I’m inviting my readers to an imaginary place where Gayle gets to draw some real-life comparisons and entertain some fantastical thoughts, most of which start with the word Imagine.
These are in direct response to our board meeting last week – the highlights of which are a $3 million dollar CASH price tag for the Phalen Academy deal for next year at school 103 (that $3m is not inclusive of the free building, free utilities, free transportation, free food service, free Special Education and ELL services), passed 6 to 1; an approval to create a one time exception to our own policy to alow a partnership with the for-profit, miserably failing charter school company Charter Schools USA, which operates Emma Donnan, Howe, and Manual High School (passed 6 to 1 also); and also a myriad of other deals including TFA, TNTP (both at Marian University) and a new Principal/Leadership training program at Marian also.
So, my friends, imagine with me…
- Imagine if this board and administration were willing to invest in our own schools, our own students, our own leaders, and our own teachers in the same manner in which we keep investing IN OUTSIDE ENTITIES.
(Phalen Academy will be receiving at least 1.2 million dollars more than school 103 received to educate the same children.)
(We spend millions upon millions of dollars on outside consultant groups while our teachers beg for relevant professional development.)
- Imagine if IPS had the unmitigated GALL to try to sell themselves as a product capable of turning around student achievement if our only data showed that the longer we educated black and brown kids, the worse they performed? Imagine what that media firestorm, and the headlines would look like, if it was IPS instead of Charter Schools USA.
- Tech and Crispus Attucks are both performing better than any of the Charter Schools USA schools. Imagine if those two school leaders were given the same amount of consideration…
- Imagine how you would feel, as an IPS principal or teacher at an exceptional elementary school, when you discover that Phalen Academy, which has no proven track record in terms of an official letter grade from the state or other reliable indicators of student performance, gets a half million dollars before their doors even open while you continuously buy things with your own money to make your school a great place for kids.
You might say I’m a dreamer.
But, since you’re reading this, I know I’m not the only one.
Thoughts, concerns, questions, are we dreaming in tandem?
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It goes without saying that this is a personal publication.