By PennLive Letters to the Editor
My condolences to the staff, students and parents of Harrisburg School District. Recently it was announced that your district will be put under the control of the state. I am truly sorry to hear they are ringing the death knoll of another urban school district.
Why, you may ask, am I offering condolences? Because I have seen the devastating effects of this move in both Chester and Philadelphia: test scores plummet, teacher morale plummets, achievement and services plummet. And most often it is accompanied by an increase in for-profit charter schools THAT drain the best and brightest while leaving the underachievers, special needs, and poorer students to flounder with even less support and financial backing than under the previous system as those charter schools drain the system of money. In Chester they handed the entire school district to Edison Educational money maker. This company performed worse than the Chester Schools had been doing. The suspension and expulsion rates went up, and eventually it had to be taken back and given to the local officials to make it better.
The same is happening in Philadelphia now. That city, after state takeover, was left with a highly dysfunctional school system where many local schools were handed over to for-profit companies and the quality of education spiraled down. Additionally, it led to a shortage of personnel as salaries declined and workloads increased in the remaining city run schools. It also led to an exodus of experienced teachers as those who could either retired, found employment in other districts or simply left the profession as frustration levels rose. I know, I am one of those former teachers.
Here is to hoping you can get the state out of your district before it has the chance to do the same to Harrisburg.
GARY A. ROTHSTEIN, Quentin, Lebanon County
This letter was originally published at the link below: