- The Ingredients for Great Schools are Here
- Another Hurdle for Philadelphia's Educators
- The Vergara Ruling: Very Significant, Very Misguided, Very Dangerous
- The New Normal
- Something Real to Fight For
- The "Work Rule" Myth
- "Action Plan v2.0" Sounds Very Familiar...
- Message Received—Time for the Next Step
- Fighting Poverty: 'Tis More Than Just a Season
- Nov 20: PFT Testimony Before the City Council Education Committee
- When Talking School Improvement, Words Do Matter
- $10 Million in Bad Faith
- PFT Testimony Before the City Council Appropriations Committee
- Leveling: Another Low Point for the District and the SRC
- PFT President Jerry Jordan Reemphasizes Call to Restore All Laid Off School Employees
- The $45 Million Question--and Answers
- Focus on What Matters in Philadelphia Schools
- On The Latest Report Card Scheme, the District Gets an “F” for Fairness
- Governor Corbett Sends a Clear Message to Philly Students and Educators
- Jerry Jordan's End of the Year Message to Educators
- It’s No Secret—Public Education is Under Attack
- Too Much Sacrifice to Share
- The SRC, School District Can’t Ignore Us Much Longer
- 02/12/2013: Jerry Jordan's Testimony to the City Council Education Committee
- When Loud Cries Meet Deaf Ears: The SRC’s Version of Community Input
- The Real Lesson Being Taught at Penn Alexander
- The PCAPS Plan: A Chance to Move from Confrontation to Collaboration:
- Jerry Jordan Testifies at City Council
- Destroying Good Public Schools = Bad Education Reform
- A letter to City Council on "swaps"
- Ratings don’t fix schools, resources do
- For kids, school budget cuts affect more than the three “Rs.”
- WE’VE HEARD THEIR IDEAS. IT’S TIME FOR THEM TO LISTEN TO OURS.
- EDUCATION REFORMS THAT WORK—THEY DO EXIST!
- Staying the (wrong) course
- Education Reform Dollars are Flowing--Just Not to Our Schools
- PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS: IT CAN HAPPEN!
- Blockbuster Education Reform
- NEW FIRM, OLD RESULTS: EDUCATION REFORMS THAT FAIL OUR STUDENTS
- PFT Welcomes New Superintendent
- While we were in our classrooms, others marched
- Why doesn’t the SRC trust its teachers?
- Message to SRC: Stop Experimenting on our Kids
- House Democratic Policy Committee Meets in Philly
- SRC 'restructuring' plan isn't about students or achievement
- Tuesday is Election Day. Please vote!
- Stop converting public schools to charter schools
- Teachers are professionals
- Subtracting safety from the school equation
- Our $61-million question to the SRC: Who can we trust?
- It takes resources to make schools safe and secure
- Paychecks late again. Shame!
- School Nurses provide vital services to kids
- What's left to cut?
- PFT will be very involved in district's facilities planning process
- Voucher bill will take money from poorest schools
- Contact your senators NOW: Tell them: vote NO on VOUCHERS
- Contact your senators: Tell them vote NO on vouchers
- Members Overwhelmingly Approve Contract Extension
- Special Membership Meeting
- Rhee's plan to reintroduce bias to layoff process
- Reconstituting the SRC
- Support the American Jobs Act
- Welcome Back
- Finally, some encouraging news
- New school year, new leadership
- Changes in Attitude
- Full Steam Ahead to the New School Year
- Erroneous Daily News Story Causing Confusion
- Teachers at the Top of Their Game
- A good week for Democracy
- What does closing school kitchens teach our students?
- Where there’s a will, there’s a way to make schools safe
- Solidarity Forever
- LIFO - A Fight for Fairness
- District's Expenditure 'Reprehensible'
- Fund Public Education
- Thank You, PFT members, for picketing for school funding
- Layoffs - District's Public Statements Cause Panic Among Members
- PFT is outraged by SDP cuts to early childhood education
- Senate delays voucher vote to April 26
- Focusing on violence in our schools
- Bad schools or bad formula?
