Philly teachers back to school

As public school educators in the region get ready for another school year, we talk about learning loss, funding disparities, keeping students safe, and hopes for this year.

Listen 49:31
Students wearing face masks line up to enter Christa McAuliffe School

Students line up to enter Christa McAuliffe School in Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Summer break is coming to an end, and students and teachers will soon be heading back to the classroom. After two and half tumultuous pandemic years for educators and students, there’s hope that this fall will be a return to normal. In Philadelphia, public schools continue to struggle with funding, staff shortages and inequities in Covid-19 mitigation when compared to most suburban schools. This hour, we sit down with three Philadelphia teachers to talk about the coming school year, their concerns returning to class and the toll the pandemic has taken on them and their students.


Estefana Ramos, Kindergarten teacher at Vare-Washington Elementary School

Andrew Salz, English teacher at Paul Robeson High School

Samuel Reed, founding educator at U School

We Recommend

WHYY Philly public schools push to hire more support staff before first day of school “Roughly 97% of teaching and 95% of counseling positions were filled as of mid-July, according to a district update. In total, the school system needs more than 9,000 teachers to be fully staffed.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer Building a Black teacher pipeline for Philly and beyond — one Freedom School at a time “College students — called servant leader apprentices — teach kindergarten through second graders; high school students, called junior servant leaders, assist in classrooms. All are provided with mentoring by certified teachers. Young people are recruited through outreach that lasts all year — webinars, social media, and other programs.”

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal