My face flushed. Anger gripped me. He continued to talk but I didn’t hear him. I sat quietly in my chair as I contemplated this latest turn of events. So it was my name that was up on the board. I am the one who has been chosen to be the sacrificial lamb. This was not a professional move that I desired.
Reflections of an Author
Submitted by Frank Murphy, Feb 1, 2011
The school district of Philadelphia has announced that it will restructure 18 schools in the next year as part of its school turn around strategy. These schools will join the 13 schools that were transformed into Renaissance Schools during the current school year.
As a result of this decision hundreds of Philadelphia schoolteachers will find their personal and professional life thrown into havoc for at least the next seven months. Most of these individuals will not return to their current assignments at the start of the next school year. For those teachers who have established deep roots in these school communities, it will be a difficult fate to face.
Any concerns that they might voice over being displaced from their schools will most likely be ignored. If they speak up, they will be labeled as “Complainers”. The architects of the Renaissance School model will tell them that it is all about the children and that their adult issues don’t matter. If they persist in disagreeing with the decision to dismantle their school, they will face the same aggressive treatment that was bestowed on the West Philadelphia High School community last year.
This is a horrible way to treat the staff of our school district. Service, public service is the driving force behind every decent teacher’s commitment to his or her students and to the community in which they teach. To tell these professionals that their service has been inadequate is an insult and an affront to their dignity. Worst yet, it is an attack on their character.
The suggestion that teachers are responsible for the failures of their schools is simply an attempt to make them the scapegoats for a system that has failed both them and their students.