Stop Being Seduced By Slick Language and Trendiness

School District of Philadelphia Board of Education Action Meeting Testimony

November 17, 2022

by Ilene Poses

Action Item 20 says:  “Strengthening adult learning systems in ways that build a culture of continuous learning and growth for adults and children, as well as build the capacity of teachers and leaders, are essential strategies to create better outcomes for School District of Phila. students.”

This way of speaking reminds me of Professor Higgins from “My Fair Lady”

Ed. consultants’ way of speaking absolutely classifies them  – 

The moment they talk they make most working teachers despise them –  

Plain spoken language I’m afraid we’ll never get    – 

Oh, why can’t consultants learn to …

Set a good example and …. communicate.

The board has worked on assessing goals and guide rails and data for over 2 years.  The board looks at the same data that Partners in School Innovation (PSI) will look at to determine if students are making progress.   What does Partners in School Innovation (PSI )have to offer for $360,000?  I looked on their website for answers.  Their headquarters are located in the richest city in the USA – San Francisco so we know they are not local and do not contribute to our local economy.  Their website has all the new buzzwords:  equity, diversity, change agents, human centered.  Staff pictures are provided and all ethnic and racial faces are included but if you clicked on the names, no further information is provided.  I’d like to know what their degrees are in and how many years of actual teaching experience these people have.  The CEO has a PhD in psychology and wrote about his educational experience in Chicago.  He wrote:  “No one was there for the teachers in my past, to shore up the systems of professional learning, to work alongside them to stretch their thinking about what it is that they, their colleagues and their students are able to accomplish together. “  That tells me nothing.  What I do know is that teachers and parents always ask for:  smaller class size, more staff to help with the more challenging students, clean, safe schools, libraries and reading teachers.  Just read the article about Dobbins in yesterday’s paper.  Tracking transformation, filling out satisfaction surveys are not helpful to students or teachers.  Stop being seduced by slick language and trendiness.  Vote No for Action Item 20.