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0 SPRING 1995

VOLUME 2 • NUMBER 3

"TURNING THE PAGE FOR CHANGE"

$120 million reform package hangs in balance

Will city, state politicians deliver needed funding? by Paul Soco/ar To Phi ladelphia 's schools, underfunded for so long, Superintendent David Hornbeck has held out the hope that finan cial resources wil l start to flow back into the Di strict th is coming year. The Superintende nt 's 1995-96 budget call s for $120 million in new initiatives including full-day kindergartens, sma ller class s izes, extended sc hoo l hours. and better training for teachers. The Di strict has been making its pitch both in Philadelphia and in Harrisb urg to reverse a trend of shrink ing ci ty and state support per pupil. If more re venue is to come to Philadelphia schools, it w ill be through the actions of elected officia ls in Philadelphia and in Harrisburg. The School Di strict is seeking an increase in funding of $60 million from the state and $20 million from the City. But the District faces some form idable obstac les in both places . At the state level, Republ icans control both houses of the legislature. Their leader, Governor Tom Ridge, is making a big push to fund private and paroch ial schools throug h a schoo l vouc her plan. If Ridge's proposa l goes through, it will accelerate the flow of do Ila rs away from public schools. The Governor's draft budget provides a net gain of on ly $ 11 million for Philade lphia schools.

Focus on funding Editorials ........................................ 2 Mayor says no ................................ 8 Desegregation funds shifted ......... 9 Federal budget cuts ......................10 Ridge voucher plan ....................... 11 Changes in Title 1... ...................... 12 Guest opinions .............................. 15

En espaiiol El nuevo Titulo 1............................7 Here in Philadelphia, the Mayor insists that the City cannot provide the kind of money Hornbeck needs. It is an election yea r, but there has been more campaign debate about the new liquor tax than about how to rebuild the schools in Phi ladelphi a neighborhoods. In P hil adelph ia, City Co uncil must approve a School District budget by May 3 1, whi le in Harrisburg, legislators are working toward a June 30 budget deadline. Interviews w ith key Phi ladelphi a e lected officials suggest that there are openings to press for more funding for the schools. Parents, teachers and communities are sta rting to mobilize to take advantage of these openings and trying to bombard local

See "Politicians" on p. 8

Los J oven es U nidos

para el Cambio Los .16venes Unidos para el Camhio (YUC) es 11na agencia que sin'<' a los j61•e11es en Kensi11gw11 YUC ha 01 ga11izado 11n equipo de lidera:go en Kensingwn High School (Kl-IS). La sig11ieme PS u11a emrel'isw con \'arios /!deres esrudi6miles. Rurha1111Grihling, 1111 senior en KHS, Tammie Win c:uk, 1111 junior, y Murad Ai1111ddi11, esr11dia11re de dt?6m o grado . Esta en1re 1·isra fi te co11d11cida por Rehecca Rarhje.

;, Como uniii Ud. YUC? Tammie: Rodney, miembro de YUC. fue e l que me intrduj6 al grupo. Al prin c ipio yo no estaba interesada. Despues de haber visto. C6mo era YUC y la genre que estaban envuelta. 111e ani111e y 111e integ re al g rupo. A mi me gusto YUC porque e l programa no estan dirijido por los maestros. El coord inador adulto de YUC no pertcnece a la escue la. por lo 1an10. no tiene nada quc ga nar o perder estando alli. Por eso nosotros podemos ser honcstos con nue-

Cluster meetings prompt involvement

stros sentimi cnt os.

West Philadelphia parents take active role

ante Tammie y me gust6 ir a la"

by Elizabeth Lenton Parents in West Philadelphia met over the winter w ith the goa l of having more input in running their child ren's schools. Starting at Sayre Middle Schoo l after a cluster meeting last December. parents and guard ians moved from issues to so lutions - and the n to practical ways to effect change. In some schoo ls the Home and School Assoc iation has been helpful in work ing through problems like gaining respect for different learning styles or improving recess supervision. In others , where no parent group exists or where parent s want to form a new group. people start by discuss ing concerns and then finding the appro priate ad mini strative leve l to hear those concerns. Erdeen Brin, a staff person at the North Philadelphia Compact, has worked intensively with the new parent gro ups, he lping them get set up and prov iding info rmation on speci fic schools and how the c luster wo rks. Some concerns identified so far are the conditi on of schoo l buildings. trea1111en1 of parent s by school admi ni stra tors and staff, di scipline of children. vio lence and

safety, after school activ iti es and report card conference times. At Harrington, parents have successful ly rallied around the issue of the school 's physical condition. First, a volunteer expert trained them on the specifics of building inspection. Then the

Parents have successfully rallied around the issue of the school's physical condition. parents cond ucted a complete survey of the schoo l. recordi ng the ir finding s 10 be written up later in a formal report. The inspection yie lded 17 pages of deficiencies, including faulty elect rical outlets. pee ling paint. a non-functioning public address system and poor tempera-

Ruthann: Yo me unf al grupo medi-

ture control. The group su bmi11 ed the report 10 the district 's Chief Engineer and d isc ussed with him a time fram e for repairs. These st~ps 111ay seem basic 10 co111muni1y organizers. Bui for parent s iso lated by the bureaucracy of the school di strict, they are refres hi ngly accessibl e and manageable. The parents. students and schoo ls in the West Ph il adelphia Cluster need peop le 10 come our. voice their concerns and participate in thi s ve ry rea l. com111unitybased change process. Ii is a dilliculi. arduous. ti111e-consuming undertaking. B ut fueled by the energy of parcn1' already involved. things are getting done.

For i1?(ormario11or10 ger ;,11•0/l'('(/ i11 the Wesr Philadelphia Clusfl'r 111gu11i:i11g <'.!forr. call Erd<'<'ll Brirr m fl/(' Norrlt Pltiladelphia Compacr. 739.()341!. or Eli:aherh Ll'llf/)11 . .+ 76-6472. Tile 11 schools in rile Wesr Philadelphia Cl11.1rer are Wesr Pltiladelplii11 High School. Sov/'l' Middle School. a11d Brrnflf . /-lamil f(l11, llarri11g11111. Ale.rwnll'r Wilson. Lea. ShrM. /-lll<'r. Born· anti C11111c·grs Schools.

reuniones porquc sentf quc t.!ra algo desa riantc. Murad: Cuando lleguc ror pri111era vez a KHS. conocf a Vic1or. un arli"ita. Compa nirno ... Ith mismo ... in1crese:-.. el arte y di se ii.ando cari cat ura. Me cont6 sobre un peri6di co. Tl/(' Beul. publicado por j6vc11e~. De alguna manera me rui e nvo lviendo con la publicaci6n del pcri6dico y me rui in vo lucrando m~h con las actividadcs de YUC en mi e\Cud;1. Yo he pcrmanecido i:nvuclto con la!-! actividades de YUC ror que c' como tene r una familia: rucra de mi prnpia familia. No~otros lo:\ uno . . . con los otrn:\ podemos sen tir no' comodos diciendo lo que yo pien'o quc cs In n1'is correc to para la mayoria de l o~ e:\ tudiante"i. iCua les son sus preocupaciones sobre KHS'! Tammie: Yo ' icn10 quc no c' tamo' rec ibie ndo una educaci6n adccuada quc no~ ayudc a fomentar nu c"i tro ~ conoc im iento..., dc\puCs quc tc nnin e la facue la Superior. Nosot ros no e qamo' prcpa radO"i para ir a la univcr ... idad. con'cguir trahajo'. aprendcr a hablar y tener res pc to por la gen1c. Con YUC. nosotros 'abemos quc 'i

"YUC" continua en lap. 6


1985

"Turning the page for change" A vo ice fo r parenrs. student s. and classroo m teachers who are working for

quality and equality in our schools.

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SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

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Advisory Board Wilfredo Rojas, National Congress for Pueno Rican Rights

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Mary Yee, As ian Americans United

Debbie Wei. Steering Committee, Na-

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Eugene Williams, Robert Fulton Parents

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Emi ly Style, Co-Director, National S.E.E.D. Project - Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity Coleen Davis, LULAC Education Project Rochelle Nichols Solomon, North Phila. Comm unity Compact for College Access and Success Shafik Abu-Tahir, New African Voices Alliance Efrain Roche, Community Focus

Newspaper Len Rieser, Education Law Center Working Group Cindy Engst, Kathy Fleming, Helen Gym, Eric Joselyn. Pat Lowe, Myrtle L. Naylor, Hana Sabree, Chip Smith, Pau l Socolar. Philadelphia Public School Notebook

is a project of the New Beginn ings program of Resources For Human Development.

We publish four times a year. Send inquires to School Notebook, 372 1 Midvale Ave., Phila., PA 19129. Phone: (215) 951-0330. Fax: (215) 951 cOJ42.

Special thanks ... Public School Notebook wishes to thank all of our subscribers, advertisers, and the good people who worked on prod ucti on, transl ation and di stribut ion.

Spec ial thanks for this issue are due to the Bread and Roses Communit y Fund and

the Philadelphia Foundat ion for finan cial assistan ce.

"It takes an entire village to fund a school reform newspaper" - urban proverb

Public School Notebook needs your subscription. Be part of the educational dialogue. Your support helps put this paper in the hands of people working for positive change across the city. Name

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~~~~~t :.~::~ployed Benefactor: Enclosed Is tax deductible contribution:

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The money is out there T he next two months are critical for Philadelphia school reform. A $112 million deficit must be overcome to get changes like ful l-day kindergartens in the raciall y isolated schools and an end to the mindless disruption caused by late roster leveling. Future years will see further demands as class sizes are red uced and faci lities expanded and improved. These plans represent true school improvement, but where wi ll the money come from? It's time to start looking. We're convinced that everyone who cares about public education and the city's children should begin with two things in mind: 1) The money is out there. T hi s society, the richest on earth, is not too poor to educate its youth properly. 2) Getting hold of that money for our children is the right thing to do. Once we are united on these two basic points, then we must follow through together so that politicians at the city, state and federal level have no peace until they do the right thing. It 's not our job, as parents, teachers and commu nity activists, to come up with the detai led plans for taxing this one or that one, and by how much. The basic principle here is - those with the money should pay. The particulars can be worked out by legi slators with help from variou s tax experts, think-tanks and the like. Just who are "those with the money" to fund public education? Many people obviously don't qualify: Over the past twenty years, average wages for working peop le in the U.S. have been going down - by I0% since 1979. A recent Inquirer front page story detailed the increase in Philadelphia poverty in the 1990s. Industrial change has meant low-wage jobs are increasing ly what's availab le lO tlie area's workforce. Half the schools in the city have 80% or more of their children living in poverty. C learl y, the working and poor people of the city are not the source for new fund s for the school s. Over the past fifteen years, however, those middle and lower sectors of the popu lation have been asked to carry an increasing share of the overa ll tax load in the country. Tax rates for the highest income groups have been reduced dramatica lly. It is these same high-income groups that have reaped the greatest rewards of the new high-tech and information economy of

recent decades. So those mak ing the most money have had huge tax cuts, while people whose wages have gone down have had their tax rates increased. Overall in Pennsylvania, a study for the year 199 1 by Citizens for Tax Justice shows the poorest fifth paid abo ut 16% of their income in taxes, whi le the top 1% paid about 5%. The policy in effect now and in recent years has been "Soak the poor." No wonder the public arena is hard up for dollars ! On top of having a regress ive tax struct ure - one where the poor pay the highest proportion of their income in taxes and the rich, the least - tax laws also give away bill ions to corporations and the wealthy in tax loopholes. These give-aways, called "tax expenditures," are estimated by the Office of Management and the Budget to cost the public $440 billion in 1996 alone. By comparison, child support programs will ru n about $ 16 billion. So much for the so-called "welfare burden!" Fina lly, the m il itary budget continues to grow despite the death of the "Evil Empire" that justified the huge Reagan Cold War defense o utlays - and national debt we ' re still laboring under - of the 1980s. In 1996 the mi litary w ill get $257 billion , while education , housing, environmental protection, job training, and economic development. together receive less than $75 bi ll ion. The money is indeed out there. And surely we have a right to claim a portion of it for our children 's education. Yet as soon as someone suggests that. the wealthy should pay their fair share and that corporations, with or without the help of the Defense Department, shou ld stop raiding the public till, the cry goes up that you ' re preaching "class warfare. " But the reality of the past 15 years ' increas ing ineq uality shows we already face class warfare in practice - just in the opposite direction . The fact is, a counter-offensive by working and poor people is long overdue. Like the poet said, " No (one) is an island unto himself. " We are al l tied together in society. No matter how skilled or brilliant, you don ' t earn big bucks in a vacuum. Without. soc iety, you'd earn nothing. And without our children being educated, society itself is threatened. The money is out there. Our kids deserve a decent education. Now it's time for the politicians to do their job.

Keeping our eyes on the prize

Address I Apt

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$75, $50, $35

Make checks payable to: Public School Notebook I RHO .(\ - - ··

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Philadelphia School Notebook 372 1 Midvale Ave . Philadelphia PA 19129-1532 Phone II (215) 951-0330

As we give voice to our demands for fund ing at City Hall and in Harrisburg, let's be sure our main troops are active in full force - the parents and students from the 134 raciall y isolated schools. Judge Doris Smith's rulings over the past year and more have made clear that correcting the unequal conditions at these schools must be at the center of any meaningful reform agenda. It's important that our segregated schoo l system's "savage i_nequali ties" be held firm ly in the public eye if we are to mobtl 1ze fu lly and deeply _the pub lic wil l - the determ ination - to see that all ch ildren 111 Ph iladelphia achieve. It's worth rem inding ourselves what Judge Sm ith said in February.. 1994: "The record amply demo nstrates that the School D1stnct has not provided to Black and Hispanic students equal access to .. among other things. the best qualified teachers, equa_I phys ical factlt11 es and plants, equal access to advanced or spe.c ta l adm1Ss1ons academic co urse offerings, equal allocation s of iesources , or a commttrnent to eliminating racial imbal ances 111 the schools to the extent feas ible." Nothing has changed_ since these words were written. Not yet. . _But g1_ve n the long h1_story o_r inequality in the system, sim le JUstt ce Ct ies o ut lor the immed iate rig ht ing of these inequitie:.

Qualified teachers, modem facil ities, special academ ic courses, increased reso urces - all these must flow into the racially isolated schools if all chi ldren in the city are to have an eq ual chance to succeed. The failure of C ity Hall to stand tall and deliver leadership on funding forces us to ask: If fu ll funding is not forthcom ing, where will the resources come from to ricrht th is historic injustice? From elsewhere in the system? Frm~1 the magnet schools and other relatively privi leged programs_ in a school system where only twenty schools out of 256 have students performing above national norms? Such a course, thoug h justifiable, would likely be divis ive. To remain as we are, however, is criminal both immoral and illegal. . _Inequality is deeply ingra ined in the Phi ladelph ia way of do111g th111gs. It 's become second nature for many city and school leaders. Getting straight wi II take more than good words, or even good will. It will take a consc ious step to overcome . racism through full funding of educat ional reform w ith priorit y gomg to the racia lly iso lated school s. Let's keep our eyes on the prize ' A quality education for every child 111 Philadelph ia.

