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Hite looking to implement, not rethink, plan to overhaul Philly schools

By Benjamin Herold on Jul 3, 2012 01:20 PM
Photo: Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks

New Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite says the School Reform Commission's reform plan has "already left the station."

by Benjamin Herold for the Notebook and WHYY/Newsworks

New Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite says that he will not reconsider the direction and reform strategies set forth by the School Reform Commission, maintaining that “some of those things have already left the station.”

Listen to excerpts of reporter Benjamin Herold's interview with Dr. Hite.

An edited transcript of the interview is now available.

In an extensive interview with the Notebook/NewsWorks Tuesday, Hite made clear that the endgame of his yet-to-begin tenure as Philadelphia’s schools chief has already been established: a relentlessly efficient  District that has more high quality school options and more students who are engaged in their own learning. 

In trying to make that vision a reality, said Hite, he won’t be afraid to push for more state money, work together with labor unions, or listen to the public.  But his charge, Hite maintained, is not to develop a new reform plan, but to figure out how existing efforts to slash costs, close schools, expand charters and move to a decentralized “portfolio” of schools can best fit together. 

“There needs to be a comprehensive understanding of many of the plans that are in place right now, and the expected outcomes of those plans, and the degree to which they are integrated.” said the 51-year old former teacher and principal. 

“The last thing the District needs right now is a lot of new actions and a lot of new initiatives.”

On Friday, the SRC announced that it would hire Hite, a self-described “servant leader” whose thoughtful style and commitment to listening won over wide swaths of Philadelphia during a whirlwind – some say rushed and unnecessarily secretive – public vetting process last week.

There’s still no word on when Hite will formally take the helm of Philadelphia’s troubled School District, however.  At the moment, he is still negotiating his exit from his current post as superintendent in Prince George’s Country, Md., where several schools were still without power Tuesday following harsh weather over the weekend.

But Hite said that he’s already begun poring over the District’s books, and he’s also coming to town next week to meet with the SRC.  The goal is to begin figuring out how to close a $50 million hole that opened up in the District’s budget for next school year after City Council voted recently to provide the District with less than half of the $94 million in tax revenue that the SRC had been counting on.

“It’s really bad,” said Hite of the District’s budget predicament.

“When you cannot depend on forecasting an amount that is set in stone, that’s problematic.”

Tough choices about further cuts will have to be made right away, he said, and big, controversial decisions on issues like school closings may have to be accelerated.

Once the case can be made that the District is operating efficiently, said Hite, there will also need to be an effort to get more funding from Harrisburg.

“I think you have to push for more state money,” he said.  “You have to push for more money from every place you can.”

That should come as a ray of hope for parents, advocates and members of Council, many of whom grew frustrated after months of unsuccessfully imploring the SRC to publicly demand that Gov. Corbett restore some of the more than $1 billion in state cuts to public education over the past two years.

Just this May, Hite joined leaders from two other large Maryland school districts in a successful campaign to roll back a huge state cut that would have disproportionately impacted districts serving high percentages of poor and minority students and English Language Learners.

“It was really important to us to send a clear message to not just the governor, but all the legislators around the state of Maryland about how significant a cut that would be for our system,” he said.

Such examples fit in with Hite’s description of himself as a leader who always seeks to engage others, but who isn’t scared off by potential controversy.

Even during tough labor negotiations in Prince George’s County, said Hite, he has sought to maintain a respectful dialogue.  Despite presiding over hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts, thousands of layoffs, and three years without employee raises, Hite’s departure was greeted with sadness by the Prince George’s County teachers’ union.

“We involved them at almost every level,” Hite explained. 

“The best way I know how to do that is to sit down and have honest and forthright conversations.”

Hite is also looking for engagement inside the classroom.  That means rigorous academic content and plenty of extracurriculars for all students, as well as ample “opportunities to problem solve, think critically, work collaboratively, and communicate as much as they can,” he said.

