Estelle Matthews, the School District of Philadelphia’s new human resources director, says she was doing what she was told. Dr. Ackerman, School District CEO, says she was dismayed at the mistakes made in sending out contracts with blanks for salary to Philadelphia Teachers for them to individually sign and return. But despite the mistakes made in the first contracts sent out, Dr. Ackerman insists new ones will be sent, and teachers will sign and return them by September 1st or risk losing their jobs. The teachers union, in opposition to Dr. Ackerman’s stated belief, has informed its members that it is not a state requirement for tenured teachers to do this. Approximatly 10,700 jobs are at stake.
To say relations are strained between Dr. Ackerman and her teachers is putting it mild.
Interestingly her relations with principals are no better. Usually it is about 15 principals who show up to their union meeting. At their most recent event they had 100. This upbeat in unionism by principals is most likely due to Dr. Ackerman’s pledge to remove principals whose schools fall short goals.
After blowing off meetings with Philadelphia’s grass roots education organizations twice, their support for her may also be waning.
On top of that two members of the SRC voted to delay action on her proposal to enlarge the discipline contract for a private non-union operator with a spotty record, at the expense of union employed teachers who work for the current contract holder.
Clearly it has not been a good week for Dr. Ackerman.
A line has been drawn but it seems no one is planning to stay on their side it. A brawl is brewing in Philadelphia