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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference on the Penn State campus in State College, Pennsylvania January 2, 2013.  Corbett said he will file a federal lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions it levied against Pennsylvania State Univer
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett
It's college application time for high school seniors around the country, and Philadelphia public school students are facing more than the usual "will I get in?" stresses. That's because last summer's massive layoffs in the Philadelphia schools left them understaffed and without enough counselors to guide students through the application process—in some cases without enough counselors to even write recommendation letters for every student who needs them:
Many students at Central High shoot for top-tier colleges, but counselor Tatiana Olmedo has had to warn college officials not every student will have a letter of recommendation.

The math just doesn't add up, Olmedo said - 2,400 students, two counselors. Eight counselors used to work at the school. Students who want an appointment to see a counselor can count on a two-week wait.

"We don't know all the students, and we don't have a way of meeting them in a timely fashion," Olmedo said. Schools including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brown University indicated that might affect students' chances.

And forget about counselors having the time to help students figure out what colleges they should apply to, advice that can be especially important for teens seeking to become first-generation college students, whose parents aren't familiar with the application process. Also falling by the wayside as counselors struggle to help hundreds or thousands of students make it through high school are little things like teaching students how to tell if their friends might be suicidal.

Philadelphia's schools are being hit by a funding crisis created by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett; their teachers are paid less than teachers in surrounding suburbs, they receive less funding per student than schools in Pittsburgh and many of the state's other cities, and school closings are disproportionately hurting low-income and black students. Now, kids who've nearly made it through and are trying to move on to college are being hurt by Corbett's cuts.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:54 PM PST.

Also republished by Philly Kos, DKos Pennsylvania, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh, well, sad for those students. (3+ / 0-)

    If only they were in private school.  This is clear evidence we don't need public education for all.  Private school is so much more helpful.  If you can't afford it, oh well, sad for you.

    The dumbing down of America continues and will continue as long as we allow it.  Until progressives start being more vocal and decide they're not going to take it anymore, it will continue.

    GOTV for progressives.

    Human dignity + compassion = Peace (Anonymous)

    by Raggedy Ann on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:07:55 PM PST

    •  Yes, if only they were from affluent families (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26, Youffraita

      whose parents could pay for the help they need.

      It's not a "dumbing down." Those with money are doing just fine. It's a wholesale abandonment of those without money, influence and power.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:09:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's just what they want (0+ / 0-)

        It's part of the destruction of the middle class. People with educations and good jobs don't fall for or tolerate being dominated by a cruel Oligarchy. Poor, undereducated people however do.

        It's been the plan ever since the middle class got out of control during the 60's, scared the bejeebus out of the ruling Oligarchy they did. So one Lewis Powell sat down and wrote a plan of action to destroy that middle class and after 40 years, it's pretty much worked.

        It's been an incredibly cynical attack on the real values America once stood for, however briefly, and the promise of the American Dream which has become the American Nightmare and worst of all, the Oligarchy's propaganda organs have succeeded so wildly that the people they most wished to destroy 40 years ago have been converted to supporting that same Oligarchy and have helped destroy themselves. It's really rather remarkable.

        "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

        by Dave925 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:24:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is this a public service opportunity (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer, valion, jkb246

    for the local college students? There are numerous colleges in the Philly area. Could some of the students there help the high school students with their applications and decision process?

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:26:26 PM PST

    •  Chances are many of those students (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      know too little to be of help on the scale these students need or their knowledge is limited that that's why they ended up at local colleges. They may also be struggling to stay afloat or working in addition to going to school to pay tuition. Wealthier kids get the help of savvy professionals. Why should poorer kids be trusted to the hit-or-miss knowledge of kids only slightly older and a tiny bit more experienced than themselves?

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:11:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was trying to think creatively (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita

        Given that no additional funding or public resources are going to show up in time to help these high school students in the short term, I was wondering where help could come from? There are a handful of good colleges in Philly, led by the Ivy League U of Penn. Maybe some seniors there who are headed to a career in counseling, or education, who could put together some SWAT teams to jump in and help.

        I agree this is a tragic situation and particularly damaging to first generation college applicants. Maybe some help could come from volunteers.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:37:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Considering that Penn (an ivy) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite

        and Temple are two of the most prominent Philly universities, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that some of those students know a little bit about the application process....

        Bryn Mawr isn't too far away, either. And then there's Princeton within driving distance: another ivy, if on the Jersey side of the river.

        I don't think VClib's idea is all that unrealistic, actually. Maybe the undergraduates don't have the expertise, but I bet some of the graduate students do.

        English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

        by Youffraita on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 12:45:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Also recommendations from counslors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita

    used to be considered fairly worthless because (i) it was there job to recommend you and (ii)  they didn't know you nearly well enough.   I'm not sure if this has changed bu I'd be surprised if it had.

    Further of course is the fact that numerous colleges don't require recommendations.