Part of his leadership style can be attributed to his upbringing in Virginia, said Hite.  His mother and father “had strong beliefs around respect and making sure that we do unto others as we want them to do unto us.”

Hite is confident that his style will work fine in Philadelphia, but acknowledged that he will face a steep learning curve as a newcomer to the rough-and-tumble world of Philadelphia school reform.

One lesson, however, the city’s new superintendent has already learned.

A former college football player and lifelong fan of the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Hite was asked how long it might be before he starts rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles.

“Naturally, I am [an Eagles quarterback] Michael Vick fan, being from Virginia Tech,” responded Hite.

“So probably not long.”

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Comments (77)

Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on July 4, 2012 1:08 pm

Hite's "stay the course" is no surprise - otherwise, the SRC would not have hired him. It is disappointing to see Hite is promoting the expansion of charter schools when there is no proof that is a solution to increasing "higher performing seats." The SRC has approved a number of charter schools this year with rating of "8" - "lower performing seats" while closing SDP schools with "8." Hite apparently will continue this inequity.

Did Hite mention anything about the top heavy leadership positions at 440? Isn't cutting the "fat" - not just union workers - at 440 suppose to be on the agenda?

Did Hite mention anything about the Office of Curriculum? The current leadership is inept and are not qualified to provide the type of academic leadership needed to get out of Ackerman's top down approach to instruction. If Hite wants "engagement inside the classroom...rigorous academic content and plenty of extracurriculars for all students, as well as ample “opportunities to problem solve, think critically, work collaboratively, and communicate as much as they can..." then, the current leadership in Curriculum needs to be replaced. The other option is to let teachers work at a school based level to develop our own curricula with our students. Now, that would be a real "change in culture!"

Submitted by anon (not verified) on July 6, 2012 12:34 am

dang. looks like we got the wrong super from maryland.
below is from a nytimes article (‘No Child’ Law Whittled Down by White House) about obama's "race to the top" supplanting "no child left behind"

Joshua Starr, superintendent of the Montgomery County schools in Maryland, which was granted a waiver in May....

Mr. Starr said he believed that education reform should focus on incentives to help teachers collaborate and help students learn skills that could not simply be measured by tests.

“It is another example to me of how we’re not focused on the right things in the American education conversation today,” Mr. Starr said. “I have a lot of respect for Arne Duncan,” he added, referring to the secretary of education, “but it’s just sort of moving around the chairs on the Titanic.”

Submitted by classroom cowboy (not verified) on July 7, 2012 10:45 am

The SRC, an unelected,undemocratic group of political hacks has done what it does best. They have continued to undermine public education, continue the anti-teacher mania of the past, and destroy what is left of the PFT. As usual, the flacid PFT will do little to nothing as Rome burns. It doesn't matter what puppet is installed as superintendent. Educational thieves, charter school operators, will continue to bilk money out of the system, administrators will continue to treat teachers like enemies, the mayor will turn a blind eye as his friends steal money, less support and money will be provided to students, and the profession of teaching will be less and less attractive for professional educators. We are all so screwed.

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Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on July 4, 2012 1:57 pm

Is Nunnery still on payroll? If yes, why? Will Hite, once in place, actually release a "whose who" at 440 (and whatever regional offices remain)?

Does Mastery have to reveal its leadership since it is publicly funded? They have a central office staff of over 30 which doesn't include school based administration. What about Universal? They are also top heavy. What about Foundations? Any entity receiving public funds should have to be public.

Submitted by Anon (not verified) on July 4, 2012 9:36 pm

Yes, Nunery is still employed and making over $200K:

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on July 4, 2012 10:24 pm

Thanks for sharing this data! It is very revealing - especially who is getting six figures other than school based administrators. As far as school based administrators, it is also interesting who is getting the most pay even though they don't have in the most time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 6, 2012 6:39 pm

Interesting data, despite that many have pointed out that there are errors in listings, just to see how much money is being paid to the top earners at the District, particularly since there is such a money crisis at the present. I am willing to bet that when the teacher's contracts are up, there will be talk of slicing salaries of the teachers. I wonder if the slicing of salaries is going to be passed around, starting from the top down... I do hope so. If teachers are going to asked to make give backs, it is only far that administrators and the like be asked to give back as well. Lead by example!

