Friday, March 01, 2013

Philadelphia's Proposed Teacher Contract: Rock Bottom

Buckle your seatbelts, we're heading into turbulence.  Normally I stay out of Philadelphia politics but this deserves mention.  The Philadelphia School District has issued its opening salvo in contract talks with teachers.  According to "No seniority?  No water fountains?  More on the contract," by Kristen Graham, Philly School Files (Inquirer blog) 2/27.

Check out the list of things schools will no longer guarantee.  Things like water fountains, a sufficient number of textbooks, desks for teachers, private space and locked file cabinets for guidance counselors, librarians, the right for teachers to defend themselves , no limits on class size, no limit on the amount of classes a teacher teaches outside their subject area, and that's not including pay cuts and increased health care costs.  Read Graham's blog post and weep.

What is even sadder is that I doubt these policies, if implemented, will be implemented across the board.  Check back a year from now and see if Masterman High School still has a librarian, textbooks, and desks for teachers.  I'd bet the farm that it will, even if other schools don't.

Graham's post today (Thursday) provides Superintendent William Hite's response ("Hite:  need a more modern, professional teachers' contract").

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