Joyful Solidarity with Fight for 15 on 4/15


This Wednesday, join the Education Contingent at 4:00pm on the SE Corner of 30th and Market to march for a just economic system for all Philadelphians. Palumbo H.S. teacher Anissa Weinraub explains why we will be there in "joyful solidarity":

From my vantage as a teacher in the Philadelphia public schools, the Fight for 15 campaigners are not just fierce workers organizing for a better employment situation; rather, they are whole people -- the families of my students, the residents of my school community, the former graduates of my classroom.  And I am going to show up this Wednesday, April 15, to join with thousands of Philadelphians and march in support of the Fight For 15.    

You should be there too.
If you've ever taught a student who didn't have secure housing, enough food to eat, or regular health care because their family didn't have the money -- you should be there.
If you've ever had to wake up a groggy student in class who was up late working a low paying service job to help out with the bills in their family -- you should be there.
If you've ever had a student tell you they didn't do their homework or couldn't participate in an afterschool club because they have to take care of their younger siblings while their parents are out at their 2nd or 3rd jobs just to scrape by -- you should be there.
And more broadly:
If you've ever benefitted by having union protection and/or a collectively bargained contract -- you should be there.
If you've ever done the math and realize that a family just cannot survive on $7.25/hour -- you should be there. 
If you've joined in the recent protests and movement work directed toward racial justice, demanding that Black Lives Matter -- you should be there.
I am humbled and inspired by the courageousness of this action -- not simply to strike on Wednesday -- but to insist that we, as workers, as a city, as a whole society, can join in collective action to push back against a deeply inequitable economic system and instead build toward a changed future that prioritizes people over profit.  
Things will kick off at the McDonald's on Broad and Arch at 3pm, and will then march through the city toward 30th Street Station.  The Caucus of Working Educators will have an educator solidarity meet-up spot at 4pm at the SE corner of 30th and Market. 

Read the whole blog post here. See you on Wednesday!


WE Welcomes Caravana 43 of Ayotzinapa Families

"As we learned that these idealistic and dedicated young people were teachers they became part of our family as well." 

This Friday, parents of the 43 teaching students who were forcibly disappeared in Mexico last year will be visiting Philadelphia for an event hosted by La Casa Latina @ UPenn.

Working Educators is proud to welcome these brave parents to our city, and founding WE member Tatiana Olmedo explains why this event will be important and powerful:

In late September 2014 we learned that 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa had disappeared in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. These student teachers clashed with local authorities and were taken into custody and never heard from again.  These student teachers came from the communities in rural Mexico that endure extreme poverty and where people live in precarious conditions. The Teachers Schools they attend were established to give the young people of these areas an opportunity to create a better society and continue to give back to their communities. Their teachers’ training is rooted in social justice and working to educate people about their rights and demanding a true democracy in Mexico.

As the world learned of this tragedy we grieved with the families. As we learned that these idealistic and dedicated young people were teachers they became part of our family as well.  Their struggle for justice and democracy is similar to our struggle for our public schools, our communities and our own democracy. Meeting parents of these young heroes and listening to their accounts of their fight with the Mexican government for justice is a great opportunity and a chance to connect the dots in relation to the neoliberal reform movement and its place within public education. 

Please join us on Friday, 4/10 at 4:30pm at Penn's Towne Heilmeier Hall Room 100 (220 South 33rd St.). Click here for more info and to RSVP.

The Caravana 43 families will be speaking at a number of other events in Philly, which you can find out about here.

644451_10206042285041470_3985077235022562007_n.jpg (Translation: "They tried to bury us, but they didn't know that we were seeds")


Oppose Charter Expansion Tomorrow: What would you buy our schools with $273 mil?


As Philadelphia educators, parents, and community members, we know the kind of schools every student in the city deserves.

Tomorrow the School Reform Commission will vote on the 39 applications for new Charter Schools. Working Educators will be there throughout the meeting to say "We Can't Afford More Charter Schools".

We are not alone. At the meeting tomorrow we will be joining allies from PCAPS, Action United, Parents United for Public Education, Youth United for Change, and more.

Furthermore, every Mayoral candidate has signed on to a letter saying "No New Charters" (except Anthony Williams, of course), as well as City Council President Darrel Clarke, Councilman Wilson Goode Jr., many City Council candidates, and other community organizations. 

We know what our schools need. In letter after letter written to the SRC opposing these new charters, WE members expressed the beautiful communities that exist in our public schools, despite an already dire financial situation. As one educator remarks:

For me, the Richmond School is an upbeat example of what a neighborhood school can be. It has strong roots in the community. It serves as common ground for students and staff of different racial groups, ethnic groups and cultural traditions, a building where we can come together in a calm and nurturing place. Generations of families have been welcome here. The stable, experienced staff is lively, vibrant, capable. Classrooms are focused on learning. I go every morning to the Richmond School because it makes me feel good about my city and hopeful about American democracy and American opportunity.

Please join us tomorrow to show the city of Philadelphia that educators, parents, and community members stand together in support of the public schools our students deserve. Sign up here and invite your friends on facebook

We will be distributing these flyers to fill out and make sure everyone knows that teachers and families are the real experts. Grab some from a WE member tomorrow, or print your own!




Some notes for attending tomorrow:

  • The full meeting will be long (probably 4 hours!), but it's essential we stay through to the vote at the end so the SRC knows educators are organized and watching. It's ok if you get there a little late.
  • Last SRC meeting, they didn't allow signs into the building at all. If you make a poster, put it on paper that you can fold up and fit in your bag.
  • WE is a member-driven union, which means our ideas come from the membership. The above posters were made by two members. What's your idea for how to make this 4 hour meeting fun and powerful? Want to use your PD to host a poster-making party? Bring balloons? Choreograph a "no new charters" dance? Do it!

For more information on the charter threat, and community-led alternatives, check out this informational flyer from PCAPS.


Push back against Charter Schools- Write a letter TONIGHT!



“No child should be harmed so another child can be helped.”

This is what Donna Cooper, executive director of PCCY, wrote earlier this week about the 39 Charter School applications which the SRC will be voting on this Wednesday, February 18th at 3:30pm.

The pressure is growing for the SRC to vote down these charter school applications and support public, neighborhood schools. As Philadelphia educators, parents, and community members, we can make it clear that Philadelphia supports strengthening its public schools- rather than putting scarce resources into a new round of financially and pedagogically questionable charters. 

If you haven't written a letter yet to the SRC opposing one of the charter schools threatening your school or neighborhood, the deadline to submit letters is tomorrow at noon. Take a look at our step-by-step instructions (including analysis and criticism provided by the district's own Charter School Office), and then make sure to send your letter to and so we can keep track of how many letters were sent.

Then, please spread this action in any education and parent networks you have. We've been hearing that parent email lists around the city are blowing up with parents opposes to these new charters- let's make sure they know that we're taking action!

Want some inspiration? The letters that have already been written and submitted show a deep love for the students and communities that make our public schools so special. Take a look, and then write your own today!

Screenshot_2015-02-15_at_6.38.11_PM.png ~ ~




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How to Protect your School and Neighborhood from Charter Takeover


On Monday, the School District announced that it would be voting on the 39 charter applications next Wednesday, 2/18. The slots to speak at that meeting have already filled up, but the district is still accepting public comment until noon on Monday 2/16.

We think that the best chance we have to influence the outcome of the charter vote is to provide specific, detailed objections to charters that are threatening the zip codes where we live and work.

Doubtful? Check out the charter application analysis reports -- the district did NOT play nice in their critiques of the holes in the applications. If you don't feel like combing through the reports one by one, take this quiz to see some of the harsh words the evaluators had for different proposals.

Reading the reports, it's also clear that the board played close attention to how much support was given for individual schools -- and also whether that support was authentic or cookie-cutter. (Independence Charter got a note in their report that they sent 100 letters... but that they were a form letter.)

