We want your commentaries on school closings

    Reactions to Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission vote Thursday night, to close 23 city schools and merge or relocate five others, came fast and heavy. Do you have something to say that is not being said? Contact us to write a commentary.

    Reactions to Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission vote Thursday night, to close 23 city schools and merge or relocate five others, came fast and heavy.

    NewsWorks reader Stanley Wielosik seemed to think the protests are too little, too late:

    Too bad this many people don’t and haven’t supported these schools over the years prior to the announced closing of these schools.

    We’ve heard much from politicians, commissioners, activists — but we want to hear from community members. Do you have something to say that is not being said?

    Contact us at speakeasy@whyy.org towrite a commentary for NewsWorks.

    In response to Ben Herold’s story on yesterday’s votes, reader Christopher Randolph had this to say:

    The SRC members were never up to the job and they were selected not to be up to their jobs. The fix is in, the Dems and Reps alike have plenty of money for anti-union, graft-laden charter schools and fake cyber “schools” but no money for public schools. The charter school charlatans won’t be happy until 100% of Philadelphia public schools disappear, the teachers’ union is broken and their pension fund can be raided.

    Parents and staffers should sue the SRC members jointly and severally for violating their civil rights, and residents near schools should sue the SRC for lowered property values and dangers resulting from their houses being near unoccupied properties left to decay.

    Katie Brinkley said on Facebook:

    If the community is not heard — and peaceful protests are in vain — what options do we have to fight a system that most of us do not feel we even put in place to begin with. During the hearings, the SRC implored that we be respectful in our discourse while they politely disrespected our neighborhoods and dis-invested in the future of our youth. We were allowed to voice our opinions — but they did not even do parents, teachers, or community leaders the honor of responding to their pleas and concerns as they were individually presented.

    […]

    We need to invest in our communities… and the communities are willing to work together to make good on these investments. We have screamed it at the top of our lungs.

    Clearly no neighborhood wants its nearby schools to close. So do you believe that, once a school is built, it should be open forever and ever? Should no school be closed, ever, under any circumstances?

    Do you think the SRC chose the wrong schools? Should schools be closed at a later time? Or was there something rotten in the process that led to a bad decision?

    Or do you support the school closings — even some of them? Do you think school reform commissioners are trying to improve the education system? Are you willing to defend any part the vote last night?

    We want to hear from all of you.

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