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Outspoken Philadelphia School Teacher Sits In Exile

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An Audenried High School teacher will be spending more time in exile while the school district decides whether to discipline her for speaking out against a school overhaul.

Hope Moffett has spent the last week in what teachers not-so-fondly refer to as the “rubber room” in the basement of Strawberry Mansion High. At a so-called “investigatory conference” yesterday she says the district presented the two charges against her: that she endangered her Audenried students by encouraging them to walk out in protest over plans to convert the school to a charter, and that she defied an order not to talk about the first charge.

Moffett says she’s prepared for whatever discipline comes her way.

“I’m not intimidated. I look at what they do and I see the very strategic questions they ask, the insinuations they try to insert into their questioning — and my opinion hasn’t changed.  I still think that I am doing the right thing.”

Moffett says she expects to remain exiled until the next conference.  A spokeswoman says the school district does not comment on personnel matters.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio

  • Philadelphia Teachers’ Union Asks Court To Block Firing Of ‘Rubber Room’ Teacher « CBS Philly

    […] The School District of Philadelphia wants to fire teacher Hope Moffett, the Audenried High School teacher who has spoken out against plans to convert her school to a charter school (see previous story).  The district says she endangered students by encouraging a student walkout in protest (see related story). […]

  • Philadelphia School Officials Want ”Rubber Room” Teacher Fired « CBS Philly

    […] She denies the charge, but has been kept in what is basically a basement “teacher’s jail” while officials mull the case (see previous story). […]

  • SD Teacher

    This was from an article in 2003 regarding Universal and Audenreid.

    “The district is negotiating with Universal to determine what role the organization will play in the new high school, Guerin said. School administrators have pledged to keep parents and the community informed of any progress, but currently there is nothing to report, she said.

    “A lot of people are under the misconception that there is some final plan and we are somehow moving forward on it,” Guerin said. “But there isn’t.”

    When a proposal is finalized, it must be presented to the School Reform Commission and approved by its members.

    Now look at the situation with Audenried and Universal. No FINAL plan huh? Right… Big business and big money moving ahead without regard to the community, teachers or more importantly students. Keeping the community informed was a joke and of course there has been a final plan, rip off Philadelphia!

  • ACourt

    I think Ackerman wants them to fail and that is why she is keeping Ms. Moffett out of the classroom. She wants them to fail to create a self-fulfillment of her own prophecy that Audenreid will amount to nothing. Then she will have the ‘data’ she is lacking now. The district doesn’t care about the kids, they want them to fail. Ms. Moffett should be allowed back to teach!

  • Guess Who

    Rubber room? She used her students as pawns! Fire her union thug a$$ and quit paying her for doing nothing.

  • Frank

    Speak her mind? Sure…

    Involve her students? Fire her yesterday.

    • JC

      Obviously you don’t know a thing about this case, or her teaching history, or what involving her students meant.

      She spoke her mind about a PUBLIC institution that is funded with PUBLIC dollars. She then told the students if they do not want their school taken over, to let their voices be heard and gave them tokens to travel down Broad Street should they wish.

      If you want to say that the giving of tokens was wrong, that is an argument that can be taken. However, to fire her for that instance when you do not know that she has been given the responsibility of teaching children for 3 years (because she is raising their scores so dramatically), comes from the most respected teacher prep school out there (Teach for America) and is adored by her students for genuinely caring for them when so many other people have already cast them aside is downright ignorant.

      Know your facts. Philadelphia schools are not a regular classroom situation.

  • tinsman

    This is why UNIONS can never go away. I hope they have her back!!

    • Mel K

      So why didn’t she go to the teacher’s union and have them protest, rather than encouraging her students?

      • JC

        The union is powerless to protest this. The School Reform Commision ( about 10 or so members), appointed by the mayor and governor, are solely in charge of which schools are to be taken over, not the union. This right was given to them many years ago when Philadelphia was deemed a failing district. This SRC basically acts as a rubber stamp to Arlene Ackerman’s decisions.

        Every school that was taken over is upset about the changes, but her school in particular is very upset because they were already taken over 2 and half year ago and reorganized. They are being reconstituted again without any chance to see whether the first revamp succeeded or not.

        She, along with parents and other teachers, have asked for transparency in the process. And yes, she inspired her children to do the same. We only can wish that teachers inspire more children to do something besides simply pass.

        Furthermore, if you want to see why this school is being taken over, you’d have to delve deeper into politics of Philadelphia (i.e. Ed Rendell, Mayor Nutter, Kenny GAmble, and any business that wants to “improve” the community. At the end of every problem lies a solution steeped in political donations, and spurring private businesses – sometimes to the detriment of the community.

  • NS

    When is Queen Arlene going to be arrested and put in jail where she belongs?

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