School District Of Philadelphia
January 26, 2011 by USA Post
School District Of Philadelphia, Despite the controversy about a budget deficit that threatens “the School District Superintendent Arlene Philadelphie”Ackerman – citing progress in its first cohort of 13 schools in operation – is moving forward with plans to dramatically reviewing a second group, even more low-performing schools.
His announcement of this new phase coincided with the publication of financial data by the District showing a much higher price for the first round of schools than previously reported.
Tuesday afternoon, district officials revealed their plans to name 18 new schools in the Renaissance, including seven new district Term Promise Academy, three “Innovation” Promise academies where the replenishment of the staff is not mandatory, and two schools to be run as charters by Universal as part of an unprecedented new partnership area. Six other schools will be paired with and handed over to outside managers.
“Last year, people do not think it would work. I thought it would be, “said Ackerman.” When you go to one of the [existing] schools of the Renaissance, you think the culture has changed. ”
During the Renaissance charter revised in September last fall; preliminary data indicate that the registration and the average daily attendance are up, so that serious incidents are down. In addition, while the first batch of academies promise has not been without problems, the results of predictive tests point to higher reading scores at all six, and math scores rising in four of the six schools.
Assistant superintendent of schools Penny Nixon said the district is particularly proud of its results at both high schools Promise academies, Vaux and City University.
“The early returns show that attendance is up dramatically, and we see a drop of 50 percent dropout rates for schools,” said Nixon.
A few hours after the explanation of its four models and to appoint the 18 pilot schools, the district provided new details on the cost of Promise Academy charter and Renaissance.
Ackerman said publicly that each academy costs about one million Promise and use. But on Tuesday, district employees set the amount invested a year at the initiative of six schools to almost 9.7 million. Much of this cost is attributable to increased employee compensation, including a longer time.
With six schools serving a combined 2,700 students, the cost amounts to about 3,600 and additional funding per pupil in academies Promise. It’s more than four times the amount of additional funding per student provided to the district administration organizations of Education in 2002 and largest incursion turbulent Philadelphia turnaround school.
In addition, seven charters Renaissance this year have cost the district and 10.4 million, bringing the total price tag of the first year of the initiative to all 13 schools at $ 20 million.
Scheduled for next year 18-school cohort Renaissance, including 10 high schools, is much larger and potentially more costly. The 10 proposals Promise Academy – including West Philadelphia and South Philadelphia high schools – serves a total of nearly 6,000 students.
Although the District is facing the loss of quarter billion dollars in stimulus money the federal government next year and the 2011-12 budget deficit is even bigger than that, district officials have been resolved in their belief that the Renaissance initiative will continue to be funded.
“We can not create a system of large schools, unless we turn around our underperforming schools,” said Assistant Superintendent Diane Castelbuono. “We are determined to find a way to make this initiative happen, and c that is what we budget for next year. These 18 schools will be reversed. ”
Public School parent Helen Gym, however, said she would like to see much more transparency in the process of the Renaissance District.
“I do not think anyone questions the kind of investments we want to see in communities with learning difficulties,” said Gym, who worked closely with students from South Asia to Philadelphia high school last year.
“What we want is to ensure is that they are sustainable. Given that there are severe budgetary decisions to make, some of which may involve the closure of schools, the district needs to be honest about what the financial situation is -. And it is a conversation that must occur in public ”
The district has also provided more details about its plans for the schools under its new partnership with companies in the South Philadelphia community development based on universal Organization. As part of a collaborative effort to bring the Point Breeze and Grays Ferry section of South Philadelphia in a neighborhood Promise modeled on the children’s area of Harlem, the District of price management will Universal Audenried High School and Edwin Vare Middle School.
“We know that you can not really revitalize these communities unless you change the school,” said Castelbuono. “This offers a unique opportunity for us to partner with a company that has a strong presence in the community and to really take advantage of our skills together to really transform the entire geographical area there. ”
As part of their promise Neighbourhood Partnership, the District is handing over the management of these two schools directly to Universal, skipping the process of community review and parent who has already been used at the initiative of the Renaissance.
“Companies Universal has made a huge public process when they called the Promised Neighborhood Partnership grant with the federal government,” said Castelbuono. “They are a huge presence in this community, they have been there for decades.”
This will be the second chance with Universal Vare, this time as a charter. The school last fall returned to the control of the district, after eight years under a management contract with Universal as an outgrowth of the takeover of the State 2002. Vare was one of 16 low-performing schools when the District terminated the contracts with outside managers in 2010, citing insufficient progress.
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan has slammed both the increased dependence on the charter conversion in the second round of the Renaissance schools and the lack of “participation of parents, teachers, students and communities of these schools serve “.
“Instead of improving community involvement in schools, families, educators and communities have been marginalized,” Jordan, said in a statement in response to the plane of the Renaissance.
While Universal is not asked to win over parents and Audenried Vare, six other draft charter schools of the Renaissance, the school advisory councils will again be given the opportunity to interview management organizations Prospective and then make a recommendation to Superintendent Ackerman.
The district announced the approved organizations on Tuesday night. Included in the list were the three current providers of the Renaissance – ASPIRA of Pennsylvania, Inc., Master charter schools, and Universal – and four others, headquartered in New York for-profit company Mosaica Partners recovery.
“We are delighted to be selected as a supplier,” said CEO Scott Gordon Masters “We are very proud of the progress this year schools in the Renaissance were -. All three are on the verge of becoming the school success “. Counting the three schools of the Renaissance Masters currently operates seven charters in Philadelphia.
The public process of correspondence between the charters of the Renaissance and the potential recovery teams should be completed by mid-March, with Superintendent Ackerman submit its final recommendations to the School Reform Commission later this spring.
The plans of eligible schools to external service providers are subject to approval by the CBC.
The recovery process in the 18 schools is likely to move hundreds of teachers. District officials said they could not guarantee that the lecturers would be able to obtain positions in the district next year, given the projected budget deficit. But they said no new teachers will be recruited teachers until seniority are placed.
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