We're looking to send at least 500 individualized letters to the SRC by next Monday.

Charter Letter Instruction Kit

To participate, do two things:

1. Download the instructions and follow them.

2. Collect the letters and e-mail them to both and No number is too small (or too large)! If you can get your whole school on board by calling a letter-writing session before report card conferences on Thursday, AWESOME. If you are a parent and you can get two neighbors to write, great. If there's no school targeting your zip codes, go one zip code over or write about a neighborhood that matters to you.

Remember, this is NOT a campaign against all charter applications together -- we already published that letter. Instead, we are asking you to take a look at which school(s) are near your home and work, explore what critiques were made of their applications by the district, and then write the educated, thoughtful commentary that the district and potentially the charter appeal board in Harrisburg need to hear.


Philly Teachers, Professors, Parents and Community Urge SRC to "Stop the 40 Charters"

Want to help in the work to "Stop the 40 Charters"? Email to join our Organizing Committee!


January 29, 2015 

Commissioner William J. Green, Chair

Commissioner Feather Houstoun

Commissioner Farah Jimenez

Commissioner Marjorie Neff

Commissioner Sylvia Simms

Philadelphia School Reform Commission

440 North Broad Street

Suite 101

Philadelphia, PA 191230


Re: Charter School Applications


Dear Commissioners Green, Houstoun, Jimenez, Neff, and Simms, 

We are a group of Philadelphia educators, community members and parents who would like to testify about the 40 applications for new charter schools that your body is reviewing. We operate on the premise that the goal is for all public schools to provide an excellent, equitable and holistic educational environment for all children. Thus, we implore you not to approve any more charter schools to open in our city at this time.

Looking at finances alone, opening more charters is not a sensible option for our already cash-starved district. As former School Reform Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky has noted in his recent post in The Notebook, the district loses $5,500 per student when they transfer to a charter, and $10,000 per student when they transfer from a parochial or independent school, for an average loss of $7,000 per student. According to Dworetzky, rather than going towards supporting our schools, taxpayer dollars go towards mitigating this loss. In an era where we are already operating on a severe budget deficit, we cannot risk the loss of any more money or resources for our students and teachers.

Academically, existing data about the benefits to a student attending a charter school versus a traditional public school are inconclusive, as are data about student transfer or dropout rate from charter schools, according to a recent report by Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY). Looking at the organizations that have applied to open charter schools in Philadelphia, PCCY notes that the charter schools that these organizations already operate do not reflect the demographic of traditional public schools in the district; there are fewer minority, low-income and English Language Learning (ELL) students on their rosters. Even given this statistic, according to the PCCY report, 48% of applicants’ schools report that fewer than half of the students at the schools they currently operate are on grade level for reading and math. Further, a recent Stanford report found that in reading, as compared to their counterparts in traditional public schools (TPS), 56% of students in charter schools nationally showed no significant difference in academic growth between 2010 and 2011, and while 25% did significantly better, 19% did significantly worse. In math, 40% showed no difference as compared to their TPS counterparts in their scores, while 29% did significantly better and 31% did significantly worse. 

Philadelphia is our nation’s poorest big city; 84% of our students qualify as low-income. Because the data are so inconclusive, it seems that a problematic ideology of experimentation undergirds the district’s willingness to consider increasing the number of charter schools in our city. It is ethically unacceptable to experiment with the education or future of any child, especially those who may come from more challenging backgrounds or circumstances.

As people who teach and learn in Philadelphia’s schools, and as parents, we know that the problem of educational inequity and school failure is much bigger than teachers and schools: it has to do with people’s access to health care, healthy food, steady employment and a reliable income, early childhood education, and clean water and air, amongst other factors. While there seems to be no panacea for the amalgamation of social issues that affect children’s school experiences, increasing the number of charter schools, and thus, competition, in education does not help to solve any of our city’s problems. Former New York City Schools’ Chancellor Joel Klein advocates in the recent documentary The Lottery for parents to improve education in the city by “vot[ing] with their feet”, in other words, for refusing to send their children to neighborhood public schools that are purported to be low-quality. Yet, if a good public education were free and universal, why would parents have to vote or compete at all for their children’s welfare? Rather than increasing competition and exacerbating an already inequitable schooling environment, we advocate for working together to ensure that every child has, at the very least, access to a free and quality education, regardless of which school they attend or which neighborhood they live in. 

Indeed, charter schools in cities across the United States have become vehicles not only for experimentation, but for privatization and advancement of corporate interests. This is a sad distortion of Al Shanker’s original vision: he conceived of charters as independent, non-faith based public schools that could be started by special interest groups who worked alongside traditional public schools to best meet the needs of diverse populations of students, and to maximize the expertise of teachers and administrators.

Because we do not yet have enough data to say whether charter schools operate in the best interest of the youth on their rosters, at this point, Philadelphia doesn't need more charter schools, whatever their brands or track records might be.

What we need is a commitment to strengthen our existing schools. We need leaders to call upon our state to fund all schools fully and equitably. Finally, we need vision that will help us pull our city's schools from the wreckage brought by severe underfunding and into a new phase that will allow us to meet all students' needs and aspirations.

Education is a public good, not a business enterprise. It is time to fulfill the promise of public education, and provide quality schools to all of our city’s students.



Amy Brown, MST, Ph.D.

Educational Anthropologist

Critical Writing Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

Supporting Member of the Caucus of Working Educators


Kristin R. Luebbert, M.Ed, MS.Ed

Reading Specialist

School District of Philadelphia

Caucus of Working Educators


Anissa Weinraub, M.Ed

English and Theater Arts Teacher

School District of Philadelphia

Caucus of Working Educators


Mark Stern, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Educational Studies, Colgate University

Visiting Scholar, Education, Culture, and Society Program

Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

Supporting Member of the Caucus of Working Educators


Madeleine Nist, M.A.

Retired, School District of Philadelphia

Caucus of Working Educators


Tamara Anderson, M.Ed


Lead Faculty

University of Phoenix

Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools

Caucus of Working Educators (Supporting Member/Steering Committee)


Nick Palazzolo

Supporting Member of the Caucus of Working Educators


Alison McDowell


Supporting Member of the Caucus of Working Educators

Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools


Eileen Duffey Bernt, RN MS

Certified School Nurse

Caucus of Working Educators

Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools


Mariana Pardes, M.A.

Research Associate, Villanova University

Resident of Philadelphia

Supporting Member of the Caucus of Working Educators


Jody Cohen

Term Professor of Education

Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program


Susan Clampet-Lundquist, Ph.D.


Associate Professor

Department of Sociology, Saint Josephs University


Encarna Rodriguez

Associate Professor

Department of Educational Leadership

Saint Josephs University


Carolyn T. Adams, Ph.D.

Department of Geography and Urban Studies

Temple University


Magali Sarfatti-Larson, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology (Emerita)

Temple University


Kelley Collings, M.Ed, MS.Ed

Math & Science Teacher

School District of Philadelphia

Caucus of Working Educators

Teacher Action Group

Teachers Lead Philly


Sonia M. Rosen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

School of Education

Arcadia University


Frank Bernt, Ph. D.


Department of Teacher Education

Saint Josephs University


Barbara Ferman, Ph.D


Department of Political Science

Temple University


Sukey Blanc, Ph.D.

Principal Researcher

Creative Research & Evaluation, LLC


Elaine Simon, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Urban Studies Program

University of Pennsylvania


Jerusha Conner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education

Villanova University


Rhiannon Maton, M.Ed

Ph.D Candidate, Graduate School of Education

University of Pennsylvania


Nina Johnson, PhD

Instructor, Graduate School of Education

University of Pennsylvania


Grace Player, M.A.

Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate School of Education

University of Pennsylvania


David Hensel


School District of Philadelphia

Caucus of Working Educators, PFT


Shaw MacQueen


School District of Philadelphia

Caucus of Working Educators


James Arrington, M.Ed

Ed.D Candidate, Graduate School of Education

University of Pennsylvania


Thomas Quinn


School District of Philadelphia

Caucus of Working Educators, PFT


Jesse Gottschalk, M.S.Ed


School District of Philadelphia

Caucus of Working Educators, PFT


Kaitlin McCann


School District of Philadelphia



Peggy Marie Savage

N.A.A.C.P-A.C.T-S.O Planning Committee

Upward Bound Math & Science Symposium Judge

N.A.A.C.P-A.C.T-S.O Lead Science Judge

W.E. Working Caucus of the P.F.T

P.F.T. Liaison PLN 5/7

E.L.L. Content Friendly Teacher 5th Grade
Philadelphia Writing Project ( E.L.L)

Philadelphia Teachers Convening Executive Team


Lisa Hantman


School District of Philadelphia

Citizen of Philadelphia


Monica Clark, M.S.

Doctoral Student

College of Education

Temple University

Citizen of Philadelphia


cc: Dr. William Hite, Superintendent

Paul Kihn, Deputy Superintendent

Matthew Stanski, CFP

Claire Landau, Assistant to the SRC

Sophie Bryan, Director, Strategy Delivery Unit


Charter School Testimony: Alison McDowell

alison.jpgHere's my testimony from Thursday's charter hearing. It was so odd. There weren't any SRC or District officials, just a lady up front with a laptop. Strange. On the positive side, I was surprised given the crowd, that quite a few people clapped when I was done and someone I don't even know thanked me on Twitter. We are slowly making an impact. We just have to keep showing up.

It is not a choice when they close your neighborhood school.

It is not a choice when they starve your school of staff and resources with the goal of creating an unsafe environment.

It is not a choice when in exchange for much needed private funds, schools are compelled to fire over half their teachers.

It is not a choice when stranded costs from charter enrollment drain resources away from regular public schools.

What about those of us who choose and fight for non-charter schools?

We don’t have branded t-shirts and glossy posters, but we have a fierce devotion to the idea that schools are community anchors.

We believe that every neighborhood should have a school that accepts anyone who lives in that community-regardless of their home life or testing prowess or special needs.

We believe that public schools are the foundation of democracy, and that charter schools are chipping away at that foundation.

We believe that soon we will be in the same boat as New Orleans, Newark, and closer to home, York-very soon.

The choice will have been made. Not by parents, but by those who tug at the strings of a broken political system.

Charters are a false choice. They are the ones doing the choosing-gaming the system and counseling out the unworthy come January or February before testing season gets underway.

They quietly put out applications requesting illegal information that helps them screen out children who lack supports at home to burnish their reputations.

They expect a double standard when it comes to data-driven evaluations.

They expect us to look the other way at the fraud and ethics violations that have become a norm in this industry.

I am here today to say that I stand with neighborhood schools. I endorse the community school approach. And I request that you look at the barriers to access audit done by PCCY and PA Ed Law Center in April 2013. Any school on that list with identified barriers should absolutely not be given any more schools.


An Inside Report from the Charter School Hearings

By Diane Payne

On Monday, I went to 440 N. Broad Street to testify regarding the 40 charter school applications being submitted this week.  I wasn’t able to be there all day for the presentations, so I didn’t hear the bells and whistles that Monday’s group of charter school applicants presented. I was speaker 29 and discovered that a fellow public school advocate was speaker 30. I left after the 30th speaker and want to note that only four people were there to speak against the expansion of charters. The 26 other speakers were students, parents, politicians, community leaders and charter school personnel that spoke in favor of their particular charter of choice.  This included the newly elected president of the NAACP. 

