Earlier this week, the City of Philadelphia announced “A Blueprint for Transforming Philadelphia’s Public Schools,” a sweeping overhaul of Philly’s predominantly black public school system.
Changes include the closing of a whopping 64 schools and a half a million dollars in budget cuts over the next five years, and the reorganizing of the remaining schools into “achievement networks” led by teams of educators or nonprofit institutions.
The idea is allegedly to make the school system more efficient. Specifically, the city hopes to close 40 schools by next year, and then five more each year until 2017. They estimate that 40 percent of students in Philly’s public school system will be moving to charter schools. Staff at school headquarters will be reduced from 600 to 250 employees. Scores of teachers will lose their jobs.
Many are outraged that the City of Philadelphia plans to utterly dismantle its public school system, and parcel out its largely poor and black students to charter schools. Is the goal to educate our youth, or misguide and inevitably fail them?
“The fix has been in for a long time, and not just in Philadelphia. Philly’s school problems are anything but unique. The city has a lot of poor and black children. Our ruling classes don’t want to invest in educating these young people, preferring instead to track into lifetimes of insecure, low-wage labor and/or prison. Our elites don’t need a populace educated in critical thinking. So low-cost holding tanks that deliver standardized lessons and tests, via computer if possible, operated by profit-making “educational entrepreneurs” are the way to go. The business class can pocket the money which used to pay for teachers’ and custodians’ retirement and health benefits, for music and literature and gym classes, for sports and science labs and theater and all that other stuff that used to be wasted on public school children.
The national vision of ruling Democrats and Republicans and the elites who fund them is to starve, discredit, denounce and strangle public education. Philly and its children, parents, communities and teachers are only the latest victims of business-class school reform. And they won’t be the last.”
Is there a war on public education?
Will our youth get the education they need and deserve at for-profit charter schools?
Sound off below!