Testimony of Ilene Poses to the BOE, April 30, 2020

Vote no on action item 55 which allocates $10,000 to Achievement Plus and similar contracts.

Why does the Board approve contracts for scripted, expensive programs
from corporate education providers when we have Philadelphians ready to provide professional development? For example, Rothschild Education Consulting has been providing math support for over 20 years. The head of  the company sent both her children to district schools, received her doctorate in math education from Penn and would love to work with SDP. Her program is not scripted and she looks at the level of math understanding of each educator with whom she works and adjusts the program accordingly. She worked with students in Chicago and NYC city schools and can show a record of her success. This is not an advertisement for her services but mentioned only to show we can look locally for professional development that could possibly be more effective and cheaper.

Achievement First educates using strict discipline and a narrow focus to educate students. In 35 years of teaching special education students I have never viewed my students as undeserving of a broad, inter-connected curriculum. For instance I taught the times tables by having students sing a different song for each table to familiar songs, e.g. The Happy Birthday song for the 7 times table or teach place value using pennies, dimes, dollars instead of ones, tens, hundreds. Before awarding contracts look ‘in house’ or look at successful private or suburb models not edu-privatizers for new ideas.

A song for Dr. MCGinley & Wayne Walker:

Dimitri Tiomkin from the movie “High Noon”

Do not forget us, Chris McGinley
On this, your last board daaay
Do not forsake us, V.P. Wayne Walker
So sad, you’ll not stay.

I do not know what fate awaits kids
When your support for schools does leave
And we must face low funded schools
And halt new charters, expensive charters
It makes the public truly grieve.