On Jan. 30, President David Adamany announced, through a press release, that the University is interested in managing several public schools located in the neighborhoods near main campus.
But this brings forth a problem for Temple students: seeing as how the University has trouble handling its own bureaucracy; how will Temple fare once they are forced to handle the bureaucracy of the Philadelphia Public School System as well? With the University already spread thin, Temple students may see negative results.
It must be understood that Temple is an amazing school. Each school has its own merits. However, there are many departments that are flawed. For students, these departments (or services) will be easy to identify — Financial Aid and Financial Services, Advising, Health Services, Housing and countless others. It is nearly impossible to get anything done easily at Temple.
Trust us, as a student organization and residents, both past and present, we’ve learned, first hand, about the red tape that it takes to make something simple happen.
Couple that fact with Temple taking on several public schools in the area to worry about, and it spells disaster — without even adding to the equation the debate over public school privatization.
A press release from the Office of News and Media Relations quotes Adamany as saying (in his letter to the School Reform Commission), “Temple has the breadth of experience and resources to help further improve the quality of public education offered to our neighborhood children,” and that, “Virtually all the public schools in North Philadelphia continue to fall below required proficiency levels in math and reading as measured by the latest Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests.”
While it is true that the University “collaborates” with the Philadelphia School District to help with “over 235 different programs and initiatives for students,” helping with programs and initiatives is far different than taking charge.
If Temple does indeed take charge of neighborhood schools, which administration claims it will only do with the support of its neighbors, then where does that leave the University? The same University, which in recent months has already been plagued by budget and hiring freezes.
Administration is claiming that they have already spoken with area principals, and that the principals are interested in Temple’s proposal. But what about the rest of the neighborhood? Temple says it will only proceed if they receive the support of “neighboring parents, principals, and community groups.” This is a good idea, for it would be a shaky step for Temple to take without consent of parents.
The fact remains that Temple’s relationship with the surrounding community can only be labeled as wavering at best.
It should also be noted that this move has a way of stuffing Temple down the throats of a significant portion of the students in Philadelphia’s public school system.