This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
To the editors:
I am a concerned parent who has two children in the Philadelphia public school system. My son was beaten by three boys during recess at his elementary school. The School District transferred him to another elementary school, said to be one of the top public schools in the city.
My son has a hard time keeping up with schoolwork as a result of coming from a low-performing school to a high-performing school. A teacher at his school admitted to me that the curriculum speed is fast and that she and her colleagues have no choice but to do as they are told.
I spoke to Paul Vallas about the teacher’s concern, but he offered me plenty of excuses.
He mentioned the need for my son to attend Extended Day. After 6 hours of schooling, my son is tired. He is bussed from Center City to Kensington where we reside. If he stays for Extended Day, he has no way to get home.
The curriculum seems to be taught at a fast pace to intentionally fail some students. During slavery Black children were forbidden to learn to read and write. The legacy of dumbing down Black children is alive and well.
We need a District CEO who is willing to give and receive ideas as to how to make public education in Philadelphia excellent.