Submitted by A Touch of Sense (not verified) on July 5, 2012 11:54 am

Yes, this data is very revealing. It is shocking to those of us who know how incompetent many of the top salary earners are.

In light of the top salaries, it takes a lot of chutzpah for the SRC and Knudsen to demand givebacks from lower level employees when they are wasting so much money on top salaries.

No wonder the school district is a mess. It starts at the top.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 5, 2012 11:50 am

Notice that Principals at Renaissance Schools are among the highest paid employees. Almost $150,000 per year! Ackerman's affects are still taking us down.

Submitted by Still Hopeful (not verified) on July 5, 2012 12:25 pm

I agree with you on having to much fat at the top, but to be objective if you look at the names of principals who are classified as "Renaissance" several do not actual serve as a Principal of a Renaissance School.

Dr. Sheldon Pavel of Central High, Ms. Young of Overbrook High, Ms. McAllister of Bartram, and Mr. Melton of Bok are ones that jump out immediately who are classified as "Renaissance" but their schools are special admit (Central) and empowerment (Overbrook and Bartram, not sure about Bok, but they are not a Renaissance School).

I'm sure we would be able to find several others if we looked at the list further. I think the school district is just using "Renaissance" as a pay classification for their "top" or highest paid principals.

Submitted by Pam (not verified) on July 5, 2012 12:51 pm

There are some inaccuracies in the report. Some of the principal salaries do not match what is in their budgets.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on July 5, 2012 3:19 pm

Some of the school titles are also wrong. For example, Sheldon Pavel (recently retired Central principal) is not at a "Renaissance" - Central is a Vanguard high school which means it makes AYP. Charles Staniskis is at Franklin Learning Center - NOT an "Empowerment" school. Johnny Whaley is at CAPA - NOT a Renaissance schools. (Why is Lois Mondesire listed? Didn't she retire?) Majorie Neff is at Masterman - NOT a Renaissance school. Christopher Lehmann at SLA - NOT at an "empowerment School." I don't understand the "mislabeling" of schools other than to justify salaries.

Submitted by Pam (not verified) on July 5, 2012 3:29 pm

Lies! Lies! Lies! There are principals being pay as empowerment principals etc. I STILL HAVE NO FAITH/TRUST IN THE SDP. Hite appears to be one who will continue to the lies. I pray that I am wrong.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 4, 2012 4:34 pm

Does he plan on considering the wishes of 60+ parent organizations who have voted "no confidence"in this plan? Let's hope so.

Submitted by Truth (not verified) on July 4, 2012 5:11 pm

No, he does not. He will do what the SRC tells him to do. I wish everyone would stop wasting time with forums and community meetings and SRC meetings. Nothing is going to change. Start planning for the dissolution of the PFT and the privitization of all of Philadelphia's schools. Let's be realistic and stop with the pretense that we have a say in things.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 4, 2012 6:47 pm

Talk about being negative minded.....The PFT will never go away. This isn't Wisconsin.

Submitted by anon (not verified) on July 4, 2012 7:26 pm

sadly, you're right about that. philadelphia's not wisconsin. those protesters in wisconsin meant business. brought tents and sleeping bags and took over the legislative buildings and camped out there for weeks. people here are too busy to get involved to that extent.

Submitted by Arnold (not verified) on July 4, 2012 9:15 pm

You're mostly wrong. Philadelphia is a giant union town and will galvanize like a giant when necessary. Jordan et all are waiting to drop a bomb on these folks when the time is right because to do anything else will mean the end of our rights as people.

