December 4, 2013
To the Editors of the Philadelphia Inquirer
Ken Derstine @ Defend Public Education

November 29, 2013
More on Broad in Philadelphia
Ken Derstine @ Defend Public Education

November 13, 2013
Who are the educational reformers and why should anyone listen to them?
Eileen Defranco @ Philadelphia Newsworks

October 23, 2013
My name is Kristin Luebbert, and I am a teacher in Philadelphia. When we talk about these huge numbers it all seems very ephemeral—what does it really mean to say that twenty buildings keep almost $15 million in revenue away from the Philadelphia schools that desperately need it? Or that the 20 buildings with the largest 10-year tax abatements are cumulatively valued at more than $2.2 billion? Or that 10 Rittenhouse Square gets an abatement for most of its value, which costs the schools over $1 million annually? What does it mean to say that these losses in revenue could fund 446 Counselors for our schools?

I can tell you what it would mean to two of my students, right now, this week!"
Read more at A Good Day Teaching


October 16, 2013
School Performance Framework: This parent sees it for what it is, Dr. Hite. [An open letter]

Dear Dr. Hite,

After a three-month hiatus, thank you for providing parents another opportunity for input on your new “School Performance Framework.” I find it interesting that the Office of Family and Community Engagement set up the meeting for the Saturday morning of a long weekend and chose to only contact one community group, the Greater Center City Neighborhood School Coalition. That group was given just three days notice. Even so I was happy to see 60+ parents, teachers, students, and community members attend the 9am meeting in the auditorium of Chester Arthur Elementary last Saturday. I must say what struck me as I approached the school was the large number of police cars in the vicinity. At least a dozen school police and regular officers were stationed outside Chester Arthur to ensure stakeholders didn’t get out of hand (we didn’t). I can only imagine the impression this was meant to convey to those of us attending. How much did that police presence cost?

In August you abruptly cancelled five public meetings on the topic of School Report Cards after attendees at the first community meeting emphatically said we didn’t see the need for such a tool. We felt it was redundant with existing measures of evaluation and inappropriate given the current funding crisis. Then at Saturday’s meeting you confirmed that the “School Performance Framework” was a continuation of the “School Report Card” project undertaken this summer. Evidently now that the school year was underway, you felt the district had resources to direct to this project once again. Audience members questioned you when you said this, since the deadline to level classes had been postponed another two weeks. We all felt the district’s resources should focus on the needs of children in overcrowded and split grades. It is very worrisome to hear the district is 4,000 students below enrollment projections. What will that mean in terms of additional layoffs?

To read the entire open letter click here: School Performance Framework

October 3, 2013
POWER video
People Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild

October 1, 2013
Our Schools Are Not For Sale (video)
Media Mobilizing Project and Alliance for Public Schools

October 1, 2013
About Those Pencil Donations
Will Bunch @ Attytood - Philadelphia Daily News

September 30, 2013
poetry slam slams corporate ed reform in Boston
YouTube

September 26, 2013
Teachers told of funding cut for accelerated learning AP/IB programs
Philadelphia City Paper

September 24, 2013
Editor's support for school librariesi
Stephen Segal @ Philadelphia Weekly

September 24, 2013
Starved Schools Taken Off of Life Support
Ken Derstine @ Defend Public Schools

September 8, 2013
The Battle Continues for Safe and Equitable Schools
Tamarah Anderson @ The Examiner

August 14, 2013
Low Performing Seats
Eileen Difranco - Philadelphia Inquirer
August 16, 2013

A Crib Sheet for the Rhee/Perry Tour
Jersey Jazzman

July 31, 2013
A Story About Michelle Rhee That No One Will Print
John Merrow @ Taking Note

July 21, 2013
The Summer of Our Discontent: On being on an impending train wreck in the Philadelphia public schools
Ken Derstine @ Defend Public Education

June 3, 2013
The 2013-14 "Doomsday Budget" of the School District of Philadelphia: How Did It Come To This?
Ken Derstine @ Defend Public Education

April 30, 2013
PA Violates Its Own Constitution
Ken Derstine @ Defend Public Education

April 11, 2013
Michelle Rhee's Reign of Error
John Merrow @ Taking Note

February 24, 2013
Who is Eli Broad and why is he trying to destroy public education?
Ken Derstine @ Defend Public Education

May 18, 2012
In the City of Corporate Love and Beyond: Boston Consulting Group, Gates and the Filthy Rich
The Common Errant