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SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Hut, two, three,four

JROTC enlists two more high schools by Hana Sabree

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Attention , parents and lega l guardians of Special Education students grades 7 through 11 . Several parents and the Education Law Center have sued the School District of Ph ilade lphia on behalf of students with di sabi lities who are not rece iving an eq ual opportunity to take part in special programs offered by the School D istrict. T hese programs invo lve small learn ing comm unities (charters), high school academies, Cities-inSchoo ls, vocationa l schools, and motivation and magnet programs . The Philadelphia School District and the plaintiffs have now reached an agreement (the Consent Decree) to settle this lawsuit. If implemented, it would open up access to special programs for students with disabilities. The U.S. D istrict Court for the Eastern Di strict of Pennsy lvania w il l decide on approving th is decree at 8:30 a.m. T uesday, May 16, 1995 in Counrnom I 6A, United States Courthouse, 60 I Market St., Philadelphia, PA . It must be noted parents are encouraged to altend 10 make their presence felt. However, you wi ll not be allowed to speak at the hearing unless you have given previous notice to do so. To find out the status of the Consent Decree and the possible implications for your child, ca ll the Education Law Center at 238-6970. For parents of high school students you can contact the Office of H igh Schoo ls at 229-7812. For seventh and eight grade students your regional special education departments are: Central East 227-4587, Central West 684-5 123, Northeast 335-5954, Northwest 248-6656, Southeast 3517110, Southwest47 1-8348. On another note, summer vacations are quickly approaching and you may want to plan activities for your child. There are many wonderful summer camping programs in the Philadelphia area for children w ith spec ial needs. One is the "Future Leaders Network" for youth ages 13 to 20 . FLN w ill hold their eighth annua l summer institute from A ugust 4 to August 13, 1995. The institute includes youth from diverse backgrounds and abilities from around the country. Some of the activities they participate in are: debates. panel di scussions. workshops on how to organize and chair meetings. in addition to the normal recreat ional activities that take place at summer camps. The youth also learn about everyday iss ues and concerns such as AIDS. homelessness, education, and disabi l ity rights. If you fee l you r chi ld or someone you know would be interested, con tact Bahyia Cabral at 472-5594. For other camp experiences you can ca ll the Parents Exchange at 242-950 I. and request fact sheet number 51.

To submit articles or inquiries for the all issue in September. call Hana Sabree at 242-9501.

Two more Philadelphia public high schools will be adding Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) progra ms next fall, amid growing criticism 1ha1 JROTC is a military recruiting program targeting low-income, AfricanAmerican and Latino youth. The JROTC program brings retired m ilitary personnel in to high schools for a th ree or fo ur-year program that covers such areas as dri ll , mi l itary history, and "'leadership skills." Roxborough and South Phi ladelphia are the high chools that have contracts with the Army to start JROTC units next fall. Six other school s (Lincoln, Gratz, Frankford, Strawberry Mansion, West Philadelphia. and Germantown) have existing JROTC programs. School District officials are currently rev iewing a study critical of JR OTC, produced by the American Friends Service Commillee. T he recently released study argues that the expansion of JR OTC in public high schools builds on a program that has little educational value and little accountability, drains local education budgets, and track s minority and low-income youth into military service . The report. Making Soldiers in rhe

Public Schools: An Analysis of the Army JROTC Curriculum was researched over a two-year period and examined JROTC programs at high schools across the country. T he authors, Professor Catherine Lutz and researcher Lesley Bartlett, both of the Un iversity of North Carolina, examined claims by JROTC officials, reviewed the program's outcomes and analyzed the curriculum. Despite claims by the Pentagon to the contrary, the report concl udes that JROTC is an extension of the mi litary 's recruitment program. Not on ly do .large numbers of JROTC graduates enter military programs - 45% - but there is also abundant evidence of a recruitin g link in the program's activities and curriculum. the report argues. The data on where JROTC units are placed and w ho participates are striking. Units are more often found in sc hool s with a high proponion of minority students, who now represent 54 percent of JR OTC cadets. Whi le 40 percent of all cadets are yo ung women, women comprise on ly about one percent of JROTC teachers. The repon also refutes claims by JROTC officials that JROTC is an effective program for "al-risk youth." The re searchers found that little data is retained on JROTC retention and attrition rates. but that a remarkably high percentage of JROTC students fail to

system each of the last two years: 20%. •The cost to Pennsy lvania taxpayers of se r· vices and suppli es to private and rel igious

schools in 1992-93 alone: $174 mill ion •Number of the 50 states that do not provide such services: 28 •Sal ary ranking Of Philadelphia teachers out of 62 regional school district,. in 1982: 1st in 1994: 54th • Number of Philadelphia\ 42 middle schools w ith ~tudcnts th al meet the nat iona l reading norms: 2

Winchester M52 (CID) The M52 is acomparablerine to the40X . With a standard barrel, the weight is 9 I/2pound s: heavy barrel 10 3/4 pounds: and a bull barrel, 11 pounds. Th is riOe may be modified somewhat to fit the body conformations of the shooter in various positions. The sling and fore·end stop may be adjus1ed, and a palm rest easily insenedin the magazine slot. On the52D 1hereare two bedding screws, located in the fore·end, that are not to be confused with action screws. Normally. these should be backed off so they do not touch I.he barrel.

7

Kimber Model 82 The Kimber Model 82 Government Rifle is a .22 caliber single shot target rifle. Wit11 a standard barrel the weight is approximately 10 pounds. 11 has an adjustable hand stop assembly and remov· able/adjustable bun spacers allow funher adjustmenl for the shooter. Miny JROTC programs that elcc! to fire .22 caliber rifles arc switching co the Kimber because i1 is available through Army supply channels.

Students cannot bring weapons to school, but they can read about guns in this text used in first year Army JROTC (US Army Leadership Education Training - LET 1 Text) complete the program. The program c laims 10 provide discip li ne to the students who join and to prevent both drug abuse and dropouts. Yet systemat ic data to back up most of these claims does not ex ist. Another concern raised by the report is that JROTC programs. instead of adding re sources.

While 40 % of all cadets are young women, women comprise only about 1% of ]ROTC teachers.

and figu res that provide Statistically Speaking·• aFacts look at our school system • Increase in stale expenses fo r corrections

j

•Nu mber of the 666 first-l ime nin th graders, entering Kenns ington H igh

School in 1988, who graduated: 42 10 PA ta xpayers to keep one offender in 'tale prison: $ 20,000 one chi ld in city public 'chools: $ 6,127

•Annual cos t

• Number of native l anguage~ spoken by

public 'chool student': 60 • Di!-.lance kindcrganners are expected 10 travel to !-.choo l without a~si\tance from

the School Di;iric1: I mile • Amounl 1he Mate ha.., short-changed 1he public :-.choo l budget over the liN three year" $160 mi ll ion

divert

scarce

local educational fund s from other programs through their cost-sharing requirement s. "'Rather than meeting the goal of publ ic education in a democracy- to promote

respect for others. critical thinking and basic academic ski ll s - JR OTC introduces guns into the schools, promotes authoritarian va lues . . and consigns much student time lo learning skills thal have linle relevance outside the military:· the report concludes. The School District will be examining the repon and its finding that JROTC

functions as a military recruiting program. according to John Ferrier of the Office of Senior High Schools. Ferrier added that the report's findings appear 10 contradict March. 1994 Defense Departmc111 1es1 imony 10 the School Board 1ha1 only 5'Yr or JROTC cadets go on 10 military service. For a.fi"ee sumnu!rv of the re1u1r1. call

the Youth and Militarism Program at the American Friends Senfre Commi11ee.

(215) 241 -7176.

Welfare cuts to hit students Under the guise of ··welfare reform."' proposals 10 make drastic cutbacks in governm ent programs that provide support 10 low-income children are moving th rou gh Cong ress . I f these welfare cuts are approved, more than half the Philadelphia children on welfare will u l1ima1ely lose their benefits. accordi ng to John Dodds. director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project. The proposed we lfare cuts in the R epubli can ··co111rac1 on America·· would affect Philadelphia school chi ldren in many ways. further straining the sc hool s· abilit ies 10 effectively educate all chi ldren: •B y October I .as many as 33.000 Philadelphia children would no longer be eligible for Aid 10 Fam i lies with Dependent Children. according 10 Mayor Ed Rendell - the imp;c1 or a proposed five-years-in-a-lifetime cap on welfare benefits. •Children who are legal immigrants bu1 no1 U.S. ci tizens wou ld lose their eligibil ity for all welfare benefits. •The food stamp program "ould '>CC a 21 % cul over five years. while funds for school lunches and the WIC program would also be cut.

• Benefits for di,abled chiluren who receive Social Security income (SS I ) wou ld be cul by one-third. •Federal child care funding would be CUI 15 o/r. Dodd s co111111en1ed 1ha1 propo"tls in Congress wou ld lake away the ··cn1i1lcmen1"' 'talus or most we lfare benefits and shift responsibility for these

rro-

gram~ to the "itate~. In a rccc..,..,ion. 1hc

need for the'.'te program!'- incrca'c:"'. hu1 slates wi ll lind their federal fundin~ fr07en al 199.J levels. There" ill h~ sltlT competition for fundim.! at the "ital~ lc\d

between 'late aid for p;thlic cduc;111on and programs 1ha1 keep pcopk from

'\tarving or be.coming homclc"''·

Lobby Day The Philadelphia Unemployment Project has joined with 75 groups in the Save Our Safety-Net Coalition (S.O.S.) to protect the safety net for poor and working families who fall on hard times. The coalition 1s organizing a mass lobby day 1n W ashington June 6 to pressure the Senate to stop the welfare cuts. For information, call (215) 592-0933 .


SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

PAGE4

SI

Interview with Norm Fruchter

"They kept a lid on information because outcomes were so bad" Last September. a seven-member Education Team appoimed by Judge Doris Smith published a report blastin[! rile Philadelphia School Disrricr for its dysfunctional organi:ation andfoilure to educate Philadelphia's children. The team identified a lack of "public will" as one of the primary obstacles to change. Norm Fruchte1; a member of rhe Team and Program Advisor/or Ed11carion, Aaron Diamond Foundation, spoke with N01ebook reporrer H elen Gym aliour his findings One of the major issues that the Educational Team's report focused on was a "lack of public will," which you define as an unwillingness to support or even acknowledge that change is needed to reform Philadelphia's schools. Could you explain your point further? I lhink we saw that there was less engagement by the business sector, less engagement of civ ic and nonprofit sectors and less engagement by local commun ity and neighborhood-based organ izations . than we had seen in other public school systems. We thought that was a major problem. We laid so much stress on rebuilding pub!ic engagement with the school system because we d idn't d1ink that it wou ld change unless those constituencies got reengaged. W hat factors did you see contributing to this lack of widespread public involvement? I was appalled by the lack of any kind of infom1ation ... (that) the school system put out for parents, community members, and constituencies with potential to mobilize to support school s. . . I'd never seen such a poor database and so Iim ired and restricted a capacity jusl to say, "Here's how the schools are doing." It seemed to me that there was a deliberate attempt to keep the lid on any infonmation about outcomes because the outcomes were so bad. The strategy was: we wi ll just not release anything. That way people won't know anything abou1!his school system. What kind of information do you think is needed to engage the public? I th ink that frankly the infonmation thal needs to come out is the in fonmation that the IP hiladelphia l Inquirer supp lement demonst rated !Oct. 23, 1994]. This is a school system that is massively underresourced, and it is a school system that mass ively fail s to ed ucate most of its kids. Do you think then that Harrisburg and City Hall would be willing to assume more responsibility for the

schools if they had more information? My hunch is that the people who make the decisions about money have some sense of the realities of tl1e school system. I think the response of different layers of urban power ... has to do with how responsible they feel to the constituencies that have power. Bodi in New York and Philly and in lots of other places as well, the public school consti tuencies are so relatively powerless compared to other constituencies that have a claim on the public treasury, that public officials feel when they've got to cut, it's the school system that's going to take the hit. The main constituency they have to wo!T)' about is not the fan1ilies that send their kids to public schools, but the unions. That's who they 've got to deal with. But when ... you have a situation where there's a real political and ideological chasm between the unions and the families who send their kids to publ ic school s, then you don't get any alliances to defend the public schools. You get each constituency trying to argue independently. So it's easier for public officials to either pick them off, make their deals with the stronger of the constituencies, or pit them against each other.

"We've got to create local organizing in the neighborhoods." In your experience, what are the consequences of a lack of public engagement? I've worked in several New Jersey cities where the political constituencies that ran the cities .. saw the school systems as ones that did not serve rheir kids. They served other people's kids. And so the school systems were used as patronage dumps and as places to loot, but not places to be responsible to because they were for other people's children. That means the political constituencies can wa lk away from them . Again that's because they don 't have to WOIT)' about paying a price for ignoring the quality of education they deli ver. So where's our starting point? One way or another, we ' ve got to create local organizing in the neighborhoods where people send their children to public schools. We have to build constituencies that are going to demand what the schools need, to demand perfonmance, and to demand good outcomes of the schools as we ll.

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Judge: Keep trying Commonwealth Court Judge Dori s Smith has once again ordered the School District to make changes in its reform plan to address concerns in the long-runni ng lawsuit over segregation in Phi ladelphia schoo ls. While praising many aspects of Superintendent David Horn beck's "Children Ach iev ing" plan , Judge Smith seems headed for a showdown with the District about plans to restructure the District into 22 "clusters." Judge Smith ruled that "the substantial increase in personnel" associated with the cluster plan "cannot be justified ." The District is still wai ting and hoping the Court will order the state to help pay for needed reforms. But the Judge's stance that the cluster expenditures are unjustified is bad news for the District. Judge Smith called for other changes in the District's current reform plans; she ordered the District to: •Develop a formula that sends extra dollars to its racially isolated schools. •Prioritize repairing or replacing school buildings in the racially isolated schools. •Reinstate home and school visitors in schools with high absenteeism and truancy. •Expand its magnet programs and develop new strategies for desegregating schools. The District was ordered to present a revised, overall plan to the Judge by May 15. In June, the District wi ll be s ubmitting a new desegregation plan. An audit from the District's Management and Productivity Task Force is to be submitted to Judge Smith in August.

the school by non-Fe ls ssudents . Dr. Jaskulak arranged weekly meetings open to pare nts and stude nt representatives to di sc uss safety and other iss ues. " Cond itions are better," reported Michael McLaughlin , Student Government m ember. " Security has improved. Stude nts cannot leave the building as ea sily and a hall pass .is required if you are caught in the corridors. There have been no fights or locker break-ins. Also, the administration and the stude nts have been meeting every Wednesday after sc hool to di scuss safety and desired schoo l activities ."

Brief updates on stories from last issue

Fels sees results In February, seven Fels High School students decided to protest the problems of drugs, vandalism and security at the school. Detenmined to get the attention of the administrative staff, they orgamzed a demonstration prior to the start of the school day. T his organized effort resulted in a mass ive outburst that inc luded others who were not students at Fels. Ph iladelphia po lice officers became mvolved to control the crowd, and the local media showed up in force. Home and School member Tom Smith acted as mediator between the students and the adm 1mstration. The next day school official s conducted a weapons search. Home and School member Edward Roberson monitored the search to make sure that it was orderly and done without incident. The following week Dr. Jaskulak the Actmg Princ ipal, mer with students.' A variety of complaints were voiced rang1 mg from pot smoking in the rest rooms to vandal ism to unauthorized access to

The sc hool 's new principal, William E. Williams, commented, "As a result of the demonstration, the School District assigned two School Di strict police officers to supplement the six non-teaching ass istants already on staff. Both officers will remain at Fels until the end of the school year. However, only one of the officers was included in next year's budget." (Reported by Th eresa Copeland Roberson)

Relief at de Burgos As recently as February Julia de Burgos Midd le School was in danger of losing over a ha lf million dollars in federal Chapter I money, awarded through the School Wide Projects Program, because of low standardized test scores. The PFf building committee and the Home and Sc hool had protested that this action was unfair beca use of a formula that made no a ll owances for the large number of limited Engli sh proficiency (LEP) students at schools like de Burgos. It turns out, however, that the passage of new federal legislation has dramatically changed the s ituation at de Burgos and sc hoo ls across the city. Poverty IS now the only standard for Title I (formerly Chapter I) funding. De Burgos wi ll actually receive an increase of $287 ,000 next year. Also, a ll schools receiving T itle I funding are to be . inc luded in School Wide Projects. Whiie thi s additional money is certainly. wel~nt come and much needed , the requirem to spend it in one year, the lack of planning time, and lim ited space in the building all count against using the money in the best way. The whole question of how schools with large numbers of LEP students are assessed remain s an issue. On this point the School Di strict leadership, in a Jetter to the Home and School President and PFT Bui lding Rep , acknowledged s~~;nt ing the sc hool's "conce rn that our c

testing methods do .n o t fu ll y refl ecrt ~~J~ers achievement of Latrno students, 0 whose first language is not English._ We are working hard on developing valid measures for these popu lations ."


