Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chester Upland School Board PUNKS OUT

It’s no secret that the Pennsylvania Department of Education is determined to walk in and take over the Chester Upland school district. Yet, I never expected that the school board would hold the door open for them.

How can nine people elected to serve the interest of public education in Chester decide that they’re just going to quit without a fight? What message does that send to the students they’re supposedly representing – “When things aren’t going your way, quit!”

So much for C-Pride!

If they didn’t agree with the recovery plan, I’d expect that they’d still vote yes, even under protest, in order to maintain some input on how the plan gets implemented. Not these quitters.  

They may as well pack up their little belongings and turn in their keys today.

As a voter, I call it a dereliction of duty to vote yourself out of working, fighting, screaming, cajoling, politicking, and bribing (okay, maybe not bribing), for what’s best for the school district. To just hand over the reigns without a fight is a real punk move and you should be boooooed like a Philadelphia Eagle every time you walk out in public.

Don’t give us excuses. When you come to your senses, give us an apology.

For the four of you who voted Yes, what effort did you make to get one of the No voters to vote Yes?

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  1. I can't even think of one good reason that they voted no. They knew that the state would come in and take over if they rejected the plan, but yet they rejected it anyway.

    I guess they were like kids and there toys. If they don't get their way, they just pick up their toys and go home. What a dereliction of duty to abandon the children of the district to people/politicians who don't have the best interest of the children as a motivating force. But I guess those who voted no also don't care about the children either.

    Either way, it's an epic failure on the part of the school board.


  3. It is a total myth that the board would have maintained "some input on how the plan gets implemented" had the board voted yes. It was made clear to everyone from the beginning that if the board votes "yes" the plan gets implemented exactly as it was written. The time for input and negotiation was before the vote not after as the C City blogger is misleading people to believe.

    But even if the C City blogger were correct on this issue, what would make him think that the board would have any interest in participating in the implementation of a plan it disagrees with? What's even more ridiculous and quite telling is that the blogger would have rather seen the board take the cowardice position of voting "yes" to a plan it disagrees with instead of having the guts to stand by its beliefs, values and principles and voting "no". Seems like the only one punking out is the C City blogger.

    By having the courage to vote "no" last night, the board proved that there are still people left in this world who believe that fighting for what's right and standing up for what you believe in are far more important than maintaining an entirely voiceless and meaningless seat at the table just so you can say "we're still here." And thats sets a much better example for the students to follow.

    1. If you’ve read any of my post on Mr. Recovery up to now, you already know that I agree that he’s offering a bad deal. I don’t think there is anyone in their right mind who would believe that any board member agreed with the terms of the plan.

      Somehow, those who voted No want us to believe that they did it on principle. The deal was so bad that they don’t want to go down looking like they support it. Yet, by voting no, they strip all their authority away and are limited to levying and raising taxes, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

      That’s not why folks elected you to the school board.

      In a vote of the lesser of two options, you choose to opt out on the students in order to make a statement of disappointment to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

      I believe that the students would have rather you sucked it up and remained in a position to put up a fight for them.

      I cringed every time I read a Mr. Recovery quote claiming that everyone has been so cooperative and good to work with. This should have been the most miserable 90 days of his life knowing that he’s here to cut your legs out from under you.

      But, we’ve lost whatever fight we’ve had in us. Parents don’t come out to meetings and elected folks give out laptops and try to behave reasonably with agencies that have no intention of doing the same.

      As bad as the deal is, I have all the respect for the Yes voters for seeing it for what it is and agreeing to go down with the ship kicking and screaming. That’s what captains do.

      It's going to be a hard sell to convince the community that a No vote sets a much better example for the students to follow.

      I've been wrong before. Maybe I'll be proved wrong on this one too.

    2. AnonymousNovember 27, 2012 12:31 PM you must be one of the
      REPUBLICAN board members!!!


    1. I dont think Senator Pileggi pays Chester the attention he used to. Could we act like he's not around and address the ones that are around individually. I would love to hear from each of them.

      Maybe they'll all be at the live Daily Times show tomorrow night.


  5. I'm going to be more direct, just for those who do not know what you're refering to:
    1. The owner of the 2 big charter schools in Chester is Vahan Gureghian.
    2. The biggest donor to Corbett's election funds was Vahan Gureghian.
    3. Corbett is Republican and the members of the school board who voted against the plan were Republican.
    4. If the school district goes bust, then the children will be funneled into charter schools.
    5. Those charter schools are owned by Vahan Gureghian.
    See, now was that so hard?

    1. It's open season for charter schools in Chester. Will any locals get together and try to start one in the next couple years? If not, why not?

  6. a no vote was like sellout the children of chester chester twps and upland yes vote you were still in the game you five b

  7. Chester Upland School District Board of School Directors

    Wanda J. Mann, President Republican VOTE NO

    Baltazar Rubio, Esq., Vice President Republican VOTE NO

    LaKisha E. S. Blackwell, Secretary Republican VOTE NO

    Virginia Pilkington, Treasurer Republican VOTE NO

    Donna Davis, Member Republican VOTE NO

    Anthony Johnson, Member Democrat VOTE YES

    Bettie J. McClairen, Member Democrat VOTE YES

    Cephus H. Richardson, Member Democrat VOTE YES

    Charlie L. Warren II, Member Democrat VOTE YES

    Why are the republicans so scare? If was afraid of doing their job, why cant they resign? The Republicans on the board never came to 1 community meeting, and the Democrats are always at the community meetings and noting the community input. We all knew, the school board republicans are snakes and could care a less about the children of Chester-Upland....the republicans I bet was paid off by Senator Pileggi

    The Board Democrats have my respect keep trying fighting the machine....I still upset how the order of the vote is, did u know ALL THE REPUBLICANS VOTE 1st,n ALL THE DEMS VOTE LAST. Why do they have the DEMS sitting outside the table???

  8. I am not fond of Rep. Kirkland's tactics or politics but he got his start by bringing attention to the broken school district 20 years ago. I will give him credit for that but he has done very little to remedy the problems but in all honesty he gets an "E" for effort. This district was broke long before anyone heard of Kirkland or Pileggi. As I look at surrounding districts, I ask myself what makes them so sustainable? In my humble opinion they have managed 3 things we have not. 1. Effective Leadership 2. Safe learning environments and 3. Commitment from parents and community.
    1. Effective Leadership-we talk about gang violence on the streets but from what I can see, the Republicans and Democrats have the biggest gang mentality there is. Neither side is really willing to take a bipartisan approach. Both sides have missed the mark, you have Mr. Anthony Johnson calling people slaves and referring to "massa". You Mr. Johnson are just as much a slave to your political beliefs as are your opponents so please grow a set and stop throwing stones and get rid of that slave mentality. It really is okay to agree to disagree without being
    childish or grandstanding or name calling. This juvenile behavior only serves to exacerbate an already volitile situation. The Rep. And the School Board President calling each other liars is really showing our children and the world why the board had to vote on a recovery plan in the first place. We are blessed to have a Representative, a Senator and Congressman right here in our city, so whats wrong with this picture. Can we please stop the blame, WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS MESS!
    2. Safe learning environment-in 2005, CHS made national news and no it was not for basketball but a brawl that called for the responce of every police agency in Delco. There was a young man shot in the leg in the high school, a school with metal detectors. I attended a meeting when the Rep jumped over the railing and tried to take a swing at a board member or someone sitting at the table. And last but not least, the President of the Board got unto a fist fight with a teacher! This doesnt sound like a safe environment for an adult much less our children. I am no fool, there are drugs at O'Hara and surrounding suburban schools and the kids fight as well. I also think we all know why we dont hear about those incidents, fact is I only care about what goes on here because I live here and not there.
    3. Committed parents and community-I have been to all of the listening sessions for the Recovery Plan and have attended school board meetings as a parent and I can tell you that there were more teachers than parents in those meetings. And believe me, back to school night in the district is a joke! The biggest joke of all is the expectation that Mr. Watkins wants the schools turned around in 2 years, I believe that our children are capable of performing but its goin to take you 2 years to figure out where to begin administratively. Watkins never laid how how he would get our test scores up, just that he was going to fire 70 teachers and cram more students in a classroom. How can you repair 20 years of damage in 2 years? What parent is going to remove their child from a performing school be it Charter, Parochial or Private and put them in a failing school. I think its safe to say that you can write those children off who left, the vast majority will settle in their new performing. Parents need to be parents and be responsible for their childrens furtures and dig in and be responsible for what they birthed. If parents refuse to be responsible for their own I guess we can continue to blame Kirkland, Pileggi or both.

  9. I have not given up on our community and our kids. I will continue to fight whether you chose to join me or not. There are parents who do not want to subject themselves to the continually contentious meetings, against the plan. I just ask for people to familiarize themselves with the distressed law referring to the recovery plan.


  11. who in thier right MIND would run for a broad spot in chester? oh, let me guess a DEM how dumb. L.Blackwell thanks for trying, I'm a parent/taxpayer !!I don't think everyone understands No means NO NO NO NO NO good job and I attended the meeting!!!THANKS

  12. 11/29/12 no means no school you dumb rep l blackwell missed more meeting than must board member do you your homework her kids do not go to chester upland school

  13. The school district started going down first when the city was plagued with drugs. Kirkland did start the ball running twenty years ago , but he also help contribute to the problem. While he was in the project selling and using drugs , public record, others were trying to keep children safe. He is not all that trust worthy, just attend one of his dem. meetings. I do not think he has ever apologized to families for selling drugs. This is one of the main problem with our children unable to learn. Rep. Kirkland became a drug counselor because of his use of drugs, it is public record.Twenty + years ago drugs destroyed our town and it was written children are affected by parents drug use. If there is no problem at birth there will be a problem when they start school. This is nothing no one has told me I had a sister on drugs and my older sisters took care of her children in the project, to be exact the wm. penn projects. If it wasn't for family they would not have made it to become responsible citizens. The use of drugs is still a main factor in our children's lives. the chester community charter school is full of children unable to focus on school because to much is happening in their homes. Another thing stop this I am a democrat and we must correct what the republicans have done. I have never called or went to the city for help and they asked me what my party was. I am currently a dem. and very ashamed to say so. I have been voting since I was 21yrs. old and I am 62 now. I want for you to please stop grand standing for your 10 mins. of fame MR. Anthony Johnson. Think about our children's well being. Mr. Johnson I think you were a prior hustler if not you sure talk like one. I know Mr. Stanley Branch would be ashamed of what is going on. You see I have been in the struggle for a long time and I do not need for Mr. Johnson or any one else to speak for me. So stop representing Chester as a whole, just speak for the people you know. I do not know you so you can not speak for me you have no idea what I am thinking.
    I did not vote for you, you see I know how to vote.

    1. I agree with you that the drug issue is a significant part of the problem. I can tell that you know Chester and understand the community. Its refreshing to see commentary that is this honest and thoughtful. And your political assessment is just as applicable on the national scene. The grandstanding and the politics of blame only serve to perpuate the problem and offer no solution. A place to start would be to remove the hustlers from the equation and replace them with citizens like you. As you have so succinctly pointed out that Chester does deserve better representation, please, don't be embarrassed, for you are not to blame.