APPS history

The Alliance for Public Schools, a grass-roots organization of education activists, was founded in November 2012 by retired teachers Karel Kilimnik and Lisa Haver. After years of watching the destructive actions of the School Reform Commission, it became clear to us that we needed to follow the money to see who was making decisions behind closed doors.

In January 2013, APPS members requested admittance, and were denied, to the board meetings of the William Penn Foundation after its multi-million grant to the Boston Consulting Group. The resulting BCG plan recommended a radical overhaul of the district, including school closures, more charter schools and the creation of non-geographic administrative offices which could be run by non-educators. APPS members subsequently demanded that the public be admitted to meetings of both the Philadelphia School Partnership and the Great Schools Compact Committee as crucial decisions about funding, administrative training and development were again being made behind closed doors. Both refused to allow public participation. [See below for details on these organizations.]

Since APPS’s inception last year, the organization has grown to include school staff (both active and retired teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses), parents, and community members. Members regularly attend and speak at SRC meetings and community meetings on issues including school closures, funding and the new School Performance Index.

Some 2013 APPS highlights:

November 2013 Conversation with City Paper Writer Daniel Denvir
APPS organizes community meetings to further our understanding of who is making decisions, without public input, about public education.

October 2013 Vigil for Laporshia Massey
APPS members join Philadelphia school nurses in responding to the tragic death of a Philadelphia sixth grader who died after having an asthma attack at school. Parents and community members demanded that every school have a nurse.
School nurse and APPS member Eileen DiFranco speaks on Real News.

October 2013 Our Schools Are Not For Sale
APPS members Eileen Duffey and Ken Derstine, along with the Media Mobilizing Project, co-produced a nine minute video in which teachers, parenst, and students voice their anger and frustration about the effects of privatization on public education.

September 2013 Stop the Edu-Vultures Rally
When the corporate raiders who call themselves reformers came to roost in their natural habitat—the Union League--APPS was there to tell them: “Our Schools Are Not for Sale”.

September 2013 Michelle Rhee Is Not An Educator
APPS members organized an informational picket outside Temple University during Rhee’s self-described “dialogue” with teachers.

August 2013 Challenge to SRC
The Philadelphia Inquirer publishes APPS member Eileen DiFranco's editorial: The Lowest Performing Seats. Who occupies them? The five members of the SRC and the Superintendent.
A must read!

July 2013 Community Education
The Germantown Chronicle publishes APPS co-founder’s two part overview: Who Controls Philadelphia’s Schools?