Response to Jan. 13 commentary post, “A universal enrollment process won’t improve neighborhood schools,” by Jerry Jordan.
When evaluating any new idea proposed to or by the School Reform Commission, consider the source. The source for the universal enrollment plan is the Philadelphia School Partnership, a nonprofit group operating outside the District. PSP is dedicated to promoting school choice options that include blending public and private – with such projects as Independence Mission Schools, a privately run system under the auspices of the Archdiocese and funded primarily through tax-supported “opportunity scholarships.”
The universal enrollment scheme is a direct attempt to encourage more privatization at the public’s expense. It is a way to sidestep our state constitution that basically forbids vouchers and to find a back door to funneling public money to private education providers, including independently managed charter and cyber schools.
Part of this enterprise is to make education “teacher-proof,” or in other words, to make the pupil-teacher ratio as wide as possible via distance or blended learning, with as many avenues as possible for excluding collective bargaining.
With those ulterior motives driving the universal enrollment plan, saying that it is intended to reform the application process is disingenuous at best – and dishonest at worst.
The writer lives in South Philadelphia and is a retired teacher.