- PFT Goes to Court for First Amendment Rights
- We will not be intimidated
- PFT never 'negotiated' turning our schools into charters
- We can improve schools without privatizing them
- First order of business in state Senate - Vouchers
- PFT members aren't waiting for Superman
- Violent behavior & bullying will not be tolerated
- Democrat or Republican: Education should unite, not divide us
- Elections are on Tues., Nov. 2.
- School reform 'manifesto' unfairly targets teachers
- One Nation Working Together should be more than a slogan
- Getting Serious About Safety
- SDP: Stop Justifying Violence
- Beginning a new year with optimism
- Early Intervention Needed to Raise Graduation Rates
- Putting a federal windfall to good use
- Counting our blessings
- VICTORY! House Passes Education Jobs, Medicaid Bill
- If you’re not outraged, you aren’t paying attention
- We’re almost there! Act now to save education jobs!
- We Did It!
- Last chance to save education jobs!
- Turning Up the Heat on Learning (Part II)
- Turning up the heat on learning
- The PFT will pursue the issue of unlicensed principals
- Make a call today to help colleagues facing layoffs
- Please Don't Forget to Vote Tuesday
- Recognizing the exceptional teachers honors us all
- Florida teachers turn back an anti-teacher bill
- Congratulations to 16 new National Board Certified Teachers
- Scapegoating and firing teachers won't help kids
- Education Headlines Give Pause to Teachers, Staff
- New Contract Protects PFT Members in Renaissance 'Eligible' Schools
- Please Support Haiti Earthquake Victims
- Talks Intensify as January 15 Deadline Approaches
- No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope it is a happy, healthy one
- More resources needed to make schools safe
- Accountability for One
- Negotiations Update
- Families across the region are struggling, but we have the power to give them hope
- The Listening Tour
- New PFT ad shines a spotlight on school safety
- Welcoming the AFT's back-to-school tour
- Administration accentuates the negative - again
- A state budget is prerequisite for new PFT-SDP contract
- Support House Bill 1416
- Welcome to our new Webpage and my blog
Students, parents and school staff should be outraged at the district’s decision to eliminate 91 per diem school police officers on Friday, as the SRC tries to close its latest budget deficit.
District officials have assured parents that city police will step in to fill the gap created by the loss of 211 school police officers since June. With violent crime in the city skyrocketing this year, does the city really have the resources to help keep the peace in schools?
These layoffs follow six months of cuts that have left our schools with fewer teachers, non-teaching assistants, counselors, classroom assistants, secretaries, school operations officers, community liaisons, school nurses, clerks and other education professionals hired to support learning and improve the school climate.
The cuts come on the heels of the latest report on school violence, which was released last month by a city-district blue ribbon commission. The report called for better violence prevention programs, improved reporting of school crime, greater transparency and more training for staff – none of which seems likely with the huge cuts in school staff.
With every deficit-reducing cut, it has become more difficult for the remaining staff to make schools safer. The district may be saving money with these cuts, but we have to consider the long-term cost. The National Dropout Prevention Center reports that only half the kids in America feel safe at school and tens of thousands of students nationwide are truant because they feel threatened or bullied.
If we want kids to learn and thrive, we have to create a learning environment where they feel safe and supported. And no amount of metal detectors, cameras, swipe-cards and computers can replace trained school employees, who know students by name, who have earned their trust and can work proactively to keep kids safe.
We know how to make schools safe. We need consistent rules, positive reinforcement, proven anti-bullying and anti-violence programs and consistent consequences from the time children enter kindergarten until they graduate. We have to teach and model the behavior we expect from children every day, year after year, and demonstrate in big and small ways that students will be rewarded if they practice self control.
There are no shortcuts, no videos or technology that can take the place of caring, trained adults. In a city where three-quarters of our children live in poverty, teachers and support staff must have the resources and time to teach students the lessons that children from wealthier families get at home.
Schools that are stripped of staff and resources won’t be successful in teaching teach kids these valuable life lessons. Cut after cut leaves our schools less able to do the important job of shaping the next generation of citizens and leaders.
Cuts in personnel and after-school programs are just the latest of the district’s budget solutions that don’t add up to safer schools or higher achievement for kids.