You’ve Got to Be Kidding
Submitted by Frank Murphy, April 5, 2011
The financial news for the School District of Philadelphia is bleak. A $629 million decrease in revenue will result in drastic cuts to student services. Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has begun to outline a proposal to reduce the district’s budget. The operative word in her plan is “reduce”.
School budgets will be reduced. Programs for Music, Art, Athletics and Gifted and Talented students will be reduced. Full day Kindergarten will be reduced to half-day. The number of school nurses and special education liaisons will be reduced. And these reductions will hardly amount to the sum of money that will need to be trimmed.
It is likely that many other programs will be reduced. As a result, the district’s schools will find that they are unable to provide an adequate instructional program to their students. But they will still be held accountable to do so.
Their students will still be required to take the state test. Adequate Yearly Progress will be computed on the basis of their test results. They will be expected to continue to do well on the standardized test even though the standards of their schools have been reduced.
And while students and teachers in Philadelphia’s schools will not benefit from this dire situation, someone clearly will.