SPRING1995

PAGE S

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

The woman I most admire

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Girls Students stude nts stay on task You better do your work . And you better do it fas t. Boys aren 't a su bject in the school, If you hang with them you won't be coo l. I don 't care if you l1ook or smoke, But if you do you ·11 be a joke. G irls top priority should be learn ing Not for a baby shou ld you be yearn ing. I'm trying to tell you to stay in school Use your mind don 't be a foo l.

-by Tanesha /-lackeu, Melody Headen, Alicia Scou, Sheena Dixon, 6th grade, Central East Middle School

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The woman I admire is my mother, Mary Lowery. From the beginning she had a tough life. She lived in a concentration camp in Poland during the war and was exposed to terrible conditions. After the war, she and her father moved to Ph iladelphia to start a new life. A short time later, her father died and she was placed in a foster home. My mother is a caring person who will put her fami ly before herse lf. Jf someone is in a jam and needs her to do something, she wi ll give up whatever she planned. to help out. She is ve ry helpfu l aro und the house and wil l help whenever asked. My mother had really on ly one wish in her life. That was to buy a nice house . Her dream came true and I think she really deserved it.

- by Guy Lowe1y, 7rh grade. Central East Middle School

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U will know "The race is not won by the quickest nor the strongest but the one who endures to the end. " Mr. Gary A. Plummer ou r algebra teacher tell s us thi s over and over again. Guns, vio lence. black on black crimes. Things like th is make me want to go back in time. A time when blacks were there for each other. Weren't killing each other. We were all sisters and brothers. What happened r.o us being there for each other? Was it slavery that kept black people together? Why are we ki lling each other over drugs and money? Our kids are thi nking that play in g with g uns is funn y. Z. Alexander Luby taught in a col lege. Giving his people the ir most deserved knowledge. James Weldon Johnson wrote, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." I guess he knew what faith it would bring. Julian Abele des igned Philadelphia 's Museum of Art I'm naming important African-Americans. but this is just a start. There are many African-Americans who contributed to our community. People who struggled for years fo r unity. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malco lm X. Start to care and you' ll understand that you co uld be next. There were 56 vio lent deaths in 1994. People were getting killed at their front door. 44 out of 56 peop le who were kil led were black . Guess you want to kno w what I 'm tryi ng to get at. Beatings, gunshots, arson, stabbing. The respect we have for each other is lacking. It 's time to make Martin Luther King's dream come true. Because hi s dr~u m comi ng true will refl ect on you. I hope my poem wil l help African-Americans grow. Because there are some things that we all shou ld know.

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-by Jacqueline• L. Goins. 8th grade, Wagner Middle School

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The ma.in thing in my family that sticks out, is what happened on September 20, 1982. I was 2 and my sister was 7. lt was five days after my daddy's birthday and 16 . days after my sister 's. The thing that happened is that my sister was mistakenly shot. I am not really sure how it happened. so I am nor going to jump to any conclusions. I've been told over '.?0 different stories. It was in the newspaper. l saw the article myself. Afterl read it, I just cried, because l really didn't know her. I was two years old and there wasn't much that I could remember. To me. the death brought my family somewhat closer rogether. Mainly, my grandmother closer to her granddaughters. My sister was my grandmother's first and only grandchild to die. I think the death had an impact on my family. Now when I walk {!own the street, somebody that knows my family might call me ''Netta" (her nickname) or mention her in conversation. Sometimes I just laugh or smi le, but it always doesn't work.

-Jacinta Puckett, 8th grade, Strawbeny Mansion Middle School

A vacation spot I re member a time w he n my fami ly dec id ed to try a new place to vis it fo r o ur s um mer vaca tion. We used to go to Virginia all the time and we soo n s tarted to ge t s ick of it. \v~''dec ided to try out Ocea n C it y, Maryland. Whe n we finally go t there we found o ut th at the water was much bluer. the am usement park s we re more fun and the hotels we re ni cer. We also came to the conc lus ion that the sand was c lea ner th an Virg inia' s. The boardw alk was larger. it hacl more stores. The who le area was more exc iting than a ny part of Virginia that I have bee n to. My fam il y a ncl I have no w clecidecl to sto p visit ing Virginia and now O.C .. Mary land w ill be o ur "Vaca tion Spot"'. Next tim e we ge t bo red o l' going to the same place a ll the tim e we wi ll try some thin g new. Mora l: You never kno w abo ut a place unti l yo u try it.

- Tasha Wells, 8th grade . Strawbeny Mansion Middle Sc/Joo/

Call for work At1ention, al l classroom teachers. The Noft•fwo/... is always lookin g for st udent work. Pl ease submit work w ith name of student, school and grade 10 1he Pu/Jlic Sc!t1111/ Norel>rw•. 372 t Midvale

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Ave .. Phila. , Pa. 19 129. or fax: (215) 95 1-0342.

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Who ya' gonna call? Th is is a partial listing or local groups that advocate for educational change. There are many other organi zations we were unable to list in this issue. Send your listing to Public Schon/ Nmebnok. 372 J Midvale Ave .. Philadelphia. PA 19129.

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Asian Americans United

Contact: Ken Hong. 925- 1538 Focuses on equity iss ues invol v ing A sian-Am er ican students

and staff. Promotes multic.: ultural , anti-racist education.

ASPIRA Contact: Delia Reverson . 923-27 17 In fo rm ~ ::ind invo lves parems and students in school refonn and 1hc edrn.:ati on equit y process.

Citizens Committee on Public Education in Philadelphia. Contact: Gail Tom linson. 545-5433 11 4-year-old civic group advocat ing for quality education for all children. Serves as a catalyst for and monitor of School Di, trict policies.

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Eastern Philadelphia Organizi ng Project Contac t: Gordon Whitman. 426-5705

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Organi Ling and tra ining parents for be11er schools and safer

neighborhoods as part or broad-based effort to build power in schools. churches anti neighborhood institutions. Educational Quality Contaci: Cindy Engst. 329-2687 Membership orga ni za tion of pare nts. teachers. students. communi1 y ac1i visrs. Committed to action for schools that work

ror all students. Educators' Roundtable Contact: Mary Randall, 842-08 14 Works to insure promotion of Blacks within schoo l system and 10 address the con cern s of minority students.

Fight the Right Network , Schools/Youth Working Group Contact: Maggie Heineman. 849-4326 Community-based coalition to fight the Religious Right's att emp1s in Pennsylvania to co ntro l educa tion issues.

LULAC National Educational Service Center Contact: Nancy Alvarez, 423-48 11 Provides programming and support services to students and parents in the Latino communi ty of Philadelphia. Servicios gratis y en espanol/ingles. National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights Contact: Wilfredo Rojas. 425-6 150 Unites w ith o ther groups to promote educat ional opportuni ties for African-Americans. A sian s, L at inos. women. and working class wh iles.

New African Voices Alliance Contact: Bahiya Cabral. 472-4024 L ocal alliance of ~oc i a l change organ izat ions, emphasizing youth issues from birth to adu lthood.

North Philadelphia Commun ity Compact Contact: Rochelle Nichols Solomon. 739-9340 Part nership between North Philadelphia high schools. colleges and co mmuni ty organ iza ti ons. Wo rkin g to significantl y improve student achi evemen t outcomes.

Parents' Union for Public Schools Contact: Sarah Gi lliam. 546- 1166 In fo rm ~ . educares and h e lp~ parents becom e ac ti ve partici-

palll:-; in :-;chool refom1 process. O ffers parent resource center.

Pa rent s United for Better Schools Contact: Veronica Joyner. 84-l-5525 Educa te:-; parent'> of th eir rig hts and faci l itates parent parricipati on in the sc hoo ls.

Phi ladelph ia Educat ion Fund Contact: Les ley Ea, ley. 665- 1400 Non-profit public educati on fund :-;upportin g school reform in

the Schoo l District or Philadelph ia. PFT Com munity Out reach Committee Contac t: Ron Whitehorne. 342-6926 Union init ia1ive 10 build a teacher-co mmu nit y all iance.

Philadelphia Citizens for Ch ildren and Youth Contact : Shelley Yanoff. 563-5848 Information cl earin g hou ~c: report 'i on truanc y and budget s: h a~ M.: hoo l-by-:-;choo l data: general data on children. children \ c.,e rvi ces.

Philadelphi a Futures Con tact: Marciene Matt leman. 790- 1666 Work :-; to motivate studenh 10 stay in school. prepare for co l-

lege and careers. Run-. Spon:-;or-a-Scho lar program.

Philadelphia Interfaith Action Contact: Gary Rodwe ll. 329-8804 Ne1wo ri... whO'.'>C educati on commillee i:-; doing leadership 1r.:i ini11g lo prepare fo r broac.1 -ba:-;ed communit y organi1.ing on

public 'choob. Phil adelphia Parents of Down's Sy ndrome Contact: I Jana Sabree. 242-950 I 'e1wor!... of parcnh v.•ho mcc1 to ... hare informati on. resource:-; on D own·.., Syndrome and prov ide support for parent s around incl u... ion and I EP i\\ llC\.

Philadelphia S.E.E.D. Project !Seeking Educational Equit .v and Oiversit)' ) Conwct: Myrtle Naylor. 248-48.14 Pa rents. lC<H.:her1.o. :-;c hoo l .., taff and communit y member:-; wo r!...in g 1ow;mb 1he crea1 io n of a muhicultural curriculum ~choo l r lima1e.

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YUC: haciendo mejoras para los estudiantes Viene de la p.1 queremos mejorarnos tenemos que hacer algo como gru po y que tenemos que expresar nuestras opi niones si n preocuparnos por las consecuencias. Ruthann: Loque mas me enoja acera de mi esc uela es el hec ho de q ue los maestros piensan que nosotros, Jos estud ian tes, estamos contra ellos y que no estamos bien informados. Se hacen decisiones que nos afectan directamente y no se nos informa sobre ell as. La c lase que mas me g usta es Economfa Domestica. A mi me gusta expresarme a traves de la preparaci6n de al imentos. Mi maestra es muy buena. Ella me ha moti vado segu ir una carrera en artes culinarios. Este tipo de inspiraci6n deberia de ocurrir todo el tiempo en nuestra escuela. Murad: Que es lo que mas me procupa sobre KHS? Los estereotipos que tienen los maestros de los estudiantes, la pereza la desorgan izaci6n y la forma que la escuela es rodada. Yo tambien estoy enojado con los estudiantes que son demasiado de vagos para hacer la tarea escolar y muchos piensan queen la vida lo unico que necesitan es un carro. lQue hiciste acerca de tus preocupaciones? Tammie: Nosotros crefmos que necesitabamos mas apoyo (!~ !\\as estud iantes. Primera, nosotros hi cimos una encuesta preguntandole a los estudi antes lo q ue pensaban de KHS. Sohre 350 estudiantes contestaron el questionario, expresando sus intereses, y trabajamos acerca de los puntos presentados uno por uno. Nosotros sabfamos que si guerfamos un cambio positivo, tendrfamos que dejarle saber a l pri ncipal y a l Superintendente de Escuelas que 350 estudiantes nos estaban apoyando. l Cuales eran sus intereses? Tammie: Nuestras preocupaciones eran que los estudian participaran en la selecci6n de! nuevo principal; que haya respeto y unidad entre maestros, estudiantes y q ueen las asambleas y ac1 ividades se promueva el mismo; queremos mas deportes, actividades y programas; una e.scuela mas limpia; nuevas fuentes de ag ua; me1ores altmentos a la hora de almuerzo; 8 mejores y mas efectos escol~res y NTA's que hagan un trabajo mas efecttvo y mas NTA's que sean mujeres. l Una vez las preocupaciones y los puntos fueron definidos, que hicieron ustedes? Murad: Nosotros le escribimos una carta al Superin tendente Hornbeck para dejarle saber nuestros ~untos de vista y pcdimos un reuni6n con el. La reuni6n tue planeada durante e l mes de Enero, el mismo dfa ue se reun16n la1unta escolar e n KHS. q .Nosotros organizamos una reuni6n con lfderes de Ottas or~:rnzac to n es estud ianti les como ASP!RA, el Club Astattco y el Conse10 Estud iantil. el periodico de la esct.tcla Y Madres.Jovenes. Nosotros le expus imos los p~ntos y ellos estuvteron de acuerdo 100%. Jun10 lantltcamos una agenda para la re uni 6n con Dr. Horn·b~c k y practtcamos lo que fbamos a presentar. Nosotros sab famos que te nfamos que estar re .. dos y ptesentarnos respetuosamente para que ;,ospata tomara tt senamente porque la , · n~ lo hacen. La reuni6n fue ;r:~~.~~~ap~er ~s ·a·t6tdultos mtembros de YUC. os J venes.

lComo fue la reu nion ? Murad: Yo sentf que los maestros y la administrac ion de la escue la se sentieron inc6modos porque los j 6venes estaban a cargo de la reuni6n. Habfa mucho "lam be ojo" entre e l personal de la escuela y Dr. Hornbeck. Mientras estabamos esperando por Dr. Hornbeck en el sal6n de c lases, habfa muchas semillas de giraso l por todo el piso. Nos mandaro n a salir al pasillo para que e l conserje barriera e l piso. Despues le preguntamos a Dr. Hornbeck si habia que invitarlo todos los dias a nuestra e sc ue la para asi mantener la limpi a? En la reuni6n todo fue bien. Nosotros presentamos nuestros puntos y ped imos su apoyo para formar un comite de emergencia en KHS compuesto de padres, estudiantes, maestros y administradores escolares para que trabajen y busquen soluciones a los puntos expuestos durante la re union. El Seiior Hornbeck estuvo de acuerdo con e l plan presentado. ;,Como reacciono la escuela a s u acci6n pt'.iblica? Murad: La gente reacionaron con buenos y malos comentarios. Algunos maestros eran muy comprensivos y otros no nos escuc haron. Algunos oyeron solamente las cosas negativas que dijimos sobre la escuela. A lgunos de ellos nos hic ieron sentir mal por expresarnos pub licamente. Me sentf traicionado sabiendo que estoy trabajando arduamente por mejorar la escuela y sentir que a lgunos maestros nos han dado la espa lda. E llos han dic ho estas cosas porque no estan acostumbrados a que los estudi antes tomen responsabil idad en la esc uela. Por la mala reputacion q ue tiene KHS algunos maestros han desarrol lado estereotipos de los estudiantes. Uno de mis maestros. por ejemplo; no pen saba que yo sabfa c iertas palabras, como la palabra ecosisrema. Los maestros necesitan tener expectativas mas a ltas de d6nde vendramos. lAlgunos de sus puntos o preocupaciones han sido contestadas? M urad: Sf, tenemos una nueva NTA en la escuela, veinte computadoras nuevas, diez posiciones para crear c lubes escolares nuevos; un estudiante fue parte de: la entrev ista para contrataci6n un principal a u ~ ili ar; el principal abrio una cuenta en una tienda de efectos escolares para que asi los maestros compren directamente los materiales que necesitan para sus salones, nuevas fuentes e lectricas de ag ua han sido instaladas Y. e l districto escolar esta hacie ndo un analisis para estudtar e l sistema de tuberias del edificio. Nosotros hemos notado que ha habido mas asambleas escolares Y e l principal esta promoviendo un espiritu posi ti vo en la escue la. lQue ustedes han aprendido de esta experiencia? M urad: Yo aprendf que hay mucha politica envuelta en la "j unta escolar" yes difi c il comprender lo que. esta sucediendo. Los estudiantes Jos tratan de manera dtferente de pe nd iendo a la esc ue la de donde vienen. En KHS los estudiantes no son tratados con ig ualdad. como en la escue la que yo iba antes. , . Ruthann: Las cosas tienen que cambi ar Y la umca manera de hacerlo es s i lo hacemos nosotros. En mt propia manera aprendf e l valor de l poder cuando expreso mi opin ion unidos con mi s amigos. d Tammie: Desde que yo per~enezco a YUC he g~;r:: poder y ltderazgo. Yo no pense que la gente escucl los jovenes. Yo siento que la gente nos esc uchan ahora.

