Posted by: ACFE Inc | August 19, 2011

Action Alert: Promise Academy Teachers Laid Off

Earlier this year, the School District of Philadelphia laid off over 1500 teachers, and “force-transferred” 930 teachers who will be receiving their assignments soon. This including 174 teachers slated to be assigned to Promise Academy schools. The SDP sent a request to the School Reform Commission, asking that these teachers, who would have been laid off due to the senority-based layoffs practice, be exempted due to the nature of the Promise Academy system. Under Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s Imagine 2014 plan, some of the worst-performing schools in the city would be taken over and turned into Promise Academies; all of the teachers at these schools would have to re-apply for their jobs. These schools will receive more funds and try innovative practices, including extended school days and school years. Unfortunately, the SRC refused, and teachers at Promise Academies, who are often younger but were determined to be a better fit for the schools when they were hired, will be as susceptible to being laid off as anyone else.

Here is the excerpt action alert from StudentsFirst, Michelle Rhee’s grassroots movement dedicated to calling for a better public school system:

Pennsylvania students and schools suffered a major blow this week. We need you to stand up for students and make your voice heard today.

Budget cuts have resulted in 3,000 teacher layoffs across the state and 1,500 in Philadelphia alone. To make matters worse, rather than protect their best teachers, teacher union leaders forced layoffs based solely on seniority regardless of effectiveness or student needs.

This means that great teachers will be let go and the most disadvantaged schools, which usually have the highest percent of newer teachers, will be hardest hit. Seniority-based layoffs are not in the interest of students. The most effective teachers, whether new or veteran, belong in the classroom.

Sign the petition to save great Pennsylvania teachers today

Philadelphia’s Promise Academies are some of the schools that will be severely impacted. These new programs are attempting to turn around the city’s worst performing schools through innovative approaches, including longer school days. The district fought to exempt Promise Academy teachers, who had committed to the new model, from layoffs. Unfortunately, teacher union leadership, and despite the feelings of teachers themselves, said no. Now, many Promise Academy teachers have been laid off and teachers with seniority will be involuntarily placed at these schools.

Sign our petition to put Pennsylvania students first by ending seniority-based layoffs and forced teacher placements

Then share this with your friends and great Pennsylvania teachers so they can join our fight.

Together we will work to ensure a great teacher for every Pennsylvania student.

Thank you, Students First, for bringing light to this important issue, and I urge you to sign their petition. You can also contact the School Reform Commission in Philadelphia; their contact information is here.


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