District, Teachers Headed for Likely Showdown

Bill Green takes SRC chair, urges changes in teacher work rules.

Superintendent William Hite on Tuesday signaled, again, that the district is headed toward a showdown with the teachers union over work rules in the teachers contract, the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

“Because we’re approaching the second school year, we don’t have time to continue with the status quo and the status quo for how we assign staff to schools,” Hite said.

“We’re . . . beginning to make those decisions for next year. The action plan we’ve been talking about over the last several days – it’s much harder to implement, in fact, if we’re operating with the current rules and structures. Part of that is gaining more flexibility, and that’s what we’ve proposed to the PFT.”

Hite and new School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green want freedom to assign resources away from underperforming and failing schools—both public and charter. They’ve said previously that work rules that assign more freedom and protections to teachers with more seniority are hindering their plans.

Green said last week he was ready to use the SRC’s powers to unilaterally impose new contract terms—with new work rules—on the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Such action is thought likely to provoke a lawsuit, however, and possibly even a teachers strike, though PFT leader Jerry Jordan hasn’t publicly tipped his hand on the matter.

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  • 4 a better Philly

    Dear SRC, Superintendent Hite is now the 3rd or 4th SRC selection to lead the PSD into the future… each superintendent brings in their people with their brilliant innovative think tank ideas, and additional administrative positions. The PSD then spend critical teaching minutes and budget money on implementing these innovative ideas (which seems to end up always including additional new district wide testing for several days looking for whatever national, state and local norms that are trending at the time. The results are some of the following .
    1. The teachers contract is blamed and challenged ..
    2. PSD/students/teachers/administrators have to do more with less
    3. Though not necessarily a result, but since the number of students in the PSD has dropped, class size has not changed for more than thirty years, and only then because the union had to put the class size number issues (I believe is still 33 students per grades 3-12) into the contract)…the one result however is the SRC has closed schools. They moved students away from their neighborhood schools into charter or other area PSD schools further away from their homes.
    4. Continual reduction of the budget while looking to improve student outcomes.
    5. Schools without needed coverage for nursing, counselors, aides, and security.
    6. Other results, some positive some not.

    I leave you with these two suggestions for the PSD’s future.
    1. If you want the school district’s students to improve, start ADVOCATING for the children, by improving the wellness of all the students and employees (physical, emotional, social and mental needs)
    2. Please do a statistical/analytical study of the class size, teacher accountability measures, salary, the ratio of nurse/counselor/special needs teachers and aides to the successful regional schools in the area…and then compare that to what we have in Philadelphia. Use these statistics to assist our students to improve and compete with these successful area programs, through new contracts with the PFT.
    2a..2014-15 school year… reduce class size immediately to 24 max per class…

    • matthew brandley

      How can you accomplish this when over 1/3 of the city is on some type of goverment assistance? pays no taxes, either city wage real estate or any other type of tax? Have you heard of demographics? theres a declining birth rate. who wants to have kids in this messed up world with a commie as president? No body can afford to raise a kid in phila with one of the highest tax bases in the country right now. The avg city budget over 1/2 goes for pension for city and school district employees! so again you tell me where does that leave the city any money left to do much of anything else? Again educate before ranting please

      • The Drunken Cyclist

        “commie as president” and “educate before ranting” in the same paragraph–now that’s comedy!

        • matthew brandley

          Eh truth hurts you libs doesnt it? If thats all you can go after me for is my grammar than f u you useless maggot. btw I bet you where not even aware tha the neshaminy school district teachers went 5 years with ou a ontract before setteling this past fall ae you? Now whos the uneducated moron on here? you are! see ya lib!

          • The Drunken Cyclist

            Yet another rant with ad hominem attacks. You realize that absolutely no one takes you even remotely seriously, right? At best you are a laughing stock. At worst, you are a hate filled racist.

          • matthew brandley

            A racist? typical liberal when all I did was point out the facts and a loser like you cant stand the truth! HATEFUL? no . maybe liberals are when they are confronted with all the facts which is exactly what you have become loser. So sorry you have such a mental health issue buddy boy! Try living with the facts in life instead of denial .