Traduccion por Fe!icira Feliciano

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SPRING1995

PAGE7

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

El nuevo Titulo I El cambio de la ley podria abrirles paso a los padres por Margot Rogers

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El Titulo I se estableci6 en e l afio 1965 para proveer serv ic ios educativos ad ic ionales a los estudiantes mas pobres y necesitado de la naci6n. Aunque ha estado fun c ionando aprox imadamente 30 afios, e l programa todavfa no ha alcanzado maximo potencial. En Octubre, e l Presidente C li nton fi rm6 la ley "Mejorando Escue las de America" (Improv ing America's Schools Act); y T ftulo I fue rea utorizado bajo esta legislac i6n. En e l pr6x imo afio se van a hacer muchas dec isiones en los distritos escolares y en las esc ue las sobre c6mo implementa r e l nuevo Tftulo I. Padres y comunidades escolares tendran una nueva oportunidad de usar Tftulo I coma una herramie nta mas para e l mejoramiento de sus escuelas. l E n que consiste Titulo I? E l Tftu lo I es el programa mas grande de as istenc ia federa l para escue las. Originalmente conoc ido coma "Tftulo I del Acta de Educac i6n Secundaria y Elemental de 196"5, fue renombrado "Capftulo I" en 198 1. En el 1994, e l Congreso regres6 a l nombre de "Tftulo I." Basando en el numero de familias de bajos ingresos. cl Tftulo I provee dinero a d istritos escolares alrededor e l pafs. Cada distrito esco lar paga par serv icios educativos adicionales a niiios de bajos ingresos que estan atrasados en las escuelas. El prop6sito de Tftu lo I es ayu dar a las estucliantes a prepararse para las nuevas non nas estatales. Los estudiantes de T ftulo I deben de rec ibir e l mi smo nivel de educac i6n que otros estud iantes, no un c urric ula mas bajo. l C ua les son las escuelas que r eciben dinero? Cada d istrito esco lar rec ibe cl inero basado en e l numero de estudiantes de

bajo ingreso que sirve. El distri to escolar asigna fondos de Tftulo I a las escue las en e l di strito que tiene el numero mas alto de estudiantes de bajos ingresos . La cantidad de d inero que cacla escue la recibe esta basada en el numero de estudiantes de bajos ingresos que sirve. l Cuales estudiantes se benefician del Titulo I? Las escuelas que tienen un a lto porcentaje de estudi antes de bajo ingreso pueden operar "sc hoolwide programs" con fondos de Tftulo I para benefic iar a toda la poblaci6n esco lar. Los nuevos cambios hicieron mas fac iles que las esc ue las se convirtieran en "schoo lwide programs." [Todas las esc ue las T ftul o I en Filade lfia estan calificada para rec ibir e l "schoolwide status."] l Quien esta a cargo d e desarrolla r e implementa r los progra m as de T itulo l ? El distrito esco lar, pri nci pales, maestros y padres deben estar env ue ltos en el desarrollo e implementaci6n de las programas de T ftulo I. La nueva ley require que cada escuela que este recibiendo fondos de Tftulo l tenga un sistema en e l cual los padres estan involucrados en e l proceso. Esta polftica de be ser conjuntamente desarrollada, aprobada y distribufda con, ya los padres. La experiencia nos muestra que " apro bac i6n" es algunas veces interpretada par el distrito

La nueva ley require que cada escuela que este recibiendo f ondos de Titulo I tenga un sistema en el cual los padres estan involucrados en el proceso. esco lar coma el requisito de una firma en un form ul ario; asf comprobando que las padres han "apro bados" alga. De hecho, la apro baci6n y desarrollo conj unto deberfan significar mucho mas . Los padres deben informarse sobre los

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s u e ntrenamiento. l Como se puede gastar dinero de Titulo I? El dinero de T ftulo I puede gasrarse e n un sin numero de maneras. Las restricc iones mas im portantes son: e l d inero debe proveer servic ios a estudiantes de bajo nivel escolar; las servicios deben estar a un nive l mas a lto y mejor q ue las estudiantes rec ibirfan si e l programa no existiera; y los servicios de ben mejorar el nivel acactemico de las estudiantes. M uchas escuelas estan usando los fondos de Titul o I para contratar maestros especia les . asistentes . y tutores para trabajar con nifios de T ftu lo 1 en lectura y matemat icas fuera de l sa lon de clase. No obstante, las esc ue las pueden gastar e l dinero de T ft ulo 1 e n m uchas otras maneras. Esto inc luye programas de fi n de semana, y de verano; entrenami ento y apoyo a maestros ya persona l: y la introducci6n de nuevas fo rmas de c urrfc ul o, ensenanza e inst rucc i6n. Ademas, las fon dos de T ft ulo I debe paga r por e l envo lvimiento de los padres y da rles apoyo de sus activ iclades. Las esc ue las con proyectos "schoolw ide" pueden usar fundo s de Tftulo I para la reestruct urac i6n o e l mejoramiento de sus escuelas. l Los p rogramas Titulo I necesita n mostra r resu ltados'! Sf. Los di stritos esco lares requieren

_J

Las bie nvenidas de l Puhlic School Nore /wok a su corresponclencia, las criticas. u opon ienclo puntos de vista. Par favor envfelos a l School Norehouk. 3721 Midva le Ave. Ph i la. PA 191 29.

que las programas de Tftulo l sean rev isados para saber si son efectivos. Las escuelas necesit.an demonstrar que sus programas trabajan y que, med iante e llos, las escuelas hacen un ''progreso anua l adecuado'路 para permitir que todos de T ftulo I desaffen las normas del estado. l Cua! es el papel de los padres en Titulo I? Los padres deben estar env ue ltos en el disefio y desarrollo de los programas de Tftulo I, incluyendo e l desarrollo conjunto de \ plan Tftulo I. j uzgando c6mo los programas trabajan y si es necesario. c6mo mejorarlos. Ellos deben de ser estar listos para hacer recomendac iones y recibir respuestas tan pronto sea posible. Los padres debe n esta r I istos para re uni rse con e l persona l de la escuela. observar las actividades de la escue la, y rec ibir suficie nte apoyo para asi esta r preparados para tra bajar con sus nifios en el hogar. Cada escuela y di strito deben de tener una politica de e nvolv imiento de las padres, conj untamente desarrol lada y aprobada por los padres; la cual plantee c6mo los padres van a ser inc luidos en la planificac i6n. el mejoramiento, y la revisi6n de Tftulo I. La nueva ley no garantiza mejoras a los programas de Tftulo I. Sin la de fensa efec ti va q ue aseg ure una implementaci6n apropiada; las estud iantes de Tftu lo I pod rfan ser engafiados y no rec ibir la ca lidad cd uca ti va que la nueva ley promete. Este artfculo hay sido cxtraido de/ pro.ri1110 /r>lle10 a p11hlirnr.H' sohre l'i Tf111/o I. p11hlicado por cl Cl' 11/ro porn <'I Dereclw y /11 拢d11coci1!11. (!02) 986-

3000. Traduccion por Feliciw Fdicimw y Iris Losada

Riege las noticias Ayude a d istribuir Philadelphia P11hlic Sc hool NorehooA . Ustecl puede ser pane del equipo quc disiribu ye School Norehook a trav cs de la c iudad . Copias estan d isponib le para la distribuci6n en su csc uc la. lugar de trabajo e ig lesia . Es tan di sponiblc para un 1evento p(1blico. una reuni6n e n la esc ucla o en un ccnt ro com un al. Favor de ll amar al School Nore/Joo'-. 951 -0'.130. si csta interesado en formar pane de! equipo.

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PAGES

SPRING 1995

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Where's the mayor? Rendell won't commit to $20 million share by Paul Soco/ar Mayor Rendell was quoted in the April 13 Inquirer as saying that the City cannot give the School District any more money and that the School District still has a way to go in convincing politicians that it is doing all it can to economize. The Mayor·s remarks put a damper on an April !'.!ceremony at which IBM rewarded lhe Philadelphia school reform effort with a $2 million technology grant. His comments hit the papers while the School District is in the midst of making its case for $20 million in additional aid from the City and $60 million from the state. The Notebook questioned Mayor Rendell on April 22 about concerns raised by some public school advocates that the Mayor·s starements are undercutting the School Districr's efforts to get more funding. Mayor Rendell reiterated bis position that there is no more money available from the City and tha1 he oppo3es any local tax increase to fund the schools. He cited the liquor tax and payments to the City from non-profit property owners as two revenue sources added recently. He told the Notebook the C ity was committed to finding a total of$10 million a year in new funding as requlred to match the funds donated to the School District by Walter Annenberg. Beyond that, Rendell said, "there's no more City money.:· Rendell >tared. as he had publicly in March, that funding for the School District is his Lop legislative priority in

Politicians Continued from p. 1 elected officials with cards, phone cal ls

~

Harrisburg. He said there is no question the District needs more resources. ' Why is he questioning whether the District. which has faced year after year of cutbacks, is doing all it can to economize? "That's the number one question on everyone's mind when we talk to legislators," the Mayor responded. "I don't think anyone believes the Dislrict has done all it can.'' "There is no belief that the District has done the difficult and painful things that the City had to do when 1 took office:· Rendell said. ··Until you've had some picket signs up outside, you can't say you've done all you can [to economize]," the Mayor added. The Mayor said he thinks Superintendent Hornbeck is on the right track, however. He commended Hornbeck for putting together a strong Management and Productivity Task Force from the business community. But he said it is too early to gauge the results of the Task Force's work, and he added, "There is a sincere attempt being made and there are some projected savings. Ifs our belief that it is now time for the state to kick iri more money." Advocates for increased public school funding will be needing all the help they can get from the Mayor in lobbying for more aid from Harrisburg, including a visible. public stance against the Governor's school voucher proposal. At the same time advocates will be challenging the Mayor to reconsider the possibility of more .local fLUJding for the city's schools.

and faxes. In Phi ladelphia, parents at Mered ith School spearheaded a call for a rally at City Hall on May 11, to press City Council members for adequate fu ndi ng for the c ity's schools. Parents, teachers and advocates for pub1ic schools will be lobbyi ng for school fund in o in Harrisburg May 23; the Philad: lphia Federation of Teachers is sponsoring buses for tl1e trip. Here is a closer look at the pol itical landscape in Han-isburg and Ph iladelphia.

Harrisburg State Representative Dwight Evans of Philadelphia has led the response to Governor Ridge 's school funding fonnula, arguing that it is unfair to tl1e poorer school districts in the state and uniting Philadelph ia ·s legislators around alternatives. Most of Philadelphia 's Democratic legislators are united on expanding state educatio n funding to poorer school diso·icts like Philadelphia and cenain rural diso·icts. These ic:gislators will also be working to restore a massive cut in special education funding for Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. With the state experienci ng a $300 million surplus, there is money avai lable to address these needs. It is unclear whether Philadelphia's Republican state legislators will suppott increased funding for the city 's schools if it means bucking a Republican governor. Republican state representatives Chris Wogan, John Taylor. George Kenney and House Majority leader John Perzel did not return phone calls from the Notebook. Other Republican legislators from Philadelphia are State Rep. Dennis O'Brien and State Senator Hank Salvatore. On Governor Ridge's $38 million school voucher plan, there is no party uni ty among

Democrats (see p. 11 ), but some Democrats see the voucher issue as a key pub Iic school funding issue. "We should be spending all tliat $38 million on public education," said State Senator Allyson Schwanz of Philadelphia. Schwartz said she was disturbed that a school voucher proposa l was the on ly major educational initiati ve from the governor Schwartz and other legislators also hope to drum up suppott for programs that would expand funding for full -day kindergarten and for alternative programs for disrupti ve students.

Philadelphia Mayor Rendell says he is committed to getting more money for the schools from Hanisburg but says he cannot find any in the City's coffers (see sidebar). Members of City Council disagree. Counci lman David Cohen said tliat transferring funds from the City's operating budget to the School District "is always a possibility.'' A spokesman for Councilman Angel Oniz said that the $20 million requested by the School District "can be found.·· Counc il President Joh n StTeet wo uld neither confom or deny reports that he has promised to convene an "education summit" after the May 16 primary. Such a summit would be a place to make the case for increased city funding for the schools. If Phi ladelphia itself antes up dollars for the schools, perhaps legislators in Harrisburg will then feel pressure to do their part. When Superintendent Hornbeck introduced his Children Achieving plan, he emphasized the need to work on all the points in the plan simultaneously. The proposed $ 120 million "investment" is a modest request - in future years, the needs are much greater- bur if the fund s are not all obtained, key ingredients wi ll be lacking. A groundswel I of support for school funding is needed to get real changes into the schools tl1is fal l.

Funding: where does it come from, where will it go? . Tlie proposed budget of the School D1 stnct 1s nearly one and a half billion dollars. Approximate ly 40% of the fu nding is local (mostly propeny taxes) and 60% is from the st ate. There have been cub in the basic budget for the past th ree years. Enrollment has been grow ing and salaries ancl other prices ha ve risen while city and state funding has grown very little. The cuts have included aides. fu ll -day kinderganens. nurses. and truancy officers. The only new local support for the sc hoo ls has been: •the Philade lphia Voluntary Contributi ons Program. where tax-exempt propeny owners like the Univers it y of Pennsylvania make contributions, of which the School District gets 55 %. •the liquor-by-t he-d rink tax. passed in 1994. This year. Mayor Rendel l and Ci ty Council (except Counci lman Cohen) decided to cut the wage tax . resu lti ng in a decrease of$23 mi llion in the amount of ta xes col lected. They have not yet acted on the property tax and other taxes for the schools. TJ1e state froze basic education fundin11 three years ago and staned a new fund ing program from which Philadelphia gets little aclditional money. This year. Governor Ridge is proposing on the one hand to give Philadelphia $23 million for basic education and on the other hand to take away $15 million from spec ial education. The net re,ult of the budget is an$ 11 million increase. which is Jess than last year\. Yet the state has a $300 million ' urplus. and Governor Ridge is proposing tax cu tsof $2 15 million. Governor Ridge has also proposed to spend $38 million on vo uchers - pay-

Implement School nurses clusters 53 School safety and 6 % order 7%

Start schoo l with teachers in place 7%

Teaching and learning networks a d ff . . n sta training 24%

~~

Full day ki ndergarten 12%

Extra learning opportunities fo r students with greatest need, 3 hours per week 9%

Books, technology, bu ilding improvements 12%

What the money's for: new spending initiatives proposed by Superintendent Hornbeck ment s to parents who send their childre n to parochia l and other private schools. Under his plan . the state wou ld continually increase the amo unt for vouchers in future years by decreas ing funding for public schools.

Next year's proposed investments The Children Ach iev ing agenda consists of ten strategies which ,~i l l be pursued by the School District and every school du ring the next 5 years. The School District needs another $ I J2 mil lion to fund the new Children Achievi ng

nities for students with the greatest need. extend ing the hours every day in all elementary schools, small learning communi ties so that teache rs and students can work together more closely and productively, and cl usters.

