New school board still not transparent

Thank you for the article on the new school board [“Local residents and politicians bullish on new school board,” April 12]. As someone who regularly attends the School Reform Commission meetings I want to echo the concern raised about the need for transparency. Ultimately, we need an elected school board (as every other school district in our state has) responsible to voters and committed to both transparency and accountability.

With the SRC there is no dialogue they simply tolerate the public speaking and then move on to voting in blocks with little to zero discussion of the millions they are spending. This is our tax money and they are government officials. This new school board was selected behind closed doors with no way for the public to question member.

Missing from the Mayor’s handpicked group are representation of our most vulnerable students, parents whose children attend stressed neighborhood schools and know firsthand what their school needs. The business world is well represented but where are parents and veteran educators who have spent decades in the district?

I hope that the Local continues to cover this new entity. There is sparse information available. For more background on who these nine people are, please visit our website

Karel Kilimnik
retired educator
co-founder of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools


Make Wissahickon Park great again

After spending Easter Sunday in the Wissahickon Valley, trying not to get run over by mountain bikers racing along trails clearly marked “no bikes,” I need to address the people of Philadelphia.

It is ridiculous that we let truckloads of mountain bikers slink across the border from New Jersey to destroy our trails, break our rules, and make it impossible for God-fearing families to take leisurely strolls through our beautiful jewel of nature.

Then there’s the self-appointed, pseudo-governmental Pennsylvania Game Commission that dumps farm-raised, non-native fish into the creek so that non-native, cigarette smoking, beer swilling adventurers can literally set up camp sites along the banks, much of which they leave behind when they go.

Of course not all anglers or riders are hooligans, but enough of them are to make enjoyment of the valley a thing of the past. We need to take back our park and make the Wissahickon great again.

Jim Harris