My first-grade student was poking her leg with a staple. My school— like nearly all Philadelphia public schools in this financially strapped season— lacks a full-time counselor. This meant that, for a little bit, I would have to change hats and become the counselor, to the neglect of my other kids.
Philadelphia's School District must slash its budget again. In abstract terms, that sounds onerous. But how does it actually affect children and teachers? As one of the latter, allow me to provide a firsthand illustration.
As the school year ended, I was summoned to see the principal. Our preliminary PSSA scores have come out, and my class did terribly, and so I am to blame. It doesn't matter if your kids have learning issues or attendance issues. All that matters is their scores.