Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Miracle on North Broad Street

Here is my Christmas testimony to the SRC from December 17, 2015.

If it gets you into the giving mood of the holidays, please consider donating some money to the campaign efforts of the Caucus of Working Educators in the upcoming internal Philadelphia Federation of Teachers election. You can also join our organization as a supporting member.

Thank you, and enjoy the Holiday Season!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the city
The SRC was busy pondering things not so pretty.
Something was stirring from this unelected creature
Like canceling the contract of each and every teacher!
Shared sacrifice is what we heard from dear old Bill Hite
But he got a $30,000 raise and new contract in the middle of the night.
Assistant superintendents were nestled snug in their beds
With visions of $10,000 bonuses dancing in their heads.

Meanwhile, principals searched for substitutes from far and near
While children went to buildings with no nurses nor cheer.
School closures had become the disturbing new norm
With no counselors or libraries to weather the storm.

When out on 440 there arose such a clatter
The PFT sprang to see what’s the matter.
Two Mayoral appointees and from the Governor three,
I knew in a moment it must be the SRC!

Now, Farrah! Now, Jiminez! With Charter School gain
To her husband’s law firm, she’s forced to abstain.

Now, Sylvia! Now, Simms! Comcast pays for her bills
But yelling at “failing school children” is what gives her her thrills.

Now, Bill! Now, Green! The most condescending to bother
Demoted by Wolf, Do you still dream of being Mayor like your father?

Now, Feather! Now, Houstoun! By Corbett appointed
With no clear credentials, why was she anointed?

Now, Marjorie! Now, Neff! Perhaps the most able
So cancel the lawyers and get back to the negotiating table!

Unelected and resented for fifteen years did they work
Filled with Eli Broad’s nonsense, often turned with a jerk.
And so, in 2015, as Huey, Cooke, and Wister awaited their fate
Something magical happened on that cold December date...

That Christmas, the SRC did themselves vote to dissolve!!!
As the community, parents, and teachers cheered with resolve
Filling 440 with warmth from their hearts to their toes
They grabbed Dr. Hite and up the chimney they rose.
As they sprang to their sleigh and soon gave a whistle
Away they all flew like an unwelcome missile.
The SRC did exclaim as they disappeared out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to Philadelphia a good night!”