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Is anyone reading the Inquirer series on Philly schools?

I am just... I have no words and no answers.  You can't even blame anyone in particular - plenty of blame to share among students, parents, teachers, administrators

I get super bent by Arlene Ackerman though.  She is like the Joe Banner of the PSD - super intelligent, probably a nice person IRL, but utterly and completely out of touch with what is happening, not to mention horrible at PR

Here's just a sampling from her

"When young people rush into a classroom, when they roam the halls, that's an adult problem - of the educators in that school," Ackerman said, referring to Teshada's assault at Audenried. "Having been a teacher, having been a principal, I never had that happen in my classroom, and I sure didn't have it happen in my school, because we were clear about what we would tolerate, what was acceptable and what wasn't."

Way to separate yourself from the problem and blame your teachers

image
DS 3.12.08
DD 7.11.09
DD 8.01.13

Re: Is anyone reading the Inquirer series on Philly schools?

  • Hell yeah I am. I've been researching private and catholic schools since reading it.
  • As someone who previously taught in a Philadelphia high school, I can't even begin to express my anger and hatred toward Ackerman.  There is so, so much more that people don't realize- like how she wrote up my principal for reporting assaults and suspensions properly, and tried to enforce a rule to only have a certain percentage of assaults/issues reported so that she could continue to say since she came into office things were improving statistics/numberwise.  I have zero respect for her.  She'll be gone in June though- she'll get her bonus, and leave- and stay on our payroll forever, just like Vallas.  
    [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/358vw3t.jpg[/IMG]
    Aisling Rose 8/8/10
    Declan James 9/18/12
  • I haven't read up on it completely. However, my BFF(a public school teacher) & I were talking recently and she was saying how bad of a school Lincoln has become. One day the security guards (at her middle school in NE Philly) had to all go over to Lincoln because they were rioting. I looked at her and said "security guards in middle school??" and she was just as shocked to hear that Andrews school didn't have them. It was honestly an eye opener when I told her none of the catholic schools that I know of have security guards at all.

    She was born and raised in public schools and I was catholic school raised. It's very eye opening when comparing all the differences.

  • my favorite was reading the article today when one of the men interviewed said that a pregnant teacher should be able to protect herself and if that meant giving in to the demands of a student and reporting disciplinary action later then so be it.  he also said that a different female teacher should have been able to restrain a 65lb student until help arrived......

    um no dude, i am not a prison guard or a cop.  i will not restrain someone.  if she had the parents would have sued and then she would have been dealing with trying to save her job.  ugh. 

    i truly respect the people who can go in and teach in these environments on a daily basis.  i don't think that i would be able to do it.   

    image
  • image ering1115:

    my favorite was reading the article today when one of the men interviewed said that a pregnant teacher should be able to protect herself and if that meant giving in to the demands of a student and reporting disciplinary action later then so be it.  he also said that a different female teacher should have been able to restrain a 65lb student until help arrived......

    that guy was a total douche. all his comments were the worst and made him look ridiculous.  

     

    some other thoughts:

    --school psychologists are super important at inner city schools, alot of this kids need help, a lot of these parents need help identifying that. my friend works as one in brooklyn and i here really similar stories from her.  

    --working in an urban school is not for everyone. are we seeking out the best and most qualified teachers for these enviorments?

    --are charters the answer? 

     

  • I'm answering these based on my experience...I realize this may not be the case in 100% of situations. 

    --school psychologists are super important at inner city schools, alot of this kids need help, a lot of these parents need help identifying that. my friend works as one in brooklyn and i here really similar stories from her.  Unfortunately, many parents refuse to allow their child to be seen and/or tested- it's like they don't want to identify a weakness or maybe they just don't care, but without their consent (and cooperation in attending to follow-up to any diagnosis), nothing can be done.  Also, there is such a shortage of counselors in the schools many schools- where I was, there were 3 counselors on staff, one of whom was out on disability for an entire school year- and we were a large high school with over 1200 kids.

    --working in an urban school is not for everyone. are we seeking out the best and most qualified teachers for these enviorments? I see this as two-fold.  First, Philly doesn't have the money to attract the best of the best (in general- there are some awesome teachers who choose to be here).  Once you put your time in, you many times end up transfering to a better school (read: less violence, etc.), so turnover in the more difficult schools is high.  Secondly, there are people like me, who want to help, and believe they can, and work their butts off...but in the end just burn out so bad with the demands of these situations.

    --are charters the answer? If run properly, they can be.  I taught in a charter school also, and they had no textbooks, and no curriculum!  I was a first year teacher and was told to just make things up- and I was teaching 12th grade!  I seriously could have shown movies every day and been OK.  A friend of mine teaches at a charter school whose mission includes technology accessibity and training- and they don't have a single computer in the classrooms!  Ho schools like these continue to get funding is beyond me.  Then again, I know of some charters that seem to be really good and on the level...so I guess it depends on how dedicated the head of school, staff, parents, etc. are.  Charters could be the answer if they were properly monitored...but again, back to the problem of manpower and money.

    Geez, I feel like a downer...

     

    [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/358vw3t.jpg[/IMG]
    Aisling Rose 8/8/10
    Declan James 9/18/12
  • image lachute:
    image ering1115:

    my favorite was reading the article today when one of the men interviewed said that a pregnant teacher should be able to protect herself and if that meant giving in to the demands of a student and reporting disciplinary action later then so be it.  he also said that a different female teacher should have been able to restrain a 65lb student until help arrived......

    that guy was a total douche. all his comments were the worst and made him look ridiculous.  

     

    some other thoughts:

    --school psychologists are super important at inner city schools, alot of this kids need help, a lot of these parents need help identifying that. my friend works as one in brooklyn and i here really similar stories from her.  

    --working in an urban school is not for everyone. are we seeking out the best and most qualified teachers for these enviorments?

    --are charters the answer? 

     

     

    In regards to the school psychologist comment.  I am a school psychologist, and in SDP all the school psychologists do is testing and assessment for special education.  They do not have the time or resources for counseling, mental health services, and behavior interventions unfortunately.  I think part of the solution would be increased amounts of counselors, psychologists, mental health workers, etc.  

    image Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • In today's article it said that the counselors they do have are used to "fill in" as teachers, admins or whatever.  So they barely get to do their job as it is!

    ETA - oh and ering - totally agreed.  I almost fell off the elliptical today when I read that guy's comments.  Someone also was quoted as saying that some teachers don't handle the confrontations properly.  Well how are they supposed to know what to do when there is a threat of violence?  It is the SD's job to train them

    image
    DS 3.12.08
    DD 7.11.09
    DD 8.01.13
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