Action Steps

Small learning commun ities and school-to-work programs 9%

Exte nded ho urs in schools 9%

Other ite ms are new : teach in" and learni ng networks. extra leamin~ oppottu-

initiatives. As shown on the pie chart above. numerous basic suppons for children would be funded. Some of these items are increases in areas thar.have been underfunded or cut in the past. like nurses. school safety. hav ing teachers Ill place at the beginning of the year. and books. tec hnology and build in g imp rovements. . For years we've heard that fu ll -day k111derga rten enables kids to start school ready to learn; this budget will ensure that II becomes avai lable in eve ry racial ly isolated school next year. ·

Elected officials are saying that they have not heard a message to support the schools from consti tuents . C ity Counc il and Mayor Rendell will face the schools' fund ing bil ls in midMay, after the primary election . A ll members of City Counci l and the Mayor are up for re-election thi s year; the primary is May 16th. Parents and other comm unity members can write, call , fax, visit their own district counc il person and all seven at-large members with the message to provide fund s for the schools. Counci l persons shou ld be told to find at least another $20 million as the ir patt of meeting the School District's $ 112 million defi cit. The state House and Senate wi ll begin budget negotiations sometime in May. The School Di strict needs at least $60 mill ion from the state's $16 billion budget. Parents and other community members can contact the ir stare representatt ve and state senator w ith the message to provide the $60 million for the Philadelphia public schools before considering vouchers or G(:ivernor Ridge 's proposed tax curs .

If you don 't know wilo represe111s you in City Cou11cil or in 1he Pe1111syfl'a111a House or Senate. ask 1'1e Co1111r_v Board of Elections ar 686-3469 or rile Vorer Regis1rario11 Dil·isio11 at 686- 1505.


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1995

SPRING1995

::rats hool all aid

Counting noses, counting dollars

Questions surface in wake of new desegregation formula by Paul Soco/ar

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A major shi fting of the School Di strict's desegregation fund s is _planned for next: fa ll , expanding the budgets of some school s, but causi ng major cuts in staff and programs at others. For 27 school s that wi ll be getting grants thro ugh the desegregation program for the first time, the news is good. According to Dr. Ernestine Carter, who heads the D istrict's desegregation program, 119 schools w ill get fund s to promote desegregat ion, almost hal f the schools in the District. However, a $3 .6 million federal grant for desegregation ''magnet" program s has run out and ne w federal grants have not yet been awarded. T he total pot of desegreaation fund s available to schools has th:reby shrunk by about 25 %, to $10.8 million. As a result, fund s for desegregation have been spread more thinly among a growing number of schools. Data o bta ined by the Notebook indicate that at least 35 school s have had their basic desegregation allocation cut by 40%, the maximum cut a llowed under the new po licy. At least ten schools will lose $ I 00,000 or more. Further cuts are projected at all these schools next year, and the School District has been hearing protests from many of them. While the di strict-wide desegregation budget is small - less than l % of the School Di strict's total budget - it is the main source of di scretionary dollars for many school s. Discretionary dollars generally go to supplement the basic allotment for books and supplies, and to support extra staffing to enrich programs or provide individualized attention. At some schoo ls these desegregation funds have made up I0 % or more of the total school budget, and these schools are the biggest losers in the ne w desegregation fundin g poli cy. For example, Hou ston Elementary School in Mount Airy will be losing about $400,000 ifthe cuts go through. Houston was a major recipient of funds from the federa l " magnet" grant, wh ich is not factored into the 40% ce iling on cutbacks. " It send s the wrong message when Hou ston School is one of the school s work ing hardest for diversity and is one

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of the schools that stands to lose the most money," said Houston parent Dan Winterste in. Parents at Houston and other school s hi t by desegregation cuts have joined with parents at schools faci ng cuts in Title I fu nding to protest the cut s and urge the School District to cu shion the blow for all the school s facing big cuts. Protests were focu sed on the May 8 school board meeting he ld at Houston Schoo l. The shift s in desegregation allocations refl ect the impact of a new set of formu las for di vid ing the smaller pool of funds among the schoo ls. According to Jack Myers, the District's Director~of Financial Planning and Analysis, past desegregation al locations reflected " hi stori cal factors" that may have little relevance to the current situation at the school s in quest ion. The new policy, developed by Di strict ad ministrators, detenmines the allocations by applying fonmulas based on measurable criteria like the number of students and the racial makeup of each school. For example, e lementary school s that

are "desegregated" by Di strict criteria at least 25 % wh ite and at least 40% Black - get a basic a llocation of about $ 180 per student. Elementary school s categorized as " non-desegregated" ( I0% to 25% white) get one-third that amount , abo ut $60 per student. Predominantly whi te schools get a dollar amount per "nonwhite" transfer. once they reach a minimum threshold of transfers . Finally. schools get an add iti ona l, one-year ''transitional a llotment" if their cut would otherwise exceed 40% of the ir last year 's allotment. Different multipl iers appl y to m iddle school s and high schools. Magnet high schools that are desegregated. like Bodine and Creative and Performing Arts, receive much hig her a llocations($ JOOO per student) than comprehensive hi gh school s that are desegregated ($40 per student). Di srictw ide, the medi an desegregation grant for next year is about $75,000 per school. School s with student populations that are less than I 0 % white cannot receive

For several years Philadelphia schools have been hearing that the School District will soon give schoo ls control over decisions about how to spend 'the ir core budget for teaching staff. One school that has started this process is the Farre ll School. The Lou is H. Farrell School , an 850student K-8 elementary school in the Northeast Region, is among the top 10 schools district-wide in standardized test scores. The percentage of Farrell's students who live in poverty is the highest of the 15 schools in the Philadelphia School District where a majority scored at or above the national norm in read ing. One third of Farre ll 's ch ildren are African Americans bused to Farrell through the desegregation program; neighborhood children attending Farrell are predominantly white, many of them from immigrant fami li es. The Farre ll School does not receive any Title I money, federal mone y targeted for low-income children. With no federa l money to pay for teacher ass istants. Farrell has creative ly used its operating budget to provide intensive individua l and small group instruct ion.

desegregation funds. except for a transi tional a ll otment. The percentage of white student s de termines el igib ility. regardless of the d ivers ity of the student s lumped together as "non-white." Thi s po licy is

Ironically, a school that mirrors the district would be categorized as non-desegregated. like ly to come into 4uestion as the Di stri ct's populat ion becomes more Asian and Latino. Ironica lly. a schoo l that is a m irro r image of the Distri ct - 22 % white. 63 % Black. 5% Asia n and 10% Latino - wo uld be categorized as nondesegregated under the fonmula. The School Di stri c1 's desegregation program has evolved out of the twodecade-long court battle now before Judge Doris Smi th in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. Under the program, students can leave their neighborhood and vol untarily transfer to selected school s - but on ly to those schools th at have been " targeted" to acce pt more students of their part icular racial group. Desegregation funds are intended to enable schools to en hance their program s in ways that wou ld attract add itional stu dents and wo uld "improve" their racial balance . Funds go to desegregated school s to help main tain a stab le racial ba lance: to school s that are predominantly African-American and trying to maintain and expand the number of white slu clents; and to sc hools in predominantly white com muniri es thal draw in student\

of color as 1ransfer students. Judge Smith found inequiti es in the program: Black s1Uden1s· chances or ge1ti ng a desegregation transfer were mu ch

sma ller 1hrn1 those or whites: and an .. infinitesima1·· porrion

Creative budgeting serves students at Farrell by Patricia A. Lowe

1em·e up s ity

PAGE9

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Flex ibility in hiring staff and the consensus of al l who actively part icipate in decision-making were the key to providing more intensive services to students. Brian Gardi ner, principal of Farrel l until he was recently appointed Northeast Cl uster leader, commented , "W hen everyone is included and everyone makes the decisions, it is difficult fo r anyone to argue Teachers at Farrell agreed to g ive up some of their free periods, also known as "prep" periods - wh ich had been covered by " prep" teachers, such as art or choral teachers - in exchange fo r more intensive pupil support in the form of increased individual and small group instruction. When prep teachers retired or transferred, their positions were not fi lied Instead , the money saved all owed the school. with the consensus of facu lty and parents, to hire six retired teachers who eac h work two days a week with smal I groups and indi vid uals. Farrell 's reti red counselor also comes in two days a week to supplement the work of the fu ll time counse lor by worki ng with 7th and 8th graders. ~ The ret ired teachers get to be a part of

a school fami ly wi thout having the burden of full class loads and homework to grade. Farre ll's students benefit by the wisdom and experience of these retired teachers . The reti red teachers work is directed by the reading teacher. Each reti red teacher works wit h a s ing le grade. The retired teachers spend one · prep period in each of the classes to which they are assigned. Thi s helps them to see what material the c lasses are wo rking on in each c lassroom and detern1ine who needs the ir help. It is the schoo l's pol icy to prov ide all children instructio n at their own g rade leve l. as there is no abi li ty grouping, even for reading groups. Farre ll does not track students. relying instead on cooperati ve learn ing - where students wo rk in pairs - and ~n extra staff to provide indi vidual and sma ll group in struc tion. In the read ing teacher's room. the ret ired teac hers provide individual and small group instruction to students they have iden tifi ed from each class. The retired part -time teachers can also work on spec ia l pa rent-facu lty con ferences or edit student s' wo rk or work wi th

See "Farrell" on p. 11

or desegregation

funds went to rac ially isolated schoo ls. pan or the overall shortchanging or these schoo ls. The Judge responded by orde ring the Di strict to expand ih deseg regation options, as wel l as 10 impro ve the qua lity or educati on in "raciall y isolated" schools. Michae l Churchill. a public in tcresl attorney in the desegregation case. said the new formula is based on a philosophy th at more of the desegregation funds

should "move wilh Black kids who are transferring int o predominant ly white

schools ." In 1he paSI 1he Disi ri cl emp hasized using desegregation dollars to

attract white studenis to predominantly Black sc hoo ls as wel l as to ho ld white students in 1he system by maintaining seve ral "eli te" magnet school:-. "Unfortunately a ll the sc hools arc so unde rfunded that th is di sc re tio nary fund ing enc.ls up goi ng to fund hasics... C hurchill added. "so thal when you cu1 funding at a scl 1ool. it cause:-. grew p:1 i11 .·· However the funds arc alloc:Jled. 1/Jc

Di strict slill faces two chal lenge'.-.: in ... ur-

ing 1hat 1he dollars spent hencl"il lhc full range of diverse stuclcnh at dc:-.eg sc hool s: and that the dcsegrega1 ion pol icy benefits the stuclcnis in 1l1c Di stric1 ·, I :1.J racia lly iso lated schoo l,_ Supcr in1 enden1 Da vid H nrnhec~ ltas not yet completed hi :-. dc...,cgn.:g~11io11 plan. which mu st he submitted to J ud~c Srni1lt in June. The current controvc r"') ahuu1 the new desegregation all ocali(llh ma~ well conti1iue to he played out ~m1urnl that plan.


SPRING 1995

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

PAGE JO

Washington caves in to "Contract"

Congress prepares to shred school programs In Wash ington, the first four months of 1995 have not.been good for ed ucalion. The Republicans, supported by less than 20% of the.votmg-age public 111 the November electrons, nonetheless managed to capture both houses of Congress. Claiming these results to be a mandate for their "Contract with America," the new legislative leaders have pushed to pass their program in a flurry of activity, with a min imum of national debate. As remarkable as the Republican tumabout has been the passivity of Democrats in mounting resistance to the GOP moves. While President Clinton's initiatives in the first two years of his term were often stonewa lled by the · minority party, the Democrats 111

Washington have appeared .~onci,l,iato.7 by comparison. The words v.eto or fil '.buster" are s~ldom .heard. Instead of. trghtmg the nght-wmg attacks on basic socia l programs. affi rmati ve action, and business regulation (the env ironment, workplace safety, consumer issues), the Democrats act much like they did during the Reagan years: serving as the " loyal opposition" while sh ifting their public stance further to the nght. A few exceptions to this overall pattern can be seen: the President's issuing an exec utive order to ban worker replacement during strikes, and hi s speak ing out against the demagogues on talk radio after the Oklahoma City bombing. But Democrat initiatives on

Military Overshadows Other Priorities Spending for Key Programs in 1995

$50

$33 Biiiion $27 Biiiion

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While the federal budget for education is dwarfed by military spending, Congress is moving to cut our schools while the Pentagon stands unscathed. (Common Agenda Coalition)

· 0 II u·escence in welfare and th;',: :~:~ ~c~o~ld seem ant1- immigran g J" J" t 0 to rule agm;ist an~ proi-e~~;e~~iict ~~;~trend.emer,,mg ~h~t;D;mocratic arty. gressive base fo ., hpf . The upshot of the nghtward s 1 ~in Washington has been the passage 0 .a number.of measures by one·~~~: ~:c~e other with srgmfrcant neg.atr p . lions for education. The fmal :i~~~nb most cases remams to be dete y_ JOmt House-Senate consultatwns. A gen era! pattern seems to be. that the Senate has been less hard-lme m its support of the Republican "Contract" than the House. Nonetheless, as the following list provided by the National Education Association (NEA) indicates, the Senate's work has hardly been benign:

Both the House and Senate voted to-•deprive 9,000 children of a chance to join the Head Start program, and lO ,OOO more kids of preschool nutrition (Healthy Start); . . •slash or eliminate aid to commumf to 'fight ouns drugs and other vio5 ~~ce in our ~cho,ol s (Safe and Drug-free Schools Program); •eliminate summer jobs for more than one million teenagers (Summer Youth Em lo ment Program); •cut tr~ni~g programs for high h . . d ates who are trying enter 10 sc 00 1gia u W k the workforce (School-to- or Program). h NEA .d T t 1 By contrast, 1 e d en;r ~es ; ~h winners in these early ays 0 1 e Congress: billionaires who renounced

The House voted to • end the school lunch, breakfast, and summer feeding programs that give kids the energy to learn (H.R. 4); •reduce funding for state-of-the-art technology and computers in classrooms (The Education Technology and Improvement Program); •eliminate federal efforts to involve parents in school improvements (parent resource centers). The Senate voted to • cut aid to 4,000 elementary and secondary schools - with an enrollment of almost three million children - to improve the quality of education and teaching (Goals 2000); •end help to 70,000 children who need special assistance to meet challenging academic standards (Title I); • cut teacher training in core subjects I ike math and science (Teacher Training in Math and Science, The Eisenhower Professional Development Program).

their U.S. citizenship to avoid paymg taxes were left off the hook for. the $3.6 billion dollars owed; and families making more than $200,000 per year . received tax breaks worth ab.out $5 billion.

01

1

14

Spread the news Help distribute the Philadelphia Public School Norebook. You can be a part of putting the Norebook in the

FUND SCHOOL REFORM FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN

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hands of people across the city. Copies are available for distribution at yo ur school ,community center, place of worship, special public event, or Home and School meeting. Contact us at Public School Norebook, 3721 Midvale Ave., Phila . PA 19129. Phone: (2 15) 951-0330. Fax: (215) 951-0342.

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LOWER CLASS SIZE

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MORE TRAINING FOR TEACHERS

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY & INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

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NURSES AT ALL SCHOOLS These basic reforms are measures that the PFI' has fought for over the years. Now they are part of Superintendent's Hornbeck's action plan. Next year will see full day kindergarten across the city and an end to the practice of understaffing schools in September. Other reforms are to be phased in over the next t~ree years. These are practical first steps to give our children an education that begins to compare with that received by children in the city's suburbs. But the budget to make this happen is by no means a sure thing. In fact it is in big trouble. Politicians, from City Hall to Harrisburge, have been falling all over themselves with praise for Mr. Hombeck's Agenda, but then they run for cover when he presents them with the price tag. Currently the School District is once again looking at a huge defcit - 114 million dollars. Unless We convince our e~ected officials to find the money to close this gap we will see huge cuts in school programs and services to students. The promise of reform will be killed by the politician's budget axe. Don't let this happen.

