Thursday, September 11, 2014

We will not be silent: What parents want around state accountability | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

We will not be silent: What parents want around state accountability | Philadelphia Public School Notebook:



We will not be silent: What parents want around state accountability

By Helen Gym on Sep 11, 2014 09:38 AM
Photo: Parent United for Public Education
Parents United's Robin Roberts, with Sen. Larry Farnese (3rd from right) and Sen. Vincent Hughes (far right), at a press conference announcing the reopening of the www.myphillyschools.com complaints website.
A child dealt with the death of a parent with no counselor available during a time of extreme distress.
A high school student started each period searching for desks and chairs, because her classes were so overcrowded.
A 7-year-old with emotional and learning needs began regressing and scratched himself bloody during class, because a classroom aide and full-time counselor were no longer available like they were the year before.
A Bartram High parent filed a complaint in October about multiple assaults, disruptions, and a lack of staffing, while her honors student struggled: “I have serious concerns about my child’s safety,” she wrote, presaging violence at Bartram that would make national news later in the year.
These are just a handful of examples among the 825 complaints filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) by parents, educators, and students last year as the District’s “doomsday budget” unfolded. None of these earned an investigation  from state officials.
Pennsylvania state law allows for any individual to file a complaint with PDE for curriculum deficiencies and obligates the state to conduct an investigation of that complaint. That was our intention when Parents United for Public Education and our attorneys at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia launched a major campaign last year to hold the state accountable for the consequences of enforcing a doomsday budget .
Parents responded. Hundreds of complaints poured in from more than 90 different schools across the District. From overcrowding to school safety to lack of textbooks to school services, the complaints show that parents and families care deeply about the quality of their education in schools all across this city.
Parents United believes the complaints had some effect on shaking  loose more than $45 million in federal money the state was holding in return for teachers’ union We will not be silent: What parents want around state accountability | Philadelphia Public School Notebook:

Notes from the news, Sept. 11
Former Bok principal surrenders credentials in cheating scandal. Notebook Philly parents file suit against Pa. Department of Education. NewsWorks Coalitions can change the game for Philadelphia schools. Notebook The Notebook Fall Guide to High Schools is now available. Notebook Retired principal surrenders credentials in cheating scandal. Inquirer Former Bok principal implicated in cheating scand

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