Rally calls for Community Schools, No Charter Takeovers

for_newsworks_20151015_1095965682Evette Jones, PFT community engagment staffer, kicks off rally  Photo Credit: Newsworks

Hundreds of teachers, parents, students and community members rallied before the School Reform Commission meeting yesterday demanding the SRC reject the attempt by the District to turn over three elementary schools to charter companies. A series of speakers, including parents and staff from the three schools denounced the District’s failure to give parents any meaningful say in the fate of their schools.

PFT President Jerry Jordan  told the crowd: “It’s time to try something different. It’s time to strengthen public education in Philadelphia through community schools, as has been done in Baltimore, Chicago, St. Paul and Cincinnati.”

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Jerry Jordan  photo credit: Newsworks

Kenya Holmes-Nation, a parent leader at Wister, expressed the frustrarion of dozen of parents at the District, undemocratic process and called for Wister to become a community school.

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Kenya Nation Holmes  photo credit Newsworks

Speakers also faulted the Renaissance  charter initaitive as expensive, destablizing and unfair.  PCAPS coordinator Ron Whitehorne noted that “an internal study by the District found that the majority of charter operators had not met their performance goals.   At two schools, Bluford and Douglas, the District chose not to renew Universal and Young Scholars, respectively as operators.   At one school, Birney, the operator went bankrupt.   ASPIRA, another charter company favored by the District, is under a cloud with unanswered questions about financial mismanagement as well as poor academic performance”

Parents and staff at the three schools are vowing to fight.   PCAPS will be joining this fight both at the schools and city wide.   Sign our open letter to the SRC, come out to next week’s  City Council hearing, Wednesday at l p.m. in Council Chambers to speak out.

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