Submitted by Diane (not verified) on July 4, 2012 6:35 pm

Well, you sound already dead. I'll continue to fight and fight and................... If he gets heavy handed etc., he'll find that 's a mistake. He's going to have to work with people here, not bully them around. This isn't a county in Virginia, it's Phila. I posted here early on that he was Ackerman like in that he took ALL questions personally etc. He'll learn quickly that folks here will NOT Be afraid of his bluster, especially activists and the churches. Watch and learn.

Submitted by Truth (not verified) on July 5, 2012 3:27 pm

Not true, Diane. Not dead; just pragmatic. But you keep fighting if that makes you feel good.

Submitted by Arnold (not verified) on July 5, 2012 4:33 pm

And if nothing else, pragmatism is exactly why the PFT and ALL unions will resist this when they have to. Even in places like New Orleans, for God's sake, the union is fighting strongly to regain rights and winning through the courts.

Submitted by MBA to M'Ed mom (not verified) on July 6, 2012 1:03 am

Don't give up please? I wouldn't stick my neck out all the time if I didn't believe that things can change? They have to, our kids and the teachers and staff who care about our kids deserve so much better, we have to keep trying. It make take years, but things can and do change.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 6, 2012 9:36 am

I agree.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on July 6, 2012 10:18 am

I agree, too, and respect you for having the courage to stand up for what you believe. I hope you, and we, reflected upon the deeper meaning of our Independence Day celebrations on the 4th of July.

If our community does not stand up for the values we believe in, Who will?

There was a poster on the wall at Furness H.S. It read, "If you don't stand for something, you stand for nothing."

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 5, 2012 5:46 pm


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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 4, 2012 5:52 pm

Was Dr. Hite hired to lead the School District of Philadelphia or was he hired to implement the plan of the Boston Consulting Group?

The Boston Consulting Group's plan is a privatization plan. It has nothing in it reasonably designed to improve the schools whether they be regular public schools or charter schools.

It is all about turning public schools into privately operated schools for the benefit of their operators and the personal profit of those who run those organizations.

Everyone who has their eyes open and is honest sees that. If Dr. Hite comes in here spouting the privatization mantra, he will quickly lose his credibility.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 4, 2012 5:36 pm

Of course he will implement the Boston Consulting Group's plan. He is a 2009 graduate of the Broad Superintendents Academy.

Arlene Ackerman headed the Broad Superintendents Academy in 2006 and 2007. She was on the Board of the Broad Foundation while she was Superintendent of PSD.

The Boston Consulting Group established a segregated school system by economic class which is the plan they are bringing to Philadelphia.

Arlene Ackerman laid the groundwork, the Boston Consulting Group drew up the plan based on what the did to New Orleans, and William Hite has been put in place to carry out their privatization agenda.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 4, 2012 8:53 pm

The union is dead. We will fight for the union. What about fighting for what's best for students, even if it means the union losing power and/or membership? Maybe this is part of why the public hates us.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 4, 2012 9:41 pm

That would make sense if what was best for the union and what was best for students was at odds. Smaller class, better support, etc. is all what the union wants and what students need. The only bad thing the union fights for is keeping bad teachers on the payroll.

Submitted by Diane (not verified) on July 4, 2012 9:16 pm

In 30 years in the District, I have seen 4 teachers whom I considered to be 'bad teachers." 2 of them were canned. ALL UNIONS are FAR more good than bad and without them, the corporations will turn back the clock on people's RIGHTS and we'll all be dead. Don't buy into the garbage propaganda.

Submitted by Diane (not verified) on July 4, 2012 9:37 pm

You're delusional. Have one for me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 5, 2012 12:05 pm

The problem with the union is they back VERY incompetent teachers. Some which don't even show up on time day after day, hand in lesson plans late every week AND don't even complete report cards on time. This is NOT acceptable in any profession and why should it be allowed in the PSD?

