February 27, 2008
Parents United statement on Dr. Arlene Ackerman's contract negotiations
Dear Members of the School Reform Commission:
Parents United for Public Education congratulates the SRC on the selection of Dr. Arlene Ackerman as CEO. We look forward to working with her to build a quality school agenda.
Before Dr. Ackerman’s tenure begins, we ask the SRC to take this time to consider lessons we have learned in the past regarding ethical and performance standards for District officials and Commission members. These are issues that are long-standing in the District and need to be broadly infused throughout the system. However, the current contract negotiations with Dr. Ackerman present an ideal time to lay a new groundwork for a more ethical, transparent, and publicly accountable system.
We ask that you adopt the following recommendations:
Please feel free to contact Parents United about these issues.
Rev. LeRoi Simmons
on behalf of the Leadership Collective of Parents United for Public Education.
February 19, 2008
Parents United statement on the appointment of Dr. Arlene Ackerman as CEO of the Philadelphia Public Schools
Parents United for Public Education welcomes Dr. Arlene Ackerman as
In the past year, Parents United for Public Education and other parent
Parent efforts to lobby city and state agencies for more funds have resulted in millions of dollars going to the District that were not there before. But we expect a change in how that money is spent. Our top priorities are on creating baseline school budgets that ensure quality at every school. We are concerned that budget formulas don't penalize small schools and small school efforts and keep the needs of the Corrective Action II schools in mind. We want accountability for failing managers of schools and we want money directed toward reform efforts that work – like reduced class size and expanding teacher quality. We want to see resources driven to classrooms, with priorities toward district-wide initiatives that benefit all children. We also want change at the district in terms of its relationships with parents and community. We expect an open and transparent district where parents will be co-decision-makers to ensure that our schools are quality institutions. We need to rebuild trust and faith in the leaders of our school system.
We look forward to continuing a productive partnership with Dr.
July 11, 2007
Statement on severance pay for former CEO Paul Vallas
This is yet another expensive example of how the district seems to find hundreds of thousands of dollars for things other than the classroom. Schools, parents and classrooms have been told over and over about why we don't have money for reduced class size, librarians, art, music, books and other school basics, but we see money flowing out the door every day for things which aren't central to the district's mission - protecting our classrooms at all costs. That sends a terrible message to the public about who and what is valued. At this point, the school district seems to care more about patronage, politics and personal favors than it does about educating our students to the best of our ability.
Statement on elimination of transpasses (6/24/08)
Statement on the EMO decision (6/19/08)
Statement on GCA requirements (1/15/08)
Statement on vote of No Confidence (5/29/07)