In addition to hearing the virtues of the “charter of choice”, it was very disheartening to often hear the disparaging remarks made about public schools.  I really, really urge any public school advocate to try to get down to 440 N. Broad Street, 2nd floor auditorium on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday to offer your 3 minutes of public testimony to say “NO MORE CHARTERS” and to support our neighborhood public schools.  The total time from sign in to the end of speaker 30 was 1 1/2 hours.

Here is my testimony from Monday.

I am speaking today to request that the SRC suspend the consideration of any further charter school applications. The current rhetoric of our families needing “choice” is a false dialogue laced with false hope and false promises.  What you are deciding today isn’t about giving parents choice it is about taking away a basic, founding principle of our country…a free and quality public education for all. Not a mish-mash of unregulated “choices” which promotes itself as an easy answer to complex problems.  The complex problems of poverty, English as a second language, broken families, abuse, unequal job opportunity, lack of health care, crime to name a few, do not have easy answers and will not be fixed by Charter Schools. There is more and more hard evidence coming out on a daily basis that point to the problems inherent in charter school expansions. To name only some:

*Charter school expansion causes the further starving of public schools

*Fraud and financial mismanagement that enrich savvy members of the charter school network via real estate deals, management contracts, service contracts, equipment purchases, and pricey CEO salaries

*Lack of transparency in operation and finance

*Re-segregation of student populations

*Failure to mirror the neighborhood school’s demographics because of how students are admitted and then how students are retained if problems of any nature arise

*Here in Philadelphia, an absolute budget crisis that cannot sustain any further draining of resources

*And last but not least a total lack of available oversight again due to lack of resources

Although there are reputable and honorable charter schools functioning and helping children that do not mirror these problems, it is difficult if not impossible with the lack of fair regulation and oversight to manage the current number of schools, much less additional ones.

These problems relating to charter schools are not unique to Philadelphia. It is a nationwide issue that is harming our poor and urban areas. You will notice that you rarely find Charter Schools in wealthy suburban districts and that is only because you don’t find the complex problems I previously mentioned in those neighborhoods either.  Expansion of charter schools will not be the savior of education but they could be the demise of a cornerstone of our democracy, fair and equitable public school for all.

Please do not expand charter school options at this time.  Thank you.  


When's the public hearing for new charter school applications?

As recently reported in The Notebook, charter school applications must have a review that is open to the public. The first round of reviews are now scheduled.

We strongly encourage educators and community members to look up whether charter schools are targeting their zip code with their application -- and then attend that application's meeting to let the School District of Philadelphia know that we are committed to our public schools in these neighborhoods.

We know that educators are working during most of these meetings, but we urge you to contact your parents and community members so that they can turn out and represent your school.

Let the review board know -- charter schools are not a sustainable option for our district!

The only reason that charter applications are even being considered again is due to an add-on clause to the Cigarette Bill Tax. Parents at Steel and Marin showed the District last spring that they did not want charters in their neighborhoods. Now there are 40 applications that need the same kind of community input.

The meetings will be held at the School District Central Office, 440 North Broad Street.

