Thursday, February 18, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Philly School Commission Gets Spanked

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Philly School Commission Gets Spanked:

PA: Philly School Commission Gets Spanked

 Philly schools are, by any measure, a mess. And after almost two decades, they are a prime example of how badly state takeover districts fail.

In the nineties, the school gave up lost local control in exchange for enough funding to survive. In 2001, the state installed the School Reform Commission, a board created by the legislature and  made out of politicians appointed at the state and city level. Of course, the advantage is that politically appointed boards know secrets to effectively running school districts that locally elected boards do not. Ha! Just kidding. Despite its insistence that it could do better, the SRC doesn't know a damn thing about running school systems-- but they have certainly learned a lot. And the states supreme court just delivered another lesson.

In the process of gaining an education, the SRC has managed to anger just about everybody on every side of the education debates. Their overwhelming concern became coming up with more money because, shockingly, it turns out you can't just reverse the effects of Pennsylvania's cockamamie inadequate funding system just by Tightening Your Belt and Being More Efficient. So the SRC went looking for money everywhere.

They angered teachers by finding money in staffing. They found this money by unilaterally declaring that they would honor neither their contract nor state law. They declared for themselves the power that reformsters like TNTP dream of-- the power to ignore seniority in staffing choices. This power 
CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Philly School Commission Gets Spanked: