Tomika Anglin’s testimony transcript from the March 16th SRC meeting.

Tomika Anglin
Click the picture for video of Tomika’s testimony.

The goal is privatization. Sell off everything necessary to run this district to whatever non-profit, for-profit, fly-by-night that tickles your fancy. Because public ain’t profitable and somebody must profit, as long as it isn’t the teachers, or students or communities where our schools are located. They are still our schools. Our tax dollars support them and our children attend them every day.

That is until you gut them of the last bits of humanity that currently exists in them. Cambridge got a $200,000 contract to come in and tell you what was happening in the schools in your district. You could have gotten the same information from a couple of college students on an unpaid internship.

You are now about to pay Relay Graduate School of Education to provide 20 teacher residents so that you can build a “quality teacher pipeline” with the goal of improving rates of “teacher diversity and retention”. However, completion of a teacher residency program in Philadelphia does not guarantee application to this district.

The district must exist in a state of total delusion if it thinks that after a year in a district school seeing the workload, lack of resources and disrespect that someone would WANT to come and work here. Not to mention that Relay is unaccredited by the state, not that that matters to you. Unaccredited, unelected, undemocratic; a distinction without a difference. And don’t these teacher residencies put an additional burden on our already overburdened teachers? Won’t there be some student learning how to take their job for less money and no benefits? IS that the goal? To train up a force of teachers who will be so grateful for the training and employment that they won’t demand a contract or fair working conditions or pensions or benefits?

In addition to the Relay contract for $150,000 there is a $15m contract with Children’s Literacy Initiative $15m!! This money will get the district Early Literacy Specialists who have–

Thorough knowledge of standards and current curriculum frameworks

Thorough knowledge of literacy development

Demonstrated ability to differentiate instructional practices for a full spectrum of learners

Familiarity with academic coaching methodology and practices

Ability to support training and analysis of early literacy assessments

Clear and succinct written and verbal communication for targeted audiences

Effective presentation skills in various settings, both formal and informal.

Now I don’t claim to have a PhD but that description sounds like a teacher. Like the teachers who show up every day in the absence of a contract. Who show up everyday spending their own money to equip their classrooms. Who put themselves out every day for the children that they serve. You claim to be cash-strapped but why would you take money you claim not to have to pay for a service by outsiders when you have qualified individuals doing that work every day. You wouldn’t need to look far and wide if you just treated well the ones you already have.