Submitted by Anon, anon, we must go anon.... (not verified) on July 5, 2012 12:10 pm

Any teacher who did all the things you list should be written up repeatedly by their principal, put on an improvement plan (PARS), and improve or be fired. The procedures to do all this are already in place, BUT the principals MUST do their jobs. When they are wishy- washy and refuse to write people up, yet then complain that the PFT protects them, they create the problem. The Union simply provides that we get due process so a principal cannot target people for personal reasons. Any of the offenses you mention would result in firing if the teacher did not improve. Of course, the process cannot begin until the principal does his/her job.

Submitted by Education Grad Student (not verified) on July 6, 2012 11:11 pm

I've made that point a number of times. For years, unions have been the primary interest group in education, especially where budgets are concerned. I absolutely believe in unions and believe that they are crucial for ensuring good salaries/wages and benefits for teachers and other employees. However, practices such as seniority and drawn-out due process hearings are not good for students. Many policies in union contracts are good for students, for example planning time and class size stipulations. But policies which allow for teachers to stay in spite of poor instructional practices, demeaning treatment of students, poor attendance, and other red flags HURT students. There's no way around this. Schools are not factories. Teachers don't put cars together, they teach students. Unions must recognize this and seek to keep the best and most effective teachers, regardless of seniority.

Submitted by Ken Derstine on July 7, 2012 12:34 am

What makes you think that someone who has seniority can attain that if they are a poor teacher? If that happens it is an administrative issue of a principal not doing their job. Seniority was a hard fought for right to prevent arbitrary removal of a teacher at the whim of management, particularly to "save money" by replacing the higher seniority teacher with someone at a lower salary.

Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on July 7, 2012 7:52 am

My experience, for what it is worth, is the teachers who obviously need to chose another career are just "moved" to another school. There are ways, at least in high schools, to cut positions (e.g. change certification required - just look at how many interesting "combo" positions are listed by the SDP - that may be to eliminate someone doesn't have that particular combination). I've also seen people encouraged to "retire" to avoid writing them up. Writing up someone as unsatisfactory is work for the administration. I've also seem someone written up as a teacher as unsatisfactory who comes back as an administrator. (There is someone on the current list making over $100,000 who was written up as unsatisfactory in 2008-09, returned after six months, and within a year had a leadership position and is now an administrator - imagine having that person rate a teacher...)

Submitted by Pam (not verified) on July 7, 2012 5:43 pm

The poor shall always be with us - Yes, I believe that we will all agree that at times the union protects poor teachers. However, without the union a lot of great educators would have a difficult time remaining in the district. We continuously talk about the teachers lets start with the root of the problem - poor leadership ( principals, superintendents etc.).

Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on July 7, 2012 6:01 pm

I agree - few administrators will go through the process. Also, far too many administrators were inadequate teachers. They can't be "instructional leaders" if they are poor planners, implementers, assessors, etc. We've all had administrators that flopped in the classroom and were "given" administrative positions.

Submitted by Diane (not verified) on July 4, 2012 9:43 pm

The article is crap where Hite is toasted as a person who works with people. His history is one where he becomes bombastic and personalizes EVERYTHING even remotely critical of his policies. He also throws the race card around carelessly and routinely, a bad combination. It says here that he will be worse for moral than Ackerman and that's saying a lot. Let's see who's right, the article or me.

Submitted by Ken Derstine on July 4, 2012 10:49 pm

For an academic article about the history and philosophy of the Broad Foundation, see this article from Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor - 2009

The Rise of Venture Philanthropy and the Ongoing Neoliberal Assault
on Public Education: The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 6, 2012 4:27 pm

Ken--I just read it and how scary is that???? Sounds like something thought up by Josef Goebbels. We are in a very scary time in US History with nuts like this running around with deep pockets.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 5, 2012 8:05 am

May someone verify that all enrollment center staff for immigrant families got laid off, and now they are hiring to re-staff at higher salaries for the same centers!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 7, 2012 2:46 pm

There is definitely an enrollment center for immigrant families with a staff.

Nothing would surprise me about this corrupt hellhole anymore.

