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SRC delays vote on matching West with Hopkins/Diplomas Now

By Dale Mezzacappa on May 26, 2010 02:08 PM

The School Reform Commission delayed a vote that would have matched West Philadelphia High School with Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now for turnaround as a Renaissance School, even though there was a resolution prepared to do this.

SRC chairman Robert Archie said that new information has come to light that needed to be considered before the final vote. He did not elaborate.

West's School Advisory Council voted Monday night to choose its turnaround provider. Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now was the choice of the 15-member committee, which is made up of 8 parents and 7 community members.

Reporter Benjamin Herold compiled a timeline of the Renaissance Schools process at West since January.

UPDATE: Details on the delay.


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Comments (11)

Submitted by West supporter (not verified) on May 26, 2010 3:22 pm

They just said that they were postponing the West resolution because of "certain facts" that have been revealed. The supposed "community consultants" in this process are up to something

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 26, 2010 4:42 pm

Representatives of the council were asked to attend this SRC meeting for the express purpose of having the SRC authorize a provider match, by all accounts affirming the recommendation of the SAC. I guess the democratic process that the SAC went through is somehow not enough. For all the focus on parents as part of this process, why are non-parents having influence one way or another in this case based on what is best for their pockets? This is outrageous and the complete opposite of putting children first. While shady "new information" that no one knows comes to light, West teachers are leaving in droves. This is a complete slap in the face to the school and the community.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 26, 2010 4:57 pm

Unbelievable. Ackerman will not be satisfied until she sees West crash and burn. This cannot be anything other than jealousy and insecurity around the fact that a school was making significant progress that had NOTHING TO DO WITH HER.

Thanks to Ackerman, the students of West will be the biggest losers.

Submitted by Teacher (K.R. Luebbert) (not verified) on May 26, 2010 5:17 pm

The question is: WHO is lining WHOSE pockets? Parents of West--get out your phones and start calling your local and state politicians--Tell them what YOU want.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 26, 2010 6:46 pm

I would have understood the need to radically transform West Phila HS if it had happened a couple of years ago. West has come a long way in the last couple of years - the current administration and staff deserve a chance to keep the momentum going. Very sad, and arbitrary.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 26, 2010 6:36 pm

I would have understood the need to radically transform West Phila HS if it had happened a couple of years ago. West has come a long way in the last couple of years - the current administration and staff deserve a chance to keep the momentum going. Very sad, and arbitrary.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on May 26, 2010 6:46 pm

Thaat is the situation at my site exactly. We have been kicking it over the last six years, coming up from low places, but coming up steadily and evenly. Now, the rug is literally pulled out from under us. In spite of all the hours of work, meetings, staff development and radical changes in our teaching, kid watching and assessments, we are now a "High needs school" (even though we has met AYP for 5 of the last 6 years) and corrective reading and math are on the way.
There is no resepect for our efforts or for the children and their growth. This is wrong.

Submitted by radical teacher (not verified) on May 26, 2010 9:51 pm

This is a sad day in Philadelphia. When did it become ok to play politics with our children? When did it become acceptable to with hold information about the schools of our children because it suits our political ambitions. If this were Masterman, CAPA, Central, it would have been unthinkable to give a vague and absurd "new information" excuse. This is Ludicrous. Shame on Arlene Ackerman. Shame on Archie. Call senator Call Rendell, Roebuck, and Nutter NOW and let him know that what is happening is unacceptable.
Rendell: Phone: (717) 787-2500
Roebuck: (717) 783-1000

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 26, 2010 9:28 pm

I remember when students, parents and community members came out before the vote on the overall Renaissance process to ask for a delay in the vote until concerns could be resolved. At that time, Ackerman and the SRC said it was too "urgent" and there could be no delay on the vote. The "children" couldn't wait. But I suppose that West students can wait for something as arbitrary as someone approaching Ackerman and Archie during an SRC meeting to tell them to pull a resolution, and the parents attending this meeting weren't even informed of why. There was no public discussion, it just happened. Where's the urgency now? Hypocrisy. West students can't wait another three weeks while their teachers jump ship. Keep the School Advisory Council together. Push back against this hijacking of the process, this completely selfish backdoor dealing that is going on. The vote of the Council stands. Go directly to the SRC, then press if necessary.

Submitted by WPHS Teacher (not verified) on May 26, 2010 9:56 pm

Notebook, please help investigate what is going on here. Archie needs to be questioned IMMEDIATELY about what is going on and why the SRC is not being transparent about why this decision was postponed yet again.

The staff of West proposed an Innovation plan that was better than any of the options presented since. It was rejected due to our lack of a "proven track record" (although we saw Ackerman's track record with the Promise Academies on this website a few days ago). If we'd known the process was going to be so ridiculous and inconsistent, we'd have pushed to put that back on the table for the SAC's consideration, just like Ackerman put Promise back on after it was rejected once. Someone clearly has the ear of Ackerman and Archie; unfortunately it isn't the parents and teachers who have the best interests of the kids at heart.

Submitted by Erika Owens (not verified) on May 26, 2010 10:41 pm

In case you're following in the comments, we just posted an update about the delay.

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