The Network for Public Education Action Fund endorses Helen Gym, a fighter for public schools and children.

NPE Action is proud to join the growing list of organizations endorsing Helen Gym in the Primary Election for a City Council At-Large seat in the city of Philadelphia.

NPE President Diane Ravitch has lauded Helen as a hero of public education and an inspiration for us all. When asked about Helen’s candidacy, Diane said she is “a great advocate for children and education. Philadelphia needs her eloquent voice on the City Council.”

Helen is the mother of three Philadelphia public school students, a former public school teacher, and a fierce advocate for public education in Philadelphia and beyond. She has been a dedicated community activist for two decades; her work has touched on issues regarding taxation, civil rights, criminal justice, jobs, labor, and neighborhood development. She is a founding member of Parents Across America, and the co-founder of Parents United for Public Education, a nationally recognized group of public school parents advancing broad causes for social justice in the Philadelphia public schools. Helen also serves on the editorial board of Rethinking Schools, a social justice education journal.

Philadelphia principal Chris Lehmann, founder of the renowned Science Leadership Academy, said, “Helen Gym has been a champion for the children and the teachers of Philadelphia. She is a tireless advocate who will work to improve public education in our city, and therefore, help Philadelphia become the city we all know it can be.”

Not only has she been a fearless advocate for fair funding, bringing national attention to the dire underfunding situation in Philadelphia, she has developed a plan to ensure that going forward the city’s schools have the funds they need without over burdening homeowners. Please read more about her Fair-Share Plan, which will ensure that all Philadelphia students have access to the services such as nurses, counselors, libraries, music, and the arts.

Helen also supports less testing in our schools stating, “Tests should be one measure which informs practice. It should not be used as a major measure to evaluate teachers, determine pay, close schools or deny children a diploma or access to a quality education.”

And true to form, Helen has backed up her belief with action. When the city recently estimated that only 22% of students would graduate, Helen called for the end of the state’s Keystone exams, which are end of course exams used as a graduation requirement. Helen said, “The School District’s projection of a 22 percent graduation rate when the state and city have failed to adequately meet schools’ needs is an outrage and threatens the future of hundreds of thousands of students in this city.” She added, “No one wins with a testing system destined for failure.”

You can read more about Helen’s education policy positions here.

Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers said, “For Philadelphia’s educators, the choice to endorse Helen Gym for City Council At Large was an easy one. No other candidate possesses Helen’s combination of passion for quality public schools and deep knowledge of education issues.”

We urge you to do what you can to ensure Helen is elected to be the champion the children and teachers of Philadelphia so desperately need. Please visit her website to donate to her campaign and help spread the word about her candidacy.