  •  deliberately driving the privatization agenda: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TakeSake, Mostel26

    destroy public education to serve the charter school corporate-education agenda

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:43:57 PM PST

  •  Where is the NAACP, Urban League, ACLU lawsuits (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    Billion dollar lawsuit.  Challenge to Supreme Court. Does the state have the right to neglect children that even those who could have success fail? Even if they lose that should embarrass the people of PA to make a change.

    •  State policies on education (0+ / 0-)

      Many states seem to be implementing a systematic program of purposeful educational malnourishment. The intentional neglect, under-funding, over-crowding, and downright condescending insults of those who work in the educational system seems to derive from an ideological need to disparage any type of function remotely related to public services, unions, or equalizing social forces.

      The United States for All Americans

      by TakeSake on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:44:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  See you in November (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita

    EVERY single one of these students and EVERY single adult in their lives needs to get out to vote Tom Corbett out of office in November. That is the only way this garbage ever gets any better.

    •  I'll be there! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gardener in PA

      He is a useless turd.

      Unfortunately, here in south-central PA, far too many people reflexively vote GOPer b/c "What was good enough for Grampa is good enough for me" despite the fact that Gramps's GOP is NOT what the Teahadists have wrought.

      IOW, they gladly vote against their own self-interest, election after election after election.

      That's why I'm stuck with Joe (the pits) Pitts.

      English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

      by Youffraita on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 12:57:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But, but think of the ... (0+ / 0-)

    poor millionaires who will not get a tax cut

    Clinton/Warren 2016

    by artr2 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:33:16 PM PST

  •  Corbett has been a disaster. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Gardener in PA, cocinero

    He rode in on Teahadist coattails, and if what I've read is correct, he's polling lower than any generic democratic gubernatorial candidate which is about apropos for this purple state.

    Since moving here, I have made it a point to vote in all elections, just to neutralize the GOP votes...Corbett's band of evildoers has gerrymandered our districts to hell and gone, but as someone wrote earlier today: You can't gerrymander the race for governor.

    So I am hopeful we will throw his sorry ass out of office this November and consign him to history's dumpster.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 12:39:22 AM PST

  •  here in philly, and all over pa for that matter (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, cocinero, jayden, Dave925, Aquarius40

    we are counting the days until we can vote this p.o.s. out of office.

    counting.the.days.

    __

    most unpopular and vulnerable governor
    in the country.

    surely, rick scott isn't far behind.

    every adult is responsible for every child

    by ridemybike on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 07:11:36 PM PST

  •  This was headline news here in Philly. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    page394, jayden, Dave925, Aquarius40

    Probably no other governor is more toast than Corbett. Even the republicans in Harrisburg won't pass any of his bills. The Philly schools are in horrific shape. Not ALL his fault though. They have been tragically mismanaged for years and the new superintendent while having good intentions, can't run the 5 th largest school district in the country on a shoestring budget.

  •  A message for P-A: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    What's the no. 1 determiner of residential property values in the US?  The quality of the local public schools, of course.  So keep votin' republican, ya suckahs!

    "One of the boss' hangers-on sometimes comes to call, at times you least expect. Tryin' to bully you, strongarm you, inspire you with fear--it has the opposite effect."--Bob Dylan, "Floater"

    by oldmaestro on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 07:19:45 PM PST

    •  Oh heck that's OK (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldmaestro

      Big Equity Groups are buying up housing stock like crazy, they've squeezed the individual buyers right out of the market because the banks won't deal with individuals trying to buy underwater properties. So, these equity groups are out to turn the nation's housing stock from "The American Dream" to "Pottervilles" left and right.

      That's right, no mortgages for Mom and Dad, lots of all cash buyers though organized into venture groups and buying up foreclosed upon property like mad- and the banks are loving selling to them and no one else.

      So, no need to worry about property values any more, renters don't worry about them at all and the new determinant will be what these properties yield in rents and little else.  One more thing we have our betters to thank for after their peddling of sub prime mortgages all over the world which was the primary cause of the tanking of the economy. It's pathetic.

      "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

      by Dave925 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 10:55:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well It is the Home of the Constitution. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    What better place to defeat its illegitimacy in empowering congress to tax to promote the general welfare?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 07:25:32 PM PST

  •  You just have to close your eyes... (0+ / 0-)

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 07:28:32 PM PST

  •  semi OT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Aquarius40

    I stopped talking to a neighbor who was proud he voted against the local school bond.  He admitted the money was needed--because he works as a substitute teacher--but voted that way because he "doesn't have any kids going to school."  The worst thing about St Ronnie was that he made it okay to be selfish.  Community means nothing--the neighbors kids mean nothing--the extra $10 per month means everything.  You should know he bought his house--$400k--with cash only.  He has the money--just not the love --or concern--for children not his own.  I'm sure this attitude is not new, but the pride he takes in his vote is.  Lip service is no longer needed--and neither is my friendship.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 07:47:24 PM PST

    •  Older and Well to Do Have Often Been This Way (0+ / 0-)

      I remember when I was a little kid, there was one old high school in a small town about 5 miles away that served all of the south end of the county we lived in.

