I'm guessing, based on their expressions,
People are starting to notice that it's apocalypse now for the Philadelphia School District...people like the New York Times:
PHILADELPHIA — When a second grader came to the Andrew Jackson School too agitated to eat breakfast on Friday, an aide alerted the school counselor, who engaged him in an art project in her office. When he was still overwrought at 11, a secretary called the boy’s family, and soon a monitor at the front door buzzed in an older brother to take him home.
There's an old axiom in journalism that sometimes the best articles aren't the ones that tell you something you didn't know, but the ones that confirm or prove what you long suspected. Here in Pennsylvania, you don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that Gov. Corbett sees his constituency as business owners -- especially large business owners -- and that to better serve that clientele and thus give to the rich, he metaphorically robs from the poor -- again and again and again.
It started right after he took office in 2011 when he killed the AdultBasic program and left many lower-income people without health insurance. There were massive cuts to public assistance, and now the governor's stance against Medicaid expansion under President Obama's health care reform will needlessly put thousands more at risk. All this while Corbett continues to push for lower corporate taxes and spurned a broader tax on the fracking industry -- something that's done in every other gas-producing state -- in favor of an "impact fee" that has much less, um, impact.
I'm a very lucky dad, and so are some of you reading this...Happy Father's Day. But not everyone is so fortunate. No father should have to experience the pain that Newtown's Gilles Rousseau has been through this year. Doesn't Washington owe them some sane gun laws?
Fast food workers are the coal miners of America's 21st Century. They want a raise -- and they deserve one. My front page article in today's Daily News (Promo code: Z42U if you're having any trouble reading it.) Here's an excerpt:
Over the past two decades, with the Industrial Revolution and its union wages all but a memory, fast-food jobs have skyrocketed - now employing roughly 3.5 million Americans and as many as 15,000 Philadelphians.
Al Gore doesn't tweet about many books (except maybe his own) but he really wants you to read this one: Toms River, by Dan Fagin -- probably the best thriller about toxic dumping since "A Civil Action" came to a theater near you. The Nobel Peace Prize winner for his environmental activism called Toms River "[a]n important read for all" -- and on top of all that, it's a yarn from our backyard, a.k.a.New Jersey.
Full disclosure: Dan is an old friend from back at Newsday a long time ago, back before anyone imagined that Newsday would become (sort of) the stuff of Broadway legend. I know first-hard that Dan is one of the best environmental reporters in America -- a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize who now teaches the craft at New York University when he's not writing books. Since my recommendation might be polluted (see what I did there?) by our friendship, check out what the objective New York Times said about Toms River:
There's one thing that's always been true about Philadelphia -- this town loves a fighter. You know, the ballplayer who may not be the second coming of "The Natural" but who loves to get his uniform dirty, the little guy who leaves everything out on the hardwood. Last night, Mayor Nutter went on national television -- MSNBC's "All In" with Chris Hayes -- to talk about the future of Philadelphia's public schools, where lives -- of thousands of kids from rough-and-tumble neighborhoods looking for a way up and out, and the dedicated men and women who teach them -- are hanging in the balance.
A fighter is absolutely NOT what the TV audience -- in Philadelphia and across the nation -- saw last night. In fact, Nutter looked the opposite...punch-drunk, dazed and confused. Or maybe like one of those hostages reading a prepared political statement while his captor with the AK-47 is right off camera, as if Nutter was going to start blinking "h-e-l-p" in Morse code.
This religion writer for the Charlotte Observer was arrested for covering a protest -- not in Gezi Park, mind you, but in North Carolina.
Nothing to see here, America...move along. (via Romenesko)
Yesterday I mentioned the stunning layoff notices to more than 3,700 teachers and other key employees of the Philadelphia School District, a story that was tossed down an Orwellian memory hole, partly because it was dumped on the Friday of an especially busy news week and partly because in the past pink slips have been used fairly successfully as a negotiating tool. But this time, it feels like an end game, and a lot of dedicated teachers and school employees feel that way too.
This picture at top is Ms. Cohen (that's what it says), a science teacher at Paul Robeson High School (whose namesake would be spinning in his grave if he knew what was happening in Philly), She is one of the Faces of the Layoffs from the Teacher Action Group, seeking to put a human face on some very inhuman actions by our so-called leaders. Check them out, and then check out this letter that Harvey Scribner, a teacher from the Crossroads Accelerated Academy whose pink slip was accelerated over the weekend, addressed to the school district, Here's an excerpt: