"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, March 07, 2011

Teacher Stands Up - District Retaliates

What happens when a teacher helps students stand up against a takeover of their traditional public school?

She gets canned. Or, at least, the district tries to can her.

From The Notebook:

The School District plans to terminate Hope Moffett, because she gave tokens to students that they used to leave class and attend a protest against the policies of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, specifically, the planned conversion of their school to a charter under Universal Companies, Inc.

The District decided that this act constituted “endangering the welfare of children” and removed Moffett from the classroom pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearings. The District set a “204 conference” – a termination hearing – for tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. A vote by the School Reform Commission on the case could occur as early as Wednesday, when it is scheduled to meet.

A letter sent to Moffett today by Assistant Superintendent for High Schools Linda Cliatt-Wayman recommends termination because she enabled students to leave school without parental permission, putting them in danger. Cliatt-Wayman said Moffett’s views opposing “the Renaissance initiative” had nothing to do with the recommendation and that she is “troubled” because Moffett still doesn’t acknowledge she put her students in danger.

UPDATE: Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan called the charges "ridiculous" and said the union would fight her termination.

Of course, had Hope worked for a charter school, there likely wouldn't be a union to fight back against the absurd charges. Anyone who believes her actions put students in danger needs to have their head examined.

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