      Every election there would be a bond issue to raise the money to build a new and much larger high school in the larger town which I lived in. Every year that bond vote would fail due to the high proportion of elderly Republicans voting against it.

      However, in 1961 a couple of new housing developments went in and suddenly there was an influx of families with young children in them and these people voted for the bond so it finally passed in 1962. It was a big deal in my family because it meant my cousin, sister and I would finally have a good high school to go to once we were old enough.

      So, when it comes to selfishness and Republicans little has changed and these people had the same arguments. . . "Why should I have to pay for all these kids' educations? My kids are all grown and moved away!" The fact of the matter is the taxes these clowns paid never covered the cost of their kids' educations anyway but never mind, to them they'd paid all they were obligated to and that's that.

      Fuckers.

      "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

      by Dave925 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 11:08:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  except (0+ / 0-)

        The difference between then and now, he was proud to stiff the school--smug.  This got its start with NIMBY (not in my backyard)--but it became a honor to stiff the needy by Reagan.  There can be no lasting society with such feelings.  The word "fuckers" is inappropriate--they are destroyers--evil, selfish bastards.  They will go to Hell--they scoff the Golden rule.

        Actions speak louder than petitions.

        by melvynny on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:35:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          melvynny

          I've never known a puke in my 60 years that wasn't smug about their "beliefs" and that includes the hateful attitudes they sport.

          For 40 years after WWII  with some unfortunate occasions kept in mind, we were able to keep the right wing in check but they've always been there, a real danger to our country. These past 30+ years since Reagan we've done a piss poor job of keeping them down and allowed them to damage this poor country almost beyond belief. What is truly unfortunate is the Democratic Party leadership felt the answer was in being more like them instead of stomping them and keeping them down.

          It's shameful how the Democratic Party has behaved when the country was on the line

          "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

          by Dave925 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:10:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is heartbreaking for me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    I was born and reared in Philadelphia and was matriculated in the public school system from K-4 in the 70s before my parents could afford to enroll me in Catholic school.

    Yes, I know the difference between raised and reared as well as what matriculated means because of my early public school education.

    Even though my parents wanted me to have a Catholic education, and I followed that trajectory, it was well known that Central High, as well as Girls' High, were two of the most prestigious and respected public high schools in Philly.  The competition to get in was fierce, and if you were accepted, you were acknowledge to be among the best and the brightest in the city.  It was a badge of honor.

    And now, they can't get a fucking college counselor.

    I am so sad for my hometown.  We always knew there was grift and patronage and kickbacks; yet, we still thought that there was a sense of pride in some of our more prestigious institutions, such as education, and that they wouldn't be compromised.

    I was so very, very wrong, and it makes me incredibly sad.

    The older I get and the more I learn, the more ready I will be to fucking trash your bullshit position.

    by TigerMom on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 07:48:40 PM PST

  •  We can only hope that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Dave925, Aquarius40

    New York sets an example that Pennsylvania will follow. The new Mayor of NYC and Chancellor of NYC schools are very publicly pushing the conversation to the left, and Governor Cuomo will be forced to follow, or look like the Grinch.

    What will Pennsylvania do in November?

  •  Hey (0+ / 0-)

    If these kids don't have a rich daddy so they can be a legacy what makes them think they deserve a "top-tier" college? Time for them and these "counselors" to stop sucking at the government teat and get a job if they can't get a proper daddy.

    "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

    by Dave925 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:17:47 PM PST

  •  If you live in PA and want to act... (0+ / 0-)

    Please look into ways to support house bill 1844, described here by the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association: http://www.psca-web.org/.  It mandates that school counselors be present in schools, and limits the ratio between students and counselors.  In addition to assisting with course and college selection, school counselors play a critical role in teaching social, emotional, behavioral and study skills; provide crisis intervention; and advocate for systemic change to benefit students.  Unfortunately, due to privacy concerns keeping most of their work out of the spotlight, most people don't understand the breadth of the role, and they're often on the chopping block at budget time.

    Full disclosure: I'm in the last year of my M.S. in school counseling, so the job security of having school counselors mandated here in PA would be nice as well.

    •  students in major PA colleges can protest their (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden

      schools' endorsement of RW radio, (the major seller of ALEC style austerity and public ed cutbacks in all states) which their mission statements likely would condemn if taken seriously. see post below -

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:47:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  & penn state endorses 6 limbaugh/corbett stations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden

    temple u also, which is in philly. maybe a few other philly schools.

    not only did they probably help to get the shit elected but their local blowhards said whatever they were told to say for corbett and ALEC to get to this point.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:43:21 PM PST

  •  WHAT ABOUT CORBETT'S LINKS TO SANDUSKY?? (0+ / 0-)

    As in Jerry Sandusky, sexual predator, whose prosecution and arrest Corbett helped to sandbag during his tenure as Attorney General.

    CORBETT IS BOLTED BY THE NECK TO JERRY SANDUSKY  -- JUST LIKE SANTORUM.

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