As wealthy donors—who had given thousands of dollars just to be invited—met at the Union League in Philadelphia on Sept. 30 to discuss the city's public schools, a large crowd of students, educators and community members gathered outside to express their displeasure with the corporate "reform" agenda being pushed behind the closed doors.
Students used noisemakers, music and street theater to make themselves heard by the attendees, who included representatives from the Walton Family Foundation and the Philadelphia School Partnership.
Among the students at the protest were members of the Philadelphia Student Union, including Sharron Snyder, a 12th-grader at Benjamin Franklin High School. "Corporate education reform groups have come to Philadelphia to share and learn tactics for making money while public schools in Philadelphia are in crisis," she said. "They want to make money from education, but we know that our right to an education is not for sale."
Students broke apart a piñata filled with play money to symbolize the huge disinvestment in Philadelphia's public schools.
[Philadelphia Student Union, Philadelphia City Paper, Dan Gursky/photo by Jeff Rousset]