The promised shake-up of principals by School District Superintendent Arlene Ackerman is roiling the administrators, who filled their meeting hall last night and fumed over being targeted.
The meeting of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators drew about 100 members rather than the usual 15, said CASA President Michael Lerner.
"My members are utterly disgusted with what's going on," he said. "They don't feel supported; they don't feel Dr. Ackerman is doing anything that approaches team building."
Ackerman said yesterday that about 30 principals were warned as early as January that they will either be fired or transferred.
Two principals got a show of support during the School Reform Commission meeting earlier yesterday.
A parent leader from John L. Kinsey School, in West Oak Lane, and another from Alain Locke School, in West Philadelphia, gave impassioned statements on behalf of dozens of other parents who support keeping their principals.
L'Keisha Wilson, president of Locke's Home and School Association, brought 44 letters and a poem from parents who have been in "an uproar" since learning that Principal Vernadine Cartwright would not be returning in the fall.
"The school district thinks the parents don't care because they come from the projects and the shelters," said Wilson. "But we do care."
Locke has failed to make adequate yearly progress during the last four years, but it has gotten close, Wilson said. She credited Cartwright's five years at the helm - the longest term in recent memory at the West Philadelphia school - for the school's performing as well as it has.
Kinsey parent Tracy Bowman-Ellis brought a petition with 88 parent signatures in support of Principal Ennis Manns.
She called him "an agent of hope for our children. He has provided a sense of normalcy and consistency to our school - one luxury our school has lacked for some time."
Ackerman, following the meeting, gave few details about the school leadership changes she plans to make.
"Believe me, we have a process," she said. "I can't talk about that process. . . . We have supports for principals when they're having difficulties, and there are no surprises - [but] maybe for some parents."
Among the others being replaced are Tania Kukulski, at Potter-Thomas School, North Philadelphia; Alice Heller, at South Philadelphia High School; and Anthony Irvin, at University City High School.