THE PFf JOINS WITH PARENTS, STUDENTS, AND THE COMMUNITY IN DEMANDING OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS FUND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET. The PFI Community Outreach Committee see~ to work wit~i parent, student and community groups interested in building a campaign for full funding for our sclwols. For more mformatwn call or wrtte.

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PHILADELPHIA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS 1816 CHESTNUT ST. 587-6738

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+-r SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

SPRING1995

PAGEJJ

Vouchers would drain education funds

Ridge voucher plan: not yet a done deal by Chris Davis A scheme for tuition vouchers has resurfaced in Harri sburg, thi s time included in Governor Tom Ridge's proposed budget fo r 1995-96 . The future cost is estimated at $250-$300 million per year. All of this money wo uld be used to subsid ize tuition at private and paroch ial sc hools. At a time whe n public sc hoo ls are cutting their budgets, and the Philadelphia public schoo l budget has been shortchanged by more than $160 million by the state in the last three years, a vo ucher plan is a dangerou s pl an. Pe nnsy lv an ia already provides tax dollars for services and supplies to private and parochial schools. Tn 1992-93, non-public schools received $ 174 milli on in tax support. These "choice" vo uchers are si mpl y a way to further subsidize private and parochial schools.

Art icle rTl of the Pennsylvania State Constitution c learly states that ·'No money raised for the support of the pub1ic schools of the Commonwealth shall be appropriated or used for the s upport of any sectarian school". Being rel ig io us, paroch ial schools are legally cons idered sectari an schools. The fate of Ridge's vo uc her pl an is unclear. It must be approved by the state legislature by the end of June if it is to be funded as part of the state budget. Before then , there is time to call and write to the Governor, State Representatives and State Senators to express opposition to the voucher proposal. The Governor's toll free number is I (800) 932-0784. Or part icipate in the Lobby Day in Harris burg o n May 23. Call Parents Un ion for inform ation on free bus transponati o n, (2 15) 546- 1166.

The promise of choice

Can vouchers deliver? This article is reprinted in edited form from the Spring, 1995, edition of the newspaper Rethinking Schools, 1001 E. Keefe Ave , Milwaukee WI 53212. Following are some of the most common arguments for parenta l "choice" and vouchers, with a look at how the rhetoric fai ls to do justice to the complexities of public education in a democratic society. School choice is based on a simple but radical idea: breaking the power of the educational establishment and giving parents freedom to send their children to a private school. What's wrong with that? Parental freedom is a great concept. But freedom is more than an indi vidual concern. It also involves safeguard ing the democratic freedom s of soc iety as a whole. Schools are the place in this society where chi ldren from a variety of backgrounds come together and, at least in theory. learn to talk, play, and work together. Schools are by no means equal and play a significant ro le in maintaining our highl y stratified society. At the same time, public schools are less uneq ual than any other in stitution. There is no comparable arena in thi s country where there is a vis ion of equality, no matter how much this vision may be tarnished in practice, and where people of different backgrounds interact on a dai ly basis. Parents are responsible for their child's well-being and should have the right to choose the school they think is best, whether it's public or private. Essentially, such an approach is a marketplace formulat ion that doesn 't work when it comes to schools. Education is not a consumer good. like buying a car, where you take whatever money you have, enter the marketplace and buy whatever yo u can. Some buy Cadillacs and some buy Yugos, and there are not any major soc ia l conseq uences. But there are socia l consequences if ed ucation is viewed mere ly as an ind ividual concern and only some people's ch ildren get a good ed ucation. It 's not s imply a matter of parents choos ing a private school, but of private school s choos ing students. If a private school doesn't want your chi ld. whether fo r academic. d iscip line . re ligio us 0 1 financ ial reasons. there's nothing yo u can

do. People forget that many of the more privileged parents in this country don 't have to choose to get a quality education . They go to the well-funded public school in the affluent, suburban neighborhood. Seen in thi s context, "choice" is being proposed as a way to wiggle out of tough decisions about providing the money needed for quality schools in our urban and rural areas. Private schools do a better job edu cating children. So why not make it possible for more parents to send their children to private schools? There 's absolutely no data to support claims that private school s are necessari ly better than pu blic schools. That's a myth. In particu lar, there is little data on private schools that serve low-income students. Un li ke pu blic schools, pri vate school s are under no requirement Lo re lease information on test scores, expulsions. drop-outs, attendance, and so forth. There are excellent private school s. but also exce llent public school s that do not charge tuition and do not have academic entrance requirements. [_The current Pennsy lvania voucher proposa l talks of a figure of $ 1,000.) But what happens to the parent who wants to send their chi Id to a school that charges two or three times that amount? The answer is simple: the parents don't get to "choose" that sc hoo l. Even in pri vate schoo ls that serve lowincome parents, there is a screening process. I have a child in middle school right now, and I don't want that child to be a martyr to the noble cause of public schools. The only way r can send my child to a private school, where she will have a safer environment, is if I get help from vo uchers. We have a lot of sympath y for such parents, and find it hard ro fau lt them for doing what tl1ey thin k is best for their ch ild . But we have linle sympath y with tl1ose who advocate vouchers as anything mo re than a temporary sol ution for some people and who inst ead c laim it is rhe answer to our education prob lems. Wliat we do know is that vouc her system would al low pub lic schools to decay furth er. and so choi ces in the publ ic system wo uld be add itiona ll y limited.

Farrell Continued from p. 9 half of a class on a project whi le the regular teacher works with the other ha lf. Some act as mentors, helping kids to improve their st ud y habits. One reti red teacher instructs the th ree classes of eighth grade in small groups in how to research and write an in-depth research paper. Farre ll staff say this effon to put small group instruction and cooperative learning to work is bearing fruit in the improved reading level of many students at Farrell. Twenty eight 8th graders from Farrell , including 12 students at Farrell under the desegregation program. take 9th grade advanced placement courses, accord ing to Gard iner. After a visi t to Farrell , Superintendent David Hornbeck publicly recognized the

school and it s principal when hi s "Children Achieving·• plan was unveiled thi s past February. Farre ll also enjoys the active pani c ipation of parents through its Home and Schoo l Association and hires some of it s most active and carin g parents as class-

room assistants. These assistants are assigned to help some of the fourt een disabled students at Farrell. and are able 10 assist other students in the classes where they work . State or Federal money to aid disab led students is used to hire the assistant s. And desegregation money, which also supp lements Farrell"s operating budget. provides bus monitors who also act as ha ll monitors and work with o lder chil dren when they are not rid ing the buses . Farre l I stands as one mode l of what can be done when the principal. teac he rs. and parent s work close ly toget her to make ful l use of a school s resources.

Just One Of The Pieces In Our Garbage Collection The students from Norristown High School call this piece, "SunflowerS: Recycling For Life" While the judges named it "Best Message Conveyed About The Environment" in the Mellon PSFS See Green Tuish Art Contest. This annual contest is part of our Focus on Learning program which also includes scholarships and essay contests. Through it, kids learn the value of self-motivation, creativity and most of all, themselves. Of course, with the Trash Art Contest, they picked up some other important insights. Such as an understanding of the environment and the need to protect it. As well as the realization that beauty can come from anywhere. Even a bunch of trash.

Congratulations to the 1995 See Green Trash Art Contest Wmners: Best of Show Award - Pennsbury High School Visual Appeal Award - Hatboro Horsham High School Technical Execution Award - Wissahickon High School Unique Source of Trash Award - Garnet Valley High School Best Message Conveyed About the Environment Award - Norristown High School

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+ PAGE 12

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

SPRING 1995

Changes could open doors to parents

What's new with Title I by Margot Rogers Title I was established in 1965 to provide "extra" educational services to the nation's poorest and lowest ach ieving students. Yet for nearly 30 years, the program has failed to meet its potential. In October, President Clinton signed into law the "Improving America's Schoo ls Act," and Titl e I was rea uthorized in this legislation. In the next year, many decisions will be made in schools and school districts about how to implement the new Title I. Parents and chool commun ities have a new opponunity to use Title I as a tool for broader school improvement. What is Title I? Title I is the largest federal aid program for schools. Originally known as 'Title I" of the Elementary and Secondary Educat ion Act of 1965. it was renamed "Chapter I" in 1981. In 1994, Congress reverted back to the name "Title I." Title I provides money to school districts around the country based on the number of low-income fami lies in the district. Each school di strict uses its Title I funds to pay for extra educational services for low-income children who are behind in school. Title rs purpose is to help students meet the new. challenging state standards. Title I students must be taught the same knowledge and ski ll s as all other students, not a watered down curriculum. Wh ich schools receive money1 Each school district is all ocated money based on the number of low-income students it serves. The school district allocates the Title I money to those schools in its district that have the highest numbers of low-income students. The amount of money each school receives is based on the number of low-income students it serves. Which students benefit from Title I? which have a high percentage of low-income students can operate "school wide programs" in which Title I funds can be used to benefit the entire schoo l population. New changes made it eas ier for schools to become school wide programs. \All Ph il adelphia Title I schools qualify for school wide status. I S~hools

Who is in charge of developing and implementing Title I programs? The school district. principals. teachers, and parents must all be involved in develop ing and implementing the Title I programs. The new law requ ires each school receiving Title I fund s to have a parent involvement policy. Thi s policy must be developed joi ntl y with, approved

by. and distributed to parents. Experience shows "approval" is sometimes interpreted by schoo l districts as requiring a signature on a form, proving that parents have "approved" something. In fact, joint development and approval should mean someth ing far more. Parents must be in formed about the issues . They should be in a position to assess what they need in order to be full participants in their ch ildren's ed ucation, and should be full partners in determ ining how the money set aside for parent involvement can fac ilit ate that full panicipat ion. How may Title I money be spent? Title I money can be spent in an enormous number of ways. The major restrictions are: the money must provide services for low achieving students; the services must be over and above what these students would receive without the program; and the services must adequately raise the achievement level of these students. Many schools now use their Title I fund s to hire special teachers, aides, and tutors to work with Title I children on their reading and math outside of the regular classroom. Nevenheless, school s can spend their Title I money in many other ways; these include providing afterschool, weekend, or summer school programs; training and suppon for teachers and staff; and introducing new forms of curriculum and instruction. In addition, Title I fu nds must pay for the parenta l invo lvement program. including the training of parents and suppon of their activities. Schools with school wide projects can also use their Title I funds for overall school improvement or school restructuring effons. Do Title I programs need to show

results? Yes . School districts are required to review whether their Title I programs are effective. Schools need to show that their programs are working - that through them, the school s are making "adequate yearly progress" sufficient to enable all Title I students to meet the challenging state standards. What is the role of the Title I parent? Parents must be involved in designing and developing the Title I programs, including jointly devel oping the Title l plan, judging how well the programs are do ing, and figuring out how to improve them, if necessary. They must receive sufficient information and training to become involved. They must be able to make recommendations and receive "timely" responses to their recommendations.

Parents must be able to meet with school staff, observe school activities, and receive enough support from schools to be able to work with their children at home. Each school and district must have a parent involvement policy, jointly developed wit h and approved by parents, which outlines how parents will be involved in all aspects of the planning, improvement, and review of Title I. The new law does not guarantee improved Title I programs. Without effective advocacy to ensure proper implemen tation, Title I students could be cheated out of the quality of educat ion the new law prom ises. This article is excerpted from a forth coming booklet on Ti tle I published by the Center/or Law and Education , (202) 9863000.

Policy change benefits highest poverty schools

Title I shift hits Rowen School, others by Cindy Engst Rowen Elementary School parents and staff were infonned that their school wou ld lose their Tit le I allo1ment , on February 22, 1995. It wou ld amount to a loss of $3 17,000. To the Rowen School children, staff and community. that would mean losing all of their 11 classroom assistants, the entire parent scholar program. the termination of the school-community coord inator, the loss of enonnous amounts of instructional materials and books. and many other severe cuts that are a blow to the educational program of

The Philadelphia

S.E.E.D. Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity)

Summer Institute for Parents June 10th, July 8th, August 4th (evening field trip), August 5th Stevens Administration Building 13th and Spring Garden Streets Participants will learn about curriculum revisionunderstanding cultural, personal and institutional change in . . schools, and .community building. The 1nst1tute ar:d all materials are free to parents, guardians, and caregivers of Philadelphia public school students. For more information or lo register call (215) 248-4834

their school. The Rowen parents immediately organized a meeting with the Rowen adm inistration, staff, and with Allie M. Mulvihi ll , who hm1dles Title 1 funds for the School District. They were informed that because of a new fomiula for calcu lat ing eligibility for Title I, they missed the tl1e level by only a few percentage points. On March 17, good news arrived when the Rowen parents and staff were informed that 50% of their Title I money would be restored. This cushion was granted to schools who were losing more than 50% of its previous funds, and is only a one-year reprieve which will end on June 30, 1996. The 50% cut at Rowen still means a loss of $ 162,000. Rowen School was not alone in receiving these cuts. The Nonhwest Region of the Philadelphia School District was hit the hardest. Out of 24 Title I schools in the Nonhwest, 17 were cut, losing a total of more than $2 million dollars. Schools like Em len and Pennell lost 50% of their funding, and Germantown High and Lingelbach Elementary lost I00% of their funds. The new form ula has created winners as well , the schools that receive big increases in Title I money. A major influx of cash for tl1ese new schools raises serious questions about how new money should be spent. Federal law requires parental involvement in the spending plan, yet the quick tum-around be1ween the new money and the dead line for school budgets minimizes meaningful parent input. For some 27 years Title I (f0 nnerly Chapter I) money was distributed to schools

- in poveny areas to help equalize education. Test scores played a large role in determining the greatest need. Often as schools achieved higher academic levels their funds were reduced. Schools in high poveny areas would again be left with less suppon for their students. This system was judged to be unfair to successful schools. Now eligibility is strictly based on high poveny levels. The new allotment changes requ ire that at least 80.9% of students at a given school measure on or below the poveny line. This measure is based on welfare levels and the census data from the feeder area of schools. Prev iously, only 75% of a school's student population had to be at or below poveny. On ly the poverty level of the school 's own student body was considered - not the poverty level of the surrounding community. In some instances like in Mt. Airy, the surrounding community is wealthier than the students who attend the pub Iic schools. Parents at the Rowen School claim that this new assessment is unfair. They say that many of their students did not get counted in the census correct ly. "All you have to do is walk down the halls to know that this is a school that has a great need for Title 1funds. Who decides who's in poveny? We have so many students that are being raised by grandparents and guardians, the numbers can' t be accurate," says Eudora Burton, a Rowen parent. Parent,s at Rowen and at the other schools affected by the cuts in Title 1 feel their local pressure had an effect on the District 's restoring 50% of !heir fund s. Tl1ey cont inue to research. educate themselves. and organize to regain their funds.


