Great Schools Need Community Input
Recently the School Reform Commission voted in approval of the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact which represents a handful of things for Philadelphia.
To be eligible to receive a grant from Gates, schools districts must agree to his vision of school reform and pledge cooperation by signing a compact which is essentially a contract.
In other words if the School District of Philadelphia wants money from Bill Gates it must follow his vision.
According to the official draft of the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact, the vision for Philadelphia is to strengthen its link between the School District and the charter school community in hopes to expand and simulate the best performing schools while eliminating the lowest performing schools (approximately 50,000 seats) by 2016-17. It will also align the District with the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools and the Philadelphia Charters for Excellence, two of the largest charter school umbrella organizations in the state of Pennsylvania.
I recognize that the Philadelphia School District is still trying come back from its $630 million budget deficit but is this really the path that they should steer Philadelphia education?
I would feel better if this process included more community voice. However this process was orchestrated without opportunity for Philadelphians to weigh in on the proposal and its decision. The plan was completed in a weeks time and was done behind closed doors.
Successful education reform in Philadelphia and abroad has to set aside time and input from the people most affected, the people that navigate through the education system.
We have to engage the entire community when taking measures on education.
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