How PFT Fails Philadelphia Students, Teachers & the Poor

For Immediate Release
Commonwealth Foundation
Contact: 717-671-1901

PFT Leaders Use Students & Teachers as Pawns in a Political Game

Leaders Block Millions of Dollars from the Classroom to Push Self-Serving Agenda

October 16, 2014, PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Academic failure, school violence, and broken dreams: This is the failed legacy that years of Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers' leadership has left Philadelphia’s students and teachers—and all for political gain.

“Jerry Jordan and PFT leadership have failed students, teachers, and the poor by putting politics ahead of people,” commented Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation and a former high school teacher. “Change that benefits the youth of Philadelphia simply will not happen as long as PFT leaders use students and teachers as pawns to advance their political agenda rather than working for their best interests.”

During PFT’s protest at the School Reform Commission meeting this afternoon, Brouillette and other Commonwealth Foundation representatives will be on-site, informing teachers and parents about how PFT leaders have consistently failed them.

PFT Fails Students

PFT leadership defends the dismal status quo at violent and failing schools:

  • 80 percent of Philadelphia students last year could not read or do math at grade level, according to Nation’s Report Card. Philadelphia had twice the number of students perform below basic proficiency than other participating cities.
  • 1,358 assaults, 12 rapes, 102 indecent assaults, 86 robberies, 149 thefts, and 253 knife possessions occurred in the district in 2012-2013 alone.
  • 2,485 violent incidents have been reported during the current school year, according to latest statistics.

PFT Fails Teachers

PFT leadership spends hundreds of thousands from forced union dues on their personal political agendas rather than negotiating for teachers’ best interests:

PFT Fails the Poor

PFT fails low-income parents and families seeking to escape failing, violent schools and find the best education opportunity for their children:

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Brouillette continued:

The list of failures caused by PFT leaders is truly shameful. They seem to place a higher priority on partisan political activity than on creating a safe learning environment for students and their own members.

PFT’s refusal to negotiate in good faith with the School Reform Commission has worsened a situation that has been at crisis-level for years. With former Governor Rendell, Mayor Nutter, and others from across the political spectrum criticizing them, PFT leaders should realize that they are on the wrong side of this fight.

Matthew Brouillette and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment. Please contact us at 717-671-1901 to schedule an interview.

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For more information, please contact our director of media relations for the Commonwealth Foundation at 717-671-1901 or [email protected].

The Commonwealth Foundation, founded in 1988, crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.