+ SPR!NGJ995

PAGE 13

'95

Recommended reading

'Teaching for equity and justice' by Marsha Pincus

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The editors of Rethinking Schools newspaper, published four times yearly out of Milwaukee, know that systemic change will never take root in any school district w ithout nurturing the ferti le ground of the indi vidual classroom. With thi s conviction in mind , they have put together a very spec ial co ll ection entitled Rerhinkinr; Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and J ustice. Finally, here i s a publication that understands the needs and respects the knowledge of cl assroom teachers on the front Jines in the struggle to make our school s more eq ui table and just every day. It's a perfect blend of theory and practice - an amalgam of ideas and inspirations from students, teachers, soci al criti cs and poets, th at touches on every major discipline from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Open to any page and you' ll find useful and thoughtful strategies for combat-

ing racism, develop ing a mu lticultural curri cu lum , promoting gender equity, as well as dozens of other important issues that contribute to the qual ity of education we provide our students. As Judge Smith and Superin tendent Hornbeck work to agree upon the best way to ensu re that all of Philadelph ia's ch i ldren achieve, we teachers do not have to wait for that decision before taking an active approac h to changing our own classrooms. Rethinking Our Classrooms is valuable to teachers, students, admin istrators, teacher-educators. parents and anyone concerned with the future of our children, our school s and our society. To obtain your copy ofRethinking Our Classrooms send $6.00 to Philadelphia Public Schoo l Notebook, 3721 Midvale Ave., Phi/a .. PA 19129. Fo1 quantity orders write to Rethinking Schoo ls, 1001 E. Keefe Ave. , Milwaukee, WI 53212, or call (414) 964-9646.

Immigration quiz: Myths and facts Editors' Note: From California's Proposition 187 to English Only bills here in Pennsylvania, immigrant hashing is all the political rage. Thefollowinr; quiz can be an important classroom roof for exposing the xenophobic and racist distortions that anti-immigrant attitudes are based on. We reprint it here to encourage teachers to introduce critical reflection on the immigrant experience and the current social mood of hostility towards our newest neighbors, class mares and co-workers. Answers to the quiz are listed below.

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Quiz

86-

1.

In the past four years, the poorest immigrants arriving in the U.S. came from: A) Africa B) Asia C) Central Ameri ca D ) Former Soviet Union

2.

The area with the hi ghest percentage of immigrants to the U .S. who are high sch oo l grad uates is: A) Europe B) Central America C) Africa D) As i a

3.

T he immigrant population that earns the hi ghest median household income in th e U.S. is: A) Mexican B) English C) Indi an D) African

4.

Jn 191 0, the U.S. population was 15% foreign-born. In 1990, the foreign-born percentage of the population was A) 8% B) 10% C) 18% D) 22%

5.

Stud ies by the Urban Institute show

that for every I 00 new immigrant s: A) Employment decreases by 62 jobs B) The number of jobs stays th e same C) Employment increases by 46 jobs D) It's impossible to tell ho w the job market reacts

A) Earn$ I 0 bi ll ion. pay $ 1.3 bill ion in taxes B) Earn $15 billion. pay $3 billion in taxes C) Earn $100 billion. pay $ 15 billion in taxes D) Earn $240 billion. pay $85 billion in taxes

8.

6.

A recent Los Angeles County study showed that the co unty spent $2.45 billion in 199 1-92 on schools and other services for res ident immigrants. In that same period, resident immigrants: A) Paid no taxes B) Paid $1.7 billion in taxes C) Paid $4.3 billion in taxes D) It's impossibl e to calculate th e amount of taxes

7. Nation ally, immigrants rece i ve about $5 bi ll ion annually in welfare benefits. Approximate ly how much do they earn and pay in taxes?

Increased immi gration tends to: A) Produce higher wages for immigrants Bl Produce hi gher wages for U.S. citizens C) Produce lower wages for immigrants D) Produce lower wages for U.S. citi zens

9.

l n Northern California. undocumented immigrants and refugees seeking pol itical and economic asy lum may be jai led and: (True or Fols<') A) Not be accused of any crime B) Not be al lowed bail C) Not be g iven a public defender D) Not be al lowed a trial by jury E) May be placed in max security F) Women may be lock ed-down for up to 22 hours a day

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Answers 1. D. Recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union are among the poorest and the least employed, far more so than Latin American or Asian newcomers, according to the U.S. Census. (Source: "Census Data Reveal Wide Immigrant Diversity," San Francisco Examiner, Sept. 23, 1993.) 2. C. A lmost 88% of African immigrants had a high school diploma and 47% had a bachelor's degree or better, according to a Census Bureau study. Africans as a group are also better educated than the general U .S. population: only 77% of U .S.born adul ts have a high school diploma and just over 20% have a bachelor's degree or higher. (Source: "African Immigrants Best Educated in the U.S ., Census Shows," Contra Cos1a Times, Sept. 23, 1993) 3. B. The med ian household income for an immi grant from the United Kingdom was $41, 158. Japanese immigrants came in second at $35,487. Most Central American and African immigrants were in the high teens . Median income for Mexicans was $ 16,7 12, and Indians ranked 7t.h at $22,23 1. The lowest paid are Vietnamese ($12,507), Laotians ($1 1,750) and those from the former Soviet Union ($8,248). (Sou rce: "America's Diverse hnmigrants," San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 23, 1993) Question to ponder: If Africans as a group are the highest ed ucated. why is

their household median income ($17 .871) in the lower half of the income scale? 4. A. The figure is from Susan Lapham, a Cen; us Bureau demographer who authored the Bureau's study on immi grants. (Source: "Census Data Reveal Wide Immi grant Diversity," San Francisco Examiner, Sept. 23, 1993.) 5. C. (Source: Study cited in "From Bill to Pete." Race File, Sept., 1993 .) 6. C. (Source: Study cited in "From Bill to Pete," Race File, Sept., 1993.) 7. D. (Source: '"Immigrants: How They're Helping the Economy," Business Week, Jul y 13, 1992.) 8. C. " Although wages fell in Californ ia during the recent wave of immigration. immi grants absorbed most of the adverse impact. " (Source: The Fourth Wave, by Thomas Muller and Thomas Espenshade, 1985, ci ted in "Advoca te's Quick Reference Guide to lmm1grat1on Research," Nat ional Council of La Raza.

Au~_"' ~ ~.;~e; 9

B) Trne: C) Tr11e; D) Tr11e: E) True; F) Trne. (Source: " Gi ve Me Your Tired Your Poor: The Jailing of lmmi ~rants in Alameda County." The California Prisoner, Summer. 1993 .) . This qui: \1'as prepared /w 1he Applied Research Center. 25 Emharcadcro Co~·e. Oakland. CA 94606. tr was reprimed 111 the Marcil/April !995 issue of Poverty & Race

maga:ine. Suhscriprio11s are awnlahle_Jree ofclwrge by mailing IO 1711 Connecllrnl Ai•e. N.W.. Washingwn D.C. 20009.

What makes a good teacher?

Asking the experts By Arnold Singletary Students, when given the opportunity to express themselves either by the written word or orally, should be the expert s when considering their ex perien ces. Unfort un ately, teachers qu ite often do not regard studen t observations as valid. World History and Law and Justice classes were asked. ··What does a new teacher need to be ab le to do and know in order to become a good teacher"'" They de\,eioped the fo llow ing recommendation s: l f teachers want respect , they should give respect to studenb. Teac hers shou ld be more considerate of other people's feelings. Teachers should not give up on students who don"t do well in cla". Teac hers shou ld take more time for studen ts who need extra help. T hey should talk to students directl y and clearly. They shou ld all come in with their best foot forward. Teachers shou ld f ind more creat ive ways of teac hing. In stead or tests on ly. teachers should ass ign more projects - so that learning could be a more ""creative" learning experi ence. Teachers should not stereotype because of race . Teachers should involve paren ts more. Teachers should be open-minded. They shou ld be motivaters, not just check co llectors. Teac hers should limit thei r language and set exampl es. Teac hers should be impartial. Teachers should be ready for changes in our schools

A mold Sing/c/Clrr t<'achcs social st11di<'s 111 William Penn Scnior I ligl! School: "Mv classes arc· hetcmgeneous groups predo111i11arely in the North PhiladeltJltiu area ..{fee/ \"l'IT confide/// a/Jou! tfle/i1fl//"l' 1f 111y St I/dents /Jl'Cl//ISC of" tile /INSO//O/ and cd11ca1io11al occomp/is/1111c11t.\' I hm·e seen in

Ill\' c/a.\'Sl'S."


SPRING 1995

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

PAGE 14

READERS RESPOND The fear factor To the editor: Parental involvement in schools has been a major topic of disc ussion in many communities since Judge Smith's ruling last August. Judge Smith seemed to be quite convinced Uiat schools could not be effective without the involvement of parents . Superintendent Hornbeck's Children Achieving Action Plan seems to underscore that theme. A s I travel aro und the city talking about parental involvement and listening to parent's concerns about schools, an issue appears that neither Judge Smith nor Superintendent Hornbeck have heard or have taken under consideration: widespread parental fear. What is thi s fear based on and how doe it manifest itself; and how does it prevent parents from becoming involved? Parents who have had a hi story of involvement and activism in public school state that the 24-hour notification policy is used routinely to silence them. The policy s tate~ that a parent or guardian must notify the principal 24 hours in advance of any visit. In many cases principals will make themselves unavailable for pro longed periods of time. Under the 24-hour rule, parents cannot come to the sc hool under any circumstances (child sick. report cards, assembly programs. etc.) withou1 approval from the principal. There has been testimony before City Council' s Educational Budget Hearing NATIONAL COALITION OF EDUCATIONAL ACTIVISTS

1995 Conference August 3-6. Camhridge. Mass.

BUILDING ALLIANCES FOR EQUITY DETRACKING SCHOOLS AND SOCIETY Tracking in school s reflects and reinforces inequality in society. This conference is designed to help parents, teachers. and community activists build alliances and acq uire skills to create sc hool s that challenge injustice and give students the tool s to create a more egalitarian future. For more information: conlacl NCEA, P.O. Ho' 679, Rhinebeck. NY 12572. Phone: 876-4580. E-mail : RFllS @aol.com. Si habla cspaiiol, llamc al (7 t8 ) 9J7-llt9. (91~)

Parents Union's

as recently as March 1995 as to the misuse/abu e of the 24-hour notification policy. Another factor that works against meaningful involvement is parents ' fear of retaliation against their children by principals. teachers and other school personnel. Retaliation can come in a variety of forms, from honor roll students suddenly gelling a "D'', to children not being permitted to go to the bathroom or being iso la ted from other students and held up for ridicule before their peers. Parents wi ll never be involved in schools in any meaningful way while these threats exist. Parents may continue to sell cookies, candy, and accompany classes on trips, but I do not define that as meaningful involvement. I find it unconscionable that an inst itution charged with the responsibility for teaching ch ildren is perceived by so many, through their experience, as menacing and thuggish.

Rosemary E. Ma11!tews, grandparent

Smoke and mirrors To the editor: Governor Tom Ridge and the state legislature are finali zing this year's soc ial offensive on poor and working class communities throughout the state. The sc heme: sc hool vouchers. Thirtyeight million dollars has been proposed by Ridge to pilot what he characterizes as "sc hool choice" for all Commonwealth residents. What rea l choice will parents in Philadelphia have? Will poor and working class families be able to send their children to private academies whose tuition range from $5,000 - $I 0,000 a year? Are these private schools ready to accept so-called average and below average achievers whose adverse social and econom ic realities often complic~te their struggle to learn and persevere? Vouchers are a predecessor to the privatization of public schools. They are smoke and mirrors for what opponents of publ ic education call reform. T he fight for quality pub lic ed ucation is doomed if Governor Ridge and the Republican leadership get their way. The state has shortchanged Philadelphia 's sc hools to the tune of close to $200 million. They now want to dismantle our educationa l system under the guise of providing parents a "cho ice:"a choice whic h subsidizes only those who can afford the esca lating price of private education; a choice which undern1ines the separation of church and state; a cl1oice which directly opposes real reform. There is only one choice: to guarantee quality and tuition-free education for all ch ildren .

Resource Center welcomes parents to visit our library Come find out about your school

311 S. Juniper St. Rm. 602 Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 546-1166

Angel L. Orti: . City Council

Correction The Pn/Jlic Sclwol Notehook seeks to provide Spanish language news as pan of each issue. Some of the written Spanish printed in prev iou s issues did not meet the standards of accuracy and qual ity we have set for ourse lves. We remain committed to providing news about our schools 10 the Spanish-speak ing members of the Philadelphia public sc hool community as well as to improving the quality of tran slations and proofreading. In our w inter issue. the credit 10 Pedro Rod ri guez for tran slation was nistakenly omil!ed from the article on de Burgos Middle School.

~

King teachers decry assault sel ves . Our first priority must be to establi sh a safe school for the staff and students. The most urgent step in school renewal has to be security. We, the staff, feel these issues must be addressed immediA terrible crime was commined here ately: at Martin Luther King High School on I. There must be an effective method Friday, April 7. One of our colleagues to monitor people who enter the builda vibrant, dedicated beautiful human ing. Everyone shou ld be able to show being who came to our sc hool at 7:30 in proper identification. Anyone who does the morning to tutor her students - was not have an ID should be directed to the raped at knifepoint in her classroom . main office. Aside from the two Stenton Each of us has been traumati zed . How Avenue entrances and the one Haines do we recover? What wi ll it take for us Street to feel safe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - entrance, in the corthe ridors, the remainin g stairways doors and the need to classlocked . alarmed or monitored; room s? When will we again feel secure 2. The hallways must be cleared of enough to remain in thi s building before students five minutes after the bell rings. or after the regular school day? Any student in the hall without a note There is no place in this world where and ID shou ld be moved to a specia l area complete safety can be guaranteed, but and kept there until the end of the schoo l our bui lding has been a breeding grou nd day or until a parent can come; for catastrophe. 3. All classrooms must have working There has been tremendous upheaval telephones and locks; at King. With three different principals 4. All [faculty] bathrooms must have in less than three years, it has been diffilocks that can be locked from the inside· cult to establish strong, consistent leader5. Student bathrooms must be safe, ' ship. It is impossible to maintain order clean and accessible for use throughout and safety with a revolving door style the day; administration . 6. Department heads, charter and We have reached a point where we academy coordinators, and counselors cannot, will not, continue to work under should all have walkie-talkies. these conditions. We must protect our-

T!tefollowing is an edited version of a statement s11b111i1ted by some members of t!te Martin Luther King High School staff members to the school's administration.

We cannot, will not, continue to work under these conditions.

Community speakout

Good schools: Where's the money? Superintendent Hornbeck has stared that the Children Achieving Action Plan will cost over $100 million to implement. Where do you think the money should come from ? Barbara Gosnear, grandparent, Comley Elementary School: " I really wish I knew. Everyone is up in the air over taxes. I don't see accountability and I don't know where [the money] is going." Marcia Brown Walker, parent, Gompers Elementary School: 'The state should be giv ing more money to the public schools. The governor needs to spend more money on Philadelphia 's public schools instead of putting the money in for vouchers. He needs to add at least another $20 mil li on for books alone." Name withheld, parent, Saul High School: " Additional money won't [come from anywhere]. I don't mean to sound pessimistic but this city, this state, and this country do not have education as a priority. The people themselves do not have the will to see that public ed ucation is ful ly funded." Rhonda Simmons, community member, Northwest Philadelphia: "The Mayor and City Council have a responsibility Lo see that Philade lphia sc hool s are funded even if rhe sta te does not kick in all that it shou ld. The liquor ta x was al I right but it fell short and

What's your opinion? Schoof Nmebook welcomes your lellers. revi ews. or opposing viewpo1111s. Please send to Puhlic School Notebook. 3721 Midvale Ave. Phila. PA 19129.

riverboat gambling is not the answer either. I don't think the people in this city would object too much to a slight increase in taxes, since they raise them anyway for convention centers and avenues of the arts and anything el se they want. " Theresa Roberson, parent, Fels High School: "The city and the state have an ob l igation to fully fund publ ic education. We have to get communities involved in seei ng that legislators and all elected officials are accountable to citizens in this area. We also need to utilize business and industry in working out a reali stic plan for school to work."

Specializing in Contemporary, Cultural, Social and Political Issues • Social Sciences •Cu ltural Studies • Multicultural •Hi story •Politics • Literatu re •Arts •Global • Environmental

New and used books Small press/Univ. pub. Mon-Thurs.: 10 to 6:30 Fri.-Sat.: I0 to 6:00


SPRING 1995

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PAGE 15

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

GUEST OPINIONS

It's time to address citysuburb funding gap

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by Thomas K. Gilhool Jn May, Mayor Ed Rendell and the members of City Council will decide how much City money wi ll be spent in Philadelphia's schools during the next school year. In May and June, Governor Tom Ridge and members of the Pennsy lvania General Assembly will decide how much state money. Compared to suburban school districts. Philadelph ia's schools have for many years been seriously short-changed. In J992-93, city and state appropriations allowed the Philadelphia School District to spend only $6,870 to educate each child in the Philadelphia schools, compared to an average of $9,907 in the ten top spending suburban districts. In other words, these suburban districts spent about $3,000 more per student than Philadelphia. Nineteen of the twenty-one Montgomery County districts spend more per child than Philadelphia. Twelve of fifteen Delaware County districts outspend Philadelphia, as do twelve of the thirteen Bucks County districts. Studies of statewide experience across the states of Tennessee and Indiana show that class sizes of fifteen make an especially great difference to school achievement by poor students and minority students. In Philadelphia, 76% of the students come from poor fam ilies. The high spending suburban districts have very few children from poor families or from minority fami lies.

Nevertheless, the higher suburban ex penditures support very many small-sized classes - between fifteen and twenty children - while Ph iladelphia has nearly none.

Cap on Philadelphia For the last three years state dollars to Philadelphia have been capped. Over these years the Philadelphia School District was given $163 million less than what the state fonnu la calls for. When he was running for Governor, Tom Ridge acknowledged that "the evi-

Our schools have for many years been seriously short-changed. dence is clear that wide disparities ex ist between the wealthiest and poorest districts." His September, 1994, "Education Plan" made a written commitment "to ensuring that every Pennsylvania student has an equal opportunity to learn, regardless of where they li ve." His plan promised also "to reverse the trends in general fund spending" and "to once again make education the resource priority in the Commonwealth." But when it came time to produce a

budget, Governor Ridge requested on ly a net of$! I million more for Phi ladelph ia. an increase of barely $5 0 for each school child. The Philadelphia School Board 's budget fo r 1995-96 req uires an addit iona l $ 11 2 mill ion. The School Board's estimates of the additiona l cost of an effecti ve educat ion ri se to $371 million in the fifth year of its financial plan - $1.766 more for each child. Providing those dollars next year and in the subsequent fou r years would still leave Phi ladelphia nearly $1,000 per child under what the top twenty suburban districts spent for the education of each of their suburban children in 1992-93, three years ago. Last fa ll , The Inquirer quoted Joseph Loeper, state senator from Delaware County and Senate Majority Leader, as laugh ing at a proposal to spend $300 million more for Phil adelphia school s. Public interest attorney Michael Churchill commented. " I don't know why he is laughing. They already are spending more on a per student basis in the schools

in hi s Senate district."

Where there's a will ... Greater Philadelphia First 's 1995 Stateof-the-Region poll showed seventy-three percent (73%) of suburban residents will ing to see a greater share of current state tax dollars directed to the region's urban problems. The Philadelphia Daily News[KYW News 3 "Keystone Poll" in March showed that 63% of Philadelphians say Philadelphia is spending too little to improve public education in the City. Fiftyfour percent of Philadelphians are willing to pay more taxes to improve the condition of the school s. the poll shows. Gallup Polls for more than a decade have shown that more than 65% of Pennsy lvan ians would wi llingly pay more taxes to get small class sizes. The fight for fa irness - so that children have an eq ual chance no matter where in the state they li ve - will be crucial to reviving Ph iladelphia's schools. Thomas K. Gi/11001 is a11 arromey for 1he Pu/Jlic /111eres1 Law Ce/I/er of Philadelphia.

Land-value tax offers long-term funding solution by Patricia A. Lowe The latest school budget crisis clearly shows that fundamental rethinking of our current fund ing mec hani sms is needed. Big questions must be asked to tackle such big problems. At present, local government funding of.the School Di strict of Philadelphia comes mostly from the Di strict's 55% share of rea l estate tax revenues. Given the unpop ularity of local real estate taxes today, can the real estate tax be used to more fully fund Philadelphia public sc hools? Can the City afford to rai se its other main taxes - the wage and business taxes - any higher than they are already? The fundamental question , however, is: Can the City afford not to fund quality ed ucation in these days of state and federal budget cutting? It is evident that Phil adelphia will have to assume a greater share of the cost of public ed ucation in Philadelphi a. The City must seek out a type of tax to ex pand its fund ing of public education and still not drive more peop le and jobs out of Philadelphia. Look to the land The three basic factors of production and product ivity are land, labor and capital. Over the past few decades. much labor and cap ital has fled Phil ade lphia, but the land is still here and can' t go anywhere. Of the th ree factors of production, on ly the land is limited in supply and therefore can be easily monopo:1zed by its owners. A prime exa mple of hi s is land specu lat ion. A real estate spec ul ator like the late Samue l Rappaport, co uld buy low and sell high after holding hi s run-down

properties fo r years and letting them deteriorate beyond repair. Who should pay more taxes - the real estate speculator who holds land out of production or the developer who buys and improves the real estate ro sell or rent out?

tax burden to land va lues. If the City wants to raise its real estate tax 10 mills (or 12%) to provide funds for the schools. it could instead raise the real estate tax rate on lots by 30 mill s, and th is would cost the average

Fifteen other Pennsylvania cities, including Pittsburgh, Scranton, Harrisburg and Altoona have adopted the land value tax. Currentl y, Phil adelphia's real estate tax is really a tax on all three factors of production: buildings, which are constructed by enterprising labor and by capital, and the land, which of itse lf does nothing, but appreciates in va lue when others build upon and improve lots and set up shops and homes around it. A simple way to encourage development while at the same time raising much needed revenue for the public schools would be for Phi ladelphia to lower the tax it lev ies on buildings and to significant ly ra ise the tax it levies on . land. A significant increase in the tax on land wou ld both make up the lost revenue from lowe rin g the tax on buildings and raise add itional revenue for schoo ls.

Rowhouse owners benefit The bui lding val ue of the average rowhouse in Philadelphia is six times that of it s lot - compared to an average citywide building-to-land va lue ra110 ot 3-to- I. The average rowhouse owner would benefit by sh ifting more of the

row house owner the same as an increase of only 5 mill s on the current rea l estate tax. The increase would be more for some row house owners in Society Hill. but rowhouse owners in North Phi lade lphi a woul d pay even less than a 5% increase - all depend ing on the ratio of the val ue of their home to the

va lue of the lot under it. Fifteen other Pennsylvania cities. incl uding Pittsburgh. Scra nto n. Harrisburg. and Altoona, have adopted the land value tax. a real estate tax spec ifica ll y on land values. These cities have implemented the land value tax'" a "graded tax". whereby they have begun to raise the tax rate on land and ha ve lowered the tax they levy on buildings. Sc hools cannot function when they run from budget cr isis to budget cri sis. They need stable. dedicated fund ing sources. The Ci ty needs to increase it s " local tax effort" in funding it s schools to qualify for more assistance from Harri sburg under present state sc hool funding laws. As Ph il adelph ia look s for long-t erm so lutions. perhaps it is time to try some form of land va lue taxation. A start cou ld be a simpl e increase of the rea l estate tax rate on land. in Ph ilade lphia·, own version of the "graded tax."

Locked out in Philadelphia by Yaasmin Calloway In schools today many of the children are being locked out if they are not at sc hool a certa in time. Thi s means they miss out on a ful I day of sc hool instead of just a half one. School administ rators say that they are tryi ng to teach children responsibil ity. but that is not teaching them responsibility. That is teaching them that if they arc not here by a certa in time. they might as well stay home and watch the soaps instead of saying. "Well. okay. I'm late bu t al least let me get some or my classes today."_ _ __

a7

Maybe to the admin istrators. they are teaching st udents to get here on time. but 10 me they are teaching us that rat her than being late. don' t come. and that way yo u wi ll get no educa tion instead of a liul e. In stead of te llin g them that they can't / come in. why not come ur with a belier idea. like keeping them later., Yaosmin ColloH·a_,. j _,. a senior u/ William Pl'1111 l/igh Sch1111I lll1tl is Iii<' l::diwrial Ediror 11/0nas. 1lw .1clwol 11ctt·s1wpt•r. idwrc this orricle ji"rst

"l'l"'"r<'d i11 M<1rch /CJ95 .


SPRING 1995

PAGE 16

Making gains for students

Youth United for Change Yowh United for Change (YUC) is a program ofWoodrock, Inc .. a youth agen£y located in Kensington. Orer the past year. YUC hos organized a leadership team at Kensington High School (KHS). Tile fo llowing is an interview with se\'erol of the s1ude111 leadersRuthann Grihling. a senior al Kl-JS, Tammie Winc:uk, a junior. and Murad Ainuddin. a tenth grader. The interview was conducted hy Rebecca Rathje . How did you join YUC? Tammie: I got involved through listening to Rodney la YUC member [. At first, I wasn't really interested. After I saw how YUC was and the people involved. I really got into it. l liked YUC because it was yo uth led. Most other groups at school are run by teache rs. The ad ult coordinator of YUC is not from the schoo l so she didn 't have anything to

"Decisions are made that affect us the most, and we aren't informed about them."

Ruthann: What makes me most angry about my school is that teachers think we are against them and that students are not informed about what's going on. Deci sions are made that affect us the most, and we aren ' t informed about them. What I like most, though, is my Home Economics class. I can express myself through food. My teacher is cool. She has inspired me to go into culinary arts as a career. Thi s should happen all the time in school. Murad: What concerns me most about KHS? The stereotypes teachers have of the students. the laz iness and the di sorganization and the way the school is run. I am also angry at students who are too lazy to do school work and think all they need in Iife is a car. What did you do about your concerns? Tammie: We believed that we had to have input from more students. First, we did a survey asking questions about what students thought of KHS. Over 350 students filled them out, voicing the ir concerns, and we worked on the issues one by one. We knew that if we wanted change, we

lose or gain by being there and we could be honest with our feeli ngs. Ruthann: I got in volved through Tammie and I liked going to meetings because I felt challenged. Murad: When l first got to KHS, I met a fellow arti st named Victor. We had the same interests in art and drawing comics and he told me about a newspaper publ ished by youth in YUC. cal led Th e Beal. Anyway, I got involved with the newspaper and then more involved in YUC activit ies at my school. l stayed involved in YUC because it's like a famil y outs ide of my own family. We trust each other a lot and we can be open and I feel comfortable sayi ng what I think and doing what 's right for the majority of students. What concerns you most about KHS? Tammie: I feel we are not getting the proper ed ucation that we need to further ourselves after h igh sc hool. We are not prepared lo go to college . to get jobs o r learn how to talk 10 people the right way and have respect for people. With YUC. we know that if we wa nt 10 further oursel\•es we have to do something about ii as a group and that \Ve have 10 speak out wi thout worry ing about the consequences.

wou ld have to let the principal and Superintendent know that we were backed by 350 students. What were the issues? Tammie: The issues were: having students involved in selecting a new principal; student input on decisions about KHS; respect and unity among teac hers and students and school-wide assemblies and activities that promote this; more school activities, sports and programs; cleaner sc hool; new, clean water fountain s; better food served at lunch; better

byUmarTate

age invo/veme111 in improving our com-

munities. We wi ll also create a pl an of

Murad Alnuddin, Youth United for Change member from Kensington High School, speaking before the School Board January 9, 1995. YUC members led an organized effort of Kensington students to have the Board and Superintendent address student concerns. him. The meeting was scheduled in January on the same day as the monthly school board meeting at KHS. We organized a meeting with leaders from other student organizations like ASPIRA , the Asian Club, Student Council , the schoo l newspaper and Teen Parents. We told them the issues and they agreed with them 100%! Together, we planned the agenda for the meeting with Dr. Hornbeck and practiced running it. We knew that we had to be prepared and act respectfully if we wanted the Superintendent to take us seriously because most ad ul ts do not. The meeting was chaired by two YUC members. How did the meeting go? Murad: I fe lt that the teachers and sc hool administration fe lt uncomfortable that youth were running the meeting. There was a lot of ass-kissing between school staff and Dr. Hornbeck. While we

"Teachers aren't used to students taking responsibility in the school. ... Teachers need to have higher expectations of students no matter where we come from." and more school supplies; and NTA's that do the ir job and more female NTA's. Once your issues were defined, what did you do next? Murad: We wrote a letter to Superintende nt Hornbeck letting him know our issues and asking to meet with

Youth dialogue builds bridges A diverse group of yo ung people here in Philadelphia has set the time and place for us to talk about so lution s to problems we face. The dia logue will be cal led "Bui lding Bridges to Create C hange." Wh y "build bridges·l" There are many problems fac ing us as yo ung people. lrom drugs to inadeq uate ed ucation. We find ou rse lves surrounded by vio lence and racism. The spread or vio lence creates ripples or terror. In order to so lve these type or problems. youth have to be invo lved and come together to crea te solutions. One goa l of the dialogue is to create a document stating answers to the problems we face. Ano ther goal is to encou r-

IL.£

action. The dialogue will show that we can have a positive effect on the world around us and will help us become involved with groups wo rking on the probl ems we face . " Bui ld ing Bridges to Create Change" wil l be a special day of awareness. Opportunities for us to express how we feel abo ut life and society do not come arou nd often. The dia logue will provide both the in spiration and the practical means that are necessary for yo ung peopl e to become active in so lvi ng our problems. The youth dia logue "Building Bridges 10 C reate Change" will be Saturday. June :l, from I 0 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Friends Ce nter. 15th & Cherry Streets. For mo re information. contact Eric Braxton (724- 1571 ). Jenn y Sheeks (3496959). o r Bah iya Cabral (241 -71 79).

were in the c lassroom waiting for Dr. Hornbeck, there were sunflower seeds al I over the floor. We were all sent out into the hal lway so that the janitor co uld sweep them up. Later, we asked Hornbeck " Do we have to invite you to our schoo l every day to keep it clean?" The meeting went well. We presented our issues and asked for hi s support in forming an emergency committee of KHS students, parents, teachers, and schoo l administrators that looked into these concerns. He agreed to this. How did the school react to your public action? · Murad: We got good and bad comments from people. Some teachers were really supportive and others didn ' t really listen - they heard on ly the negative things we said about the school. Some of them made us feel really bad for speaking out. I felt betrayed working hard to improve the sc hool only to get flak from teachers in the end. They were probably saying this because teachers aren't used to students taking responsibi lity in the school. Because of the bad reputation of KHS, some teachers deve lop stereotypes of the students. One of my teac hers, for exampl e .doesn't th ink I know certain words. like the word ccos1-.1·te111 . I fel t offended.

Teachers need to have higher expectation s of students no matter where we come from. Have any of your issues been addressed? Murad: Yes. We have a new fema le NTA in the school , twenty new computers, ten positions for new school clubs, a student was part of the interviewi ng and hiring of a new assistant principal, the principal opened an account at an office

"The only way to make change is if we do it." supply store so teachers can directly buy classroom supplies, and new electric water fountains have been installed · wh ile the school district is doing an analysis of the pipe system in the building. We've also noticed that there are more school-wide assemblies and the principal is promoting school spirit. What have you learned from this experience? Murad: I learned that there's a lot of politics behind the School Board and it's hard to understand what goes on. Students are treated differently, depending on the school they go to. At KHS, students are not treated fairly compared to a magnet sc hool li ke CAPA, where I used to go. Ruthann: Things have to be changed and the only way to make change is if we do it. I also learned that in my own way l have power by my voice and my opinions and with my friends. Tammie: From YUC I have gained power and leadership. I didn't think that people would listen to teenagers. I feel that people listen to us now.


Spring 1995