership created “evaluation committees” at Cooke, Huey, & Wister. How were community members selected? Where is the committee meeting schedule? Where are the committee minutes? Who represents the district? How are all parents kept informed of the meetings? Tonight you continue to eliminate community & parent voice by limiting how many people can speak on a topic. It seems that these committees and limiting speakers on a topic are yet another violation of the state Sunshine Act.
We witnessed the Mastery Marketing Machine at work. They brought in dozens of staff, imported parents and students from other Mastery charter schools, and rained down multi-colored flyers and tee shirts. Answering questions, not so much. If Mastery school are so wonderful why do they need to lobby and sell a product?
So, SRC Commissioners this is the man whose contract you wish to extend. A destroyer of educational opportunities for all of our children! We are paying for his reign of terror now. Dr. Hite has got to go, no more contract for him.