The transcript of the testimony of Catherine Blunt before the SRC June 21, 2018

Catherine Blount pic

Click the picture and go to 1:38 to view Catherine Blount’s testimony.

“State” Notification of SDP Requested and SRC Approved Changes in/to School Organization A-19

Catherine Blunt

Public School Advocate, Retired Principal, and Retired Teacher

Testimony June 21, 2018

Dr Hite, members of the SRC, and members of the Larger Philadelphia School-Community.

Perhaps we were not aware previously, but the SDP with the approval of the SRC must submit its proposed changes to school organizations, names, etc. for “state” approval. I’m not sure if school and community concerns are also submitted with the requests.

I want it known that the decision to “truncate” Strawberry Mansion High School for the 2018-2019 school year is a death sentence for that community school. “Truncating” Mansion means it’s losing its 9thgrade students. No matter the explanation given, the Mansion 9thgrade class has already been diverted to neighboring schools like Vaux Big Picture School, which is also included in the notice to the state as receiving a new 9thgrade class.

The SDP told the Mansion Community that Mansion has no programs so it would be a disservice to send any 9thgraders to that school. However, the 9thgrade class is the easiest to accommodate because it needs only the 4 academic classes of English, Algebra 1, Science, an World History along with either World Language 1, Art/Music 1, or PE/HE combination= NO PROGRAMS REQUIRED! I cannot imagine why the District is misinforming the Mansion Community and the Community at large about the 9thgrade class at Mansion.

More importantly, there are approximately 77 – 10thgraders, 85 – 11thgraders, and 65 – 12thgraders= a total of 227 students scheduled to graduate from Mansion over the next 3 years with the SDP providing NO PROGRAMS except straight academic curriculum and possibly a culinary program which can only lead to certification for the 10thgraders. The 11thand 12thgraders do not have any CTE track and no continuing education programs at community college or with unions providing training programs.

So it is not the 9thGraders who are without a program, it’s 10th, 11th, and 12thgraders. Inexcusably, the SDP has provided these 227 students with limited educational programs and limited career opportunities.

The “state” will be urged to address our concerns and reject the Mansion re-configuration if the SRC does not disapprove that section of A-19 for lack of merit!