Philly public school teachers need to suck it up
As much as I hate to see anyone lose a job in this economy, why do teachers in the Philadelphia school district think they should be immune to the effects this economy has had on millions of others?
Maybe they thought that by becoming teachers, they would be guaranteed jobs for life. But demographics have changed. There were not as many children born after the last of the baby boomers in 1964. Therefore, you have fewer people to have children, so there will be fewer in the following generation. Also, many are moving out of the city. Can you blame them? So now the city needs fewer schools, teachers and administrators.
Just because someone becomes a teacher, it doesn’t mean he or she should or will be guaranteed a teaching job for the rest of his or her life. If keeping the school district solvent means laying off teachers, administrators and support staff, then so be it. And stop with the phony altruism about how the layoffs will hurt the children. The less money spent on needless buildings and personnel could mean more money going to new books and other learning materials that will benefit the children.
Teachers seem to be the only professionals who send their people to Harrisburg to rally for new taxes in order to save their jobs. Well, we’re sorry for the loss of your jobs, but suck it up like everyone else. Figure out how you can use that education and experience in another way to make a living.
A successful day in Lawncrest on July 4
The Lawncrest July 4th Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make our 2013 Community Celebration a safe and successful event.
Our entire day, from the morning parade to the fireworks at night, was only made possible by you — the neighbors, businesses, friends, churches, relatives and volunteers who gave donations and time to make the celebration happen.
We would like to thank the Collins Family Shop-Rite, which has played a major role in seeing that the fireworks were a part of our activities, and to the following T-shirt sponsors: Brandon & Hollinger Real Estate, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Friendly Cobbler, Rings Drugs Ltd., State Farm Insurance (Gary Winkler), St. William Senior Citizens, Crest-Lawn Memorial American Legion Post #832, Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, Integrity Real Estate, Campbell Funeral Homes, Mr. D’s Plumbing, Summers Heating and Air, Cardone, Women’s Club of Lawncrest, Fox Chase Cancer Center, state Rep. Dwight Evans, Allen Tires and Services, Friends of Lawncrest Library, Memory of “Mr. Olney” (Gene Mansdoerfer), Salerno’s Pizza, state Rep. Brendan Boyle, Jim’s Automotive, state Sen. Shirley Kitchen, Bar-Kay Jewelers, Blakesley’s Automotive, Councilwoman Marian Tasco, Lawncrest Community Association, PNC Bank, Crescentville United Methodist Church, Dot Gallagher Family, Boaz & Ruth Inc., Life Celebration by Givnish, state Rep. Mark Cohen, New Star Auto Collision, The Philadelphia Protestant Home, Soltan & Dougherty Counselors at Law, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Bethany United Church of Christ, Lawncrest Realty and Rising Sun Plaza.
This year, Michel’s Bakery supplied free baked goods, and Otto Schmidt Florist provided flowers for our parade marshals.
A few new supporters were Rally Motors, Rita’s Water Ice, Acme, Pathmark, Wawa and the Collins Shop-Rite, wicho provided water to the parade participants.
Thank you to all the groups who made the parade a success and to the new groups that joined us, to our military, police and firemen, and Scout Troop 563. Once again, Universal Auto Club and Antique Cars was a huge attraction.
It was an exceptionally hot day and we appreciate our flea market stands, vendors and dunk tank volunteers.
We hope we have not forgotten anyone, but we probably did, so please excuse us and accept our sincere thanks.
We would also thank the Northeast Times, Tom Waring, Tom Stiglich, the Public Record, www.neastphilly.com and the local radio and television networks for getting the word out.
Our theme for 2013, “Riding into the Future,” only happened with the help and support of all who wished to carry on the tradition.
Now we look forward to 2014 and our 99th anniversary. Let’s make it happen with your support.
Have a safe and happy summer, and thank you to everyone.
The Lawncrest July 4th Committee
If you do the crime, you must do the time
We all know that crime is running rampant in our city. Prison is awful. I worked as a correctional officer in Eastern State Penitentiary, and being locked up is awful.
Being locked up from 6 p.m. until morning drives you stir-crazy. If you have claustrophobia, then you’re a candidate for going stir-crazy. You look around you and you see walls and bars. You’re locked in, can’t retreat. You scream; they pad your cell so other inmates don’t hear you.
How these people can come back after being released and going through that is beyond me. Of course, everyone doesn’t go stir-crazy. So, remember, all you people out there, do not commit a crime. Eastern State is closed now, but it’s open for tourists and it’s especially a good place to go Halloween night. I worked there a year and a half. It was time to go.
Jerry Foglia Sr.
Illegal immigrants will boost Democrats
I stared at the political cartoon in disbelief that showed a Tea Party member building a wall to stop what I assume are Mexican illegals from citizenship and then read the letter to the editor on how we need to allow them to become citizens because our families were more than likely immigrants as well.
I don’t know about your families, but mine came to this country legally, through proper channels according to the immigration laws, not sneaking across a border someplace to have a baby to anchor themselves within our borders. You can find both my mother’s grandfather and my father in the books.
In case the bleeding-heart liberals and vote-hungry-for-the-next-election Democrats haven’t noticed, the term is “illegal immigrant,” not “resident alien.” This administration is planning to reward people for breaking the law to either bow to pressure from groups that have a large tie to the illegals or to make sure they do garnish a whole new group of Democrats.
Yes, immigration laws need to be fixed, but fixed in order to do away with the archaic anchor baby law and guaranteed medical treatment for illegals, and to streamline deportation of those who break the law.
I voted Democrat the last election, but I won’t make that mistake again.
Illegal immigrants should follow the laws
John McGreevy is correct in that all except Native Americans are descendants of immigrants, but I think he is missing the point.
The issue is not the law-abiding people who come here and follow the procedures to obtain citizenship. The problem is with those who come here illegally and think that they have rights.
Just the fact that they don’t enter America legally and don’t apply to remain here legally shows that they have complete disregard for our laws and no respect for our country.
It’s not only insulting to the country, it’s a slap in the face to the immigrants who follow the regulations and go through the process of becoming legal citizens.
Don’t ridicule rat lovers
I would like to respond to Jerry Briggs of Mayfair’s letter of June 19, concerning the Black Death caused by rats. You have the right to disagree with Philly Rat Rescue, but it is not necessary to ridicule an individual’s belief. Every living thing on Earth has a reason and purpose for existing. The next time you write in, just stick to the facts and stop your grandstanding.
Study shortchanges Holy Family University education school
Recently, Holy Family University, and in particular the School of Education, received negative publicity based on the National Council of Teacher Quality (NCTQ) study of teacher preparation programs in the United States. As a professor, now retired, who served proudly as a member of the faculty in the School of Education at Holy Family for 19 years, I was shocked when I read about their findings, especially in light of recent research of my own involving former students who now work as educators in area schools. My research directly contradicts NCTQ’s conclusions about the quality of preparation in Holy Family’s pre-service teaching programs.
Last October, my former students received a letter from me asking if I could come and visit with them in their schools. Always curious about what kind of teachers or administrators my students had become, I wanted to see them in action and to interview them afterward.
I knew from my years as a member of the faculty that we set clear goals for our pre-service teachers, based on rigorous Pennsylvania Department of Education standards and the mission of the university. Goals included preparing teachers to meet the challenges of diverse classrooms, engage children as active learners and work collaboratively with colleagues and administrators. My research purpose was clear: to see how well we had prepared our students to become educators. From October to June of this year, I observed and interviewed a number of Holy Family graduates. Although self-selected, participants were a representative sample of graduates from the School of Education. Today, some of the graduates are teachers; some are principals; and some hold supervisory or specialist positions.
All are highly competent professionals demonstrating that the School of Education was successful in meeting our goals and preparing students to become educators. Meet five Holy Family University graduates:
Shawn McGuigan, MEd, class of ‘97, is the principal of Samuel Fels High School in Oxford Circle. When Shawn took over as principal, Fels ranked on the Philadelphia school district’s persistently dangerous list for nine years. Working collaboratively with his assistants and the faculty, Shawn’s tough but fair approach soon paid off and Fels was removed from the list after his first year as principal. Asked if he would change anything about Holy Family’s School of Education and the way he was trained to be a teacher, Shawn replied, “Nothing. Having strong, supportive teachers made the difference…the hands-on, project-based curriculum did a lot to prepare us.” Shawn is completing his first year as a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at Arcadia University.
Candice Wells Sasaki, MEd, class of ’04, teaches second grade at Captain James Lawrence Elementary School in Burlington City, N.J. During the lesson I observed, Candice prepared the children for Readers’ Theater, a literacy strategy that builds speaking and listening skills during the retelling of a story. She described her style of teaching as “ hands-on and student-centered with lots of movement” for the children and “strong classroom management” on her part. Evidence of Candice’s commitment to effective teaching is her work toward national board certification. This advanced teaching credential is an honor awarded after a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that demonstrates a teacher’s skills in advancing student achievement. From what I saw, I have no doubt that Candice will earn national board certification.
Elena Manning, MEd, class of ’99, is completing her first year as principal of Yardville Elementary School in Hamilton, N.J. Previously, Elena taught fourth and fifth grades and was named Teacher of the Year for the Hamilton School District. She also served as a middle school math and technology coach and as a data coach. Asked to describe her style of administration, Elena calls herself a “servant leader.” Her job is to be in the classrooms every day, observing the children. Whether she is fixing a projector or sharing instructional websites, Elena provides the teachers with the tools necessary for effective instruction.
Gary Stevens, BA, class of ’04, has taught fifth grade social studies and science at St. Jerome Elementary School in Philadelphia for nine years. Asked to recall the teaching styles of faculty in the School of Education, Gary described us as having engaged students in hands-on, interactive learning infused with technology. In the lesson I observed, Gary did just that with his students. He used an interactive game on the SMART board to review students’ mapping skills.
Catherine Newsham, EdD, class of ’97, owned, operated and taught in her own day care facility while attending Holy Family. After graduation, she became a teacher for the Bristol Township School District for 12 years. Catherine now serves as the Supervisor of Special Education K-5 for the Centennial School District in Warminster. Asked to describe her style of administration, Catherine says she is flexible and team-based, adding that, “The best education I had was at Holy Family University…the course work and content was spot on.”
These former students and others I interviewed are all proud to be graduates of Holy Family University. I am proud of the work we did as the faculty in the School of Education to prepare them to be dedicated, effective professionals. NCTQ has got it all wrong. Just ask the administrators and colleagues who work collaboratively with Holy Family’s graduates in hundreds of area schools every day.
Phyllis Wolf Gallagher, EdD
Professor of Elementary and Early Childhood Education (retired 2010)