Robin Lowry’s SRC testimony – February 16, 2016

 

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Robin Lowry

Health and Physical Education

Edison High School

Developing the talent of all students should be this district’s  #1 priority. Clubs driven by student interest, drama, arts, full athletic programs, time for students to uncover and hone their talents. Not the over-testing Pearson prefers. Let’s help connect kids to school, not make them hate school. Standardized testing stifles talent and the Turnaround District tests kids more than any other.

But if the priority of this district is to take tax money and give it to testing companies, consultants, charter companies etc, then making a $475,000 payment to Pearson for the Naglieri Test to sort students into gifted programs is right on course. How many ways does this district pay Pearson?

I live in both the Wister and the Nebbinger’s neighborhoods and have South Philly friends who left for the suburbs. Their kids now have so many resources at their schools that I can’t blame them for leaving. Sorting students into Gifted Programs can be used to lure middle class families and fill magnet schools, further draining talent away from neighborhood schools.  Will the Gifted and Talented students sorted by the Naglieri test get enrichment in their neighborhood public schools?  After the shameful and dishonest way you destroyed Wister I don’t trust that our Philly students will ever be served by a Broad Academy-infiltrated district.

Teacher Concerns from this week:3 Life Skills and Low Incidence Teachers at Edison have not had aides in their classroom for over 78 days.  A PE colleague has been in 9 schools in 13 years: typical of the teacher churn in this district – difficult to develop the talent of teachers when they are moved around.

And finally I’ll leave you with a reading from Work Hard, Be Hard: Journeys through “No Excuses” Teaching,  page 183, Jim Horn’s 2016 book about KIPP model schools.  

“By drawing our senses of perception inward, we are able to experience the control, silence, and quietness of the mind.”
– B.K.S. Iyenger, Light on Life

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