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Submitted by B.E. Victim (not verified) on July 5, 2012 1:41 pm

Candidate Pedro Martinez was more into financing and mostly against Charter School Programs. Superintendent Dr. Hite is for Charters and seemingly PRO-SRC.

So bye bye to Facilities Services for the School District. No more Mechanics or Building Engineers or General Cleaner or Custodial Assistants or Bus Drivers all with Back ground checks and experience.

Chaos Theory is in FULL EFFECT...the worst shall happen...eventually by the 31st of December 2012.

The SRC must stand up to the responsibility and claim themselves as the root cause of this Financial Nightmare.

Dr. Hite...welcome and good bye

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 4, 2014 9:40 am


Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on July 5, 2012 10:45 pm

Based on reporting in the City Paper and Inquirer, looks like Hite was hired by Jeremy Nowak (William Penn Foundation) and the Great Schools Compact on behalf of Ramos and the SRC. Nowak was the president of Mastery Charter's Board - anti-union, pro charter, focus on test scores / scripted curricula, etc. Nowak will allow the "high performing seats" in magnet schools, close neighborhood schools by "charerizing" them, and put the unions out to dry. Remember, Nowak hired the Boston Consulting Group for Knudson/Ramos and we are still waiting for their $2.5 million report.

PSSA scores are out... I assume the list of the 40 schools Knudson/Ramos/Nowak/Nutter/Shore/Hite will close will be out in August. Meanwhile, charter schools with poor SIG scores remain open.

Read the City Paper article - Money Talks - The Haas family can no longer consider its foundation "progressive."

Submitted by Seth Kulick on July 6, 2012 8:40 am

yes, it's an important article, another one by Daniel Denvir, although I would like to see some of the documents that he says the City Paper has obtained. There is nothing too surprising in it, although some holes are filled in, and hopefully it brings more awareness as to what is going on. I think it adds weight to the view that basic issues of democratic control, and how decisions are made, should be a key part of opposition to this "blueprint". Of course it all ties in together, since as public funds are cut, private power naturally gains more control.

Yes, what's the story with releasing the BCG report? If I recall right, Ramos said that they want to put it into a format to make it "useful" for people to read. If it's (presumably) useful for them already ("invaluable", did Knudsen say?), why not for us?

Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on July 6, 2012 10:36 am

I'm fearful that "useful" may mean sanitized for public consumption. They should post, in its entirety, whatever the BCG produced for the initial $1.5 million and then the additional $1 million plus. Even though private money was used, it has enormous public impact. Nowak raised money for a few months of work for a corporation while his organization is cutting funding for influential student groups (e.g. Philadelphia Student Union, Youth United, etc.) which is far less than $2.5 million but very significant to their budgets. But, Nowak doesn't want student groups to be empowered to take on the "Great School Compact." That would be much more democratic!

Submitted by Seth Kulick on July 6, 2012 1:23 pm

I agree with your comment, and it was very disturbing to read the report of cutting funding for the PSU and other groups. Denvir has a response today to the two pieces in the Inquirer:

And "useful" was indeed a very strange choice of words for Ramos to use.

At the stormy SRC meeting on May 31, Chairman Pedro Ramos, responding to pointed questioning, said that the SRC had asked BCG to “synthesize and compile” their “analytical work” and present it “in a way that can be useful.”

Why does their "analytical work" need to be "synthesized" for us? I think your fear is reasonable. There is an issue of basic democratic values here.

Apparently it is forthcoming:

The consultants began work in the district this winter, but none of their findings have been made public. Haas said that BCG's analysis and recommendations, due in a few days, will be "fully transparent."

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 6, 2012 5:20 pm

Education Reform, MY ASS--this is ALL about Making money and anybody who can't see that, ain't lookin. What a croc !!!!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by anon (not verified) on July 9, 2012 1:18 pm

How does one get hold of this year's PSSA scores? I haven't seen them on Schoolnet.

