I stand to correct myself on these layoffs

Posted on 06.19.2013

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I was recently briefly interviewed by our local Public Radio station, WHYY about the layoffs here in Philadelphia.  Specifically, how I felt about them and about the website I have been contributing towards called http://www.facesofthelayoffs.org.  The subsequent article is good; you can read it here.

The article quotes me a few times and I am embarrassed at my anger and the simplicity of my message.  I think they ring empty.

Here’s what I should have said:

Philadelphia is a great city and we have so much talen, smart, creative, thoughtful and caring people here; I am sad that it feels like they aren’t more engaged in the public good.  I firmly believe that we need to invest in the public good, invest in the community and do meaningful work that makes life better for us all.  I love philadelphia and I don’t ever want to stop doing public service.

I really want to have the opportunity to do meaningful work here in philadelphia, I want to work with others to make the city better and I want the children of philadelphia to get an education that helps them become a thoughtful, creative, critical, informed, caring, engaged citizen.

I hate the idea of having to go outside the city to have the opportunity to do meaningful work.

At the time of the interview with WHYY I was in acute pain and angry that we as a community didn’t have more opportunities and doing enough to do this meaningful work here in Philadelphia.  I was scared I’d have to go elsewhere.

Philadelphia is too great a treasure to give up on: it has smart, creative, thoughtful and caring people in it; it has citizens that are worth working for.  Being an educator for this city’s children and families is too great an honor, it’s too great a privilege to relinquish and go elsewhere.

So, I am not ready yet to share details of my next steps with you yet but I have exciting news: I will continue to work with students in Philadelphia Public Schools and with smart, creative, thoughtful and caring educators in the School District of Philadelphia.  That much is certain.

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