New York Times Tries to Tell Philly Why Its Schools Are Broken

The Times ran a big piece today trying to break down exactly why Philly schools are so utterly messed up. Players who come out looking bad:

1. The teachers union

The teachers’ union said it believes no further changes are necessary to allow the release of the money…All told, the district is asking for $133 million in union concessions and other trims, including the teacher pay cut, but the union is so far refusing to surrender.

2. Nutter, City Council, SRC

Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the City Council have been working, with some success and a fair amount of taxpayer pain, to shore up the city’s finances, which have been troubled by mounting debt, a shrinking tax base and unfunded pension and health care obligations to retirees. But the school district, supported by the same weary municipal taxpayers, though under the control of a state reform commission for more than a decade, had been largely ignored.

3. The New York Times

The most prominently quoted parent in this article, who calls the current crisis “deliberate starvation,” is one Helen Gym, who happens to be the most prominent public school activist in Philadelphia. A outspoken critic of Nutter, the SRC, and much of the school reform movement, it’s a little ridiculous to identify her simply as a public school parent. Everyone following the schools knows exactly who she is and where she stands.

To sum up: No one looks good and the Times doesn’t have any answers for us either. Sorry.