Submitted by K.R. Luebbert (not verified) on July 9, 2012 1:58 pm

The principals have received the PRELIMINARY (per grade) school scores. I heard that parents have been mailed individual results, but I know many parents who did not receive them yet.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 6, 2012 6:49 pm

When did the notebook start removing posted comments?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 6, 2012 6:52 pm

What comment was removed, and who was it critical of?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 9, 2012 10:49 pm

It was a rant/commentr about all the new positions being created in 440 despite the fact SDP in debt...listed people by name who got promoted to positions that were never posted so people cannot apply for job.

A new low for both Notebook commenters naming names and the Notebook editors for removing names.

Still valid point..why are we creating more positions at the top when we shuld be cutting cutting cuttin.

Submitted by Another Concerned Philadelphian (not verified) on July 10, 2012 6:21 am

The post began with asking if Nunnery is still on the SDP payroll. He is the second highest paid in the SDP (after Knudson). Why is he still on the payroll? Masch was removed, why not Nunnery?

It also listed salaries of everyone over $100,000. Very interesting data. There were a number of principals listed with high salaries meant for "empowerment" or "renaissance" schools who are at "low need" schools (e.g. Central, SLA, Masterman, etc.). It also had a number of athletic directors who are making far over $100,000 (e.g. Bodine, GAMP, etc.) It had some teachers listed - primarily at Promise Academies - who are making well over $100,000. (This information was ALSO in an article from Larry Mendte's blog - It lists the top 25 salaries. The principal with the highest salary is Deborah Borges- Carrera from Kensington CAPA. The teachers are at Promise Academies.)

I don't know why the discussion was cut. I assume the post with the attachment (the June 22 report) was cut because it lists so many salaries. Nevertheless, the discussion should not have been cut.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 8, 2012 9:03 pm

A reader comment that may be of interest to some from Diane Ravitch's blog:

"In the early 2000′s Eli Broad hired both Chief of Staff (to Secretary of Education Rod Paige) John Danielson and Arlene Ackerman to help write the curriculum for students/clients of the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems.

What Eli Broad may or may not have known is that John Danielson is a long-time member in good standing with the Church of Scientology. In all three of the “Tom Cruise viral videos” released in Jan. 2008, there are segments of either Tom Cruise walking the “Corridors of Power” with Rod Paige or John Danielson talking about using his role in the federal department of education to further the goals of Scientology.

How this was played out in California is the following:

Arlene Ackerman, when Superintendent of the SFUSD, encouraged and supported the use of the bogus Scientology Narconon Drug Education in the SFUSD classrooms. An investigation by the SF Chronicle and then an evaluation of Narconon by the California Department of Education (CDE) ( led to 12 articles in the SF Chronicle about the infiltration of the Narconon Drug Education program throughout California public and charter schools (go to SF Chronicle archives section, June 9, 2004+) and a CDE 17-page finding that Narconon Drug Education was scientific bunk and did not engage with the best practices for drug education, in the dry research and academic terminology, Feb. 2005.

Former Secretary of Education Rod Paige and John Danielson formed the “Chartwell Education Group,” an influence peddling entity that is still functioning.

There are many examples of the privatization of public education still in operation from the Bush era.

What is especially pertinent to this discussion is that Paige/Danielson also supported many of the management techniques of Eli Broad and of corporate Scientology …… and those techniques are not far distant from one another in terms of top-down management, etc.

The heavy Scientology endorsement by Arlene Ackerman in the SFUSD (including her retaliatory practices against those who questioned why a “religion” was being foisted on public and charter school students, without the knowledge or consent of their parents) was one of the many reasons that she was bounced from there."

Submitted by bruno (not verified) on October 25, 2012 3:42 am
Ken--I just read it and how scary is that???? Sounds like something thought up by Josef Goebbels. We are in a very scary time in US History with nuts like this running around with deep pockets. Read the City Paper article - Money Talks - The Haas family can no longer consider its foundation "progressive." bruno free ebook download pdf
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