Proposed School Name Initial hearing date Time Area of City Zip Code
Germantown Community Charter School 8-Dec 11:45 AM Germantown 19144
Liguori Academy Charter School 8-Dec 12:25 PM unkown unknown
Philadelphia Career and Technical Academy 8-Dec 12:05 PM Germantown 19144
String Theory Charter School - East Falls 8-Dec 1:50 PM East Falls 19129
String Theory Charter School - Greys Ferry 8-Dec 2:05 PM South Philly 19146
String Theory Charter School - Southeast 8-Dec 2:30 PM South Philly 19148
The Partnership School for Science and Innovation - MaST Community Charter School 8-Dec 12:45 PM Center City 19106, 19146
Urban STEM Academy 8-Dec 1:30 PM NW Philly 19138
ASPIRA Ramon E. Betances Charter School 10-Dec 11:30 AM North Philly 19120
Congreso Academy Charter High School 10-Dec 11:50 AM North Philly 19133
Esperanza Elementary Charter School 10-Dec 12:35 PM North Philly 19140
Friendship Public Charter School 10-Dec 10:50 AM North Philly unknown
KIPP North Philadelphia Charter School 10-Dec 10:30 AM North Philly 19132
Leon H. Sullivan Opportunities Charter School 10-Dec 12:55 PM North Philly unknown
Mastery Charter School - Gillespie Campus 10-Dec 2:25 PM North Philly 19140
Mastery Charter School - North Philadelphia Campus 10-Dec 2:45 PM North Philly 19132
New Foundations Charter School - Brewerytown 10-Dec 11:10 AM North Philly 19121
PHASE 4 America Charter School 10-Dec 1:15 PM North Philly unknown
TECH Freire Charter School 10-Dec 1:35 PM North Philly 19132
The Pavilion Charter School for Exceptional Students 10-Dec 2:05 PM North Philly 19132
ACES Business Entrepreneur Academy Charter School 11-Dec 12:55 PM West Philly 19151
Belmont Charter High School 11-Dec 10:10 AM West Philly 19104
Girls' Latin of Philadelphia Charter School 11-Dec 10:30 AM West Philly 19143
Global Leadership Academy International Charter School 11-Dec 1:15 PM West Philly 19131
Green Woods Charter School at Overbrook Farms 11-Dec 10:50 AM West Philly 19151
Independence Charter High School 11-Dec 11:50 AM West Philly 19104
Independence Charter School West 11-Dec 11:30 AM West Philly 19142
Innovative Dimensions STEAM Academy 11-Dec 11:10 AM West Philly unknown
KIPP Dubois Charter School 11-Dec 2:25 PM West Philly 19131
KIPP West Philadelphia Charter School 11-Dec 2:45 PM West Philly 19143
Philadelphia Music and Dance Charter School 11-Dec 1:35 PM West Philly 19139
PHMC Preparatory Charter School 11-Dec 2:05 PM West Philly 19143
Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School II 11-Dec 12:35 PM West Philly 19143
American Paradigm Charter School (Oxford Circle) 12-Dec 2:25 PM NE Philly 19111
American Paradigm Charter School at Port Richmond 12-Dec 2:05 PM Richmond 19124
Franklin Towne Charter Middle School 12-Dec 1:45 PM NE Philly 19137
Keystone Preparatory Charter School 12-Dec 1:25 PM NE Philly 19135
MaST Community Charter School - Roosevelt Campus 12-Dec 12:55 PM NE Philly 19116
String Theory Charter School - Port Richmond 12-Dec 12:35 PM Richmond 19134
Sustainable Roots Academy Charter School 12-Dec 12:20 PM Richmond 19125

Caucus Stands with Teachers in British Columbia

The British Columbia Teachers' Federation has been in a contract dispute with their government, and spent several days striking in advance of the school year. Their members recently voted to enter binding arbitration -- now their elected officials must agree to it!

Below is our letter:

September 12, 2014

Dear Premier Clark and Minister Fassbender,

WE write in support of our sisters and brothers in the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation and ask that the BC Government agree to arbitration of the collective agreement.  Teachers are currently striking in order to improve classroom conditions for their students: as a striking teacher said this week, "The primary point is getting funding for students, for getting more staff, for getting correct class sizes."  Teachers, school staff, and honest education researchers know that these things are extremely important in order to give students the education they deserve.

The BCTF has reasonably asked for this long-term dispute to go to binding arbitration. Binding arbitration is a fair and standard labor-relations practice that allows an impartial third party to mediate contentious disputes and guide fair solutions. If the government would agree to this, the schools could open quickly and students and teachers could get back to work.

Most stakeholders in British Columbia are behind this rational solution—everyone from teachers to parents to mayors and newspapers support sending this labor dispute to binding arbitration. Why does the government resist a fair and neutral process?

As fellow working educators and social justice unionists, WE respectfully ask that the government of British Columbia agree to put these issues to binding arbitration so that teachers and students can get back to teaching and learning.



The Caucus of Working Educators

A Caucus of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA