This is a tragedy

Hello, folks, and sorry for the long absence.  I've been under the weather, but am back just in time - tomorrow, Tuesday May 31, the Philadelphia School District will pass a provisional 2011-12 budget.  Underscore the provisional part of that sentence, because funding is very much still up in the air with no decisions made yet in Harrisburg or City Hall.

But I wanted to share with you something I read earlier today on Get Schooled, the Atlanta Journal-Constitutions fine schools blog.  It was through-provoking and very sad - one caring educator's tale of a student he mentored and how the system failed this young man.  It made me think of the multiple times I've spoken with Philadelphia teachers - fine professionals, caring men and women who give their all every day, who reach as many students as they can in ways they are not paid enough to do - who talk about students they teach who are 18 and who can't read.  Who receive high school diplomas without basic math skills, or who fall far short of diplomas with little to keep them out of a cycle of poverty and joblessness.  To me, that's a tragedy.  (Just to be clear, I'm not casting blame on the administrator who wrote the letter, or the teachers who are their stories with me.) 

Here's the link to the story of Robert, a young man from Georgia who sounds like he could just as easily be a young man from Philly.  

Happy Memorial Day.