I attended an end of year party. The teachers in attendance were joyous and the room was filled with laughter. It was a reunion of sorts, as several teachers no longer on the faculty came to say goodbye. It was the last time they would all be together.
Next year, the school buildings 100th birthday, it will no longer be a public school. The building is being turned into a charter school. Although a few teachers were asked to remain, none chose to stay. The new charter will have a longer day and a longer school year, but offered no increase in salary. Teachers were expected to work an extra 20 hours a month + 3 full weeks in July for the same money they are paid now.
Not exactly fair is it? That’s why teachers need unions.
Here was a school that just a few short years ago had it together. A tight staff led by a supportive administration, teachers had bought in, worked hard, test scores were up, and no one transferred out of this school. Then the principal retired. The new principal gave no support to staff, blamed them for the problems this inner city high poverty school faced, and after one year teachers left in droves. In the second year some took early retirement in the middle of the year. By spring the amount of teachers seeking transfers multiplies exponentially. This year test scores went down. When it was announced the school was being given to a charter operator, no one decided to stay.
If there is a way to turn a school around to the dark side the school the School District of Philadelphia has demonstrated how to do it. Their plan to improve schools, hire someone to manage the school.
What do we pay these school administrators for?