Philadelphia Charter School Teachers—And Their Union—Stand Up to Management
On May 31, Philadelphia’s Delaware Valley Charter High School witnessed teacher turnover in real time.
Between 10:20am and 12:46pm, in the middle of class instruction, eight teachers were handed pink slips. Students soon figured out what was going on and revolted—turning over lockers, throwing trashcans, punching holes through walls, ripping down posters and taping them to their bodies as protest signs, and attempting two walkouts.
When principal and CEO Ernest Holiday entered the room of a popular but freshly terminated math teacher, he saw a crowd of students, accused the teacher of inciting a riot, asked him to leave the premises and docked his pay for the remainder of the year.
Two weeks later, the assistant principal for academic instruction, who had received “outstanding” ratings in every performance category in March, learned her contract would not be renewed and was asked not to return to the building for fear of further uproar. When she protested, her email account and work phone were disconnected.