Response to the May 1 blog post, “SRC approves nonrenewal of Lab Charter, tables decision on Memphis Street,” by Dale Mezzacappa.
A number of speakers, including me, spoke at the School Reform Commission Meeting on May 1 on the issues of renewing charters that have not met academic, financial and organizational standards. Charters have presented themselves as the answer to the ills of public education and claim that they can do a better job. When they don't, they then ask for special consideration.
Public schools that are closed or given to charter companies, like Wister Elementary, get no special consideration. Nor are they given an extensive appeals process as charters are. Public schools are told they are closing because the District can't afford them. But charters are the biggest driver of increasing District costs, year after year.
I think that this is an important point as Superintendent William Hite has said he plans to close a number of public schools over the next five years.
The writer is a retired teacher and founder of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools.