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Year III Renaissance provider finalists

By Erika Owens on Feb 29, 2012 05:05 PM

The District just released the names of finalists to become Renaissance Schools charter providers. New to the list are two providers that currently operate successful charter schools in Philadelphia. Finalists include:

All but one of the finalists are based in Philadelphia. American Paradigm and String Theory are both new applicants. Mosaica, Mastery Charter Schools, Scholar Academies, and Universal Companies currently manage Renaissance Schools.

The companies replied to a Request for Proposals issued in January. School Advisory Councils at the schools selected for turnaround were originally scheduled to recommend a provider by March 23, with the School Reform Commission voting on matches March 29. Now, that timeline has been changed. SACs will submit recommendations in mid-April and the SRC will vote on matches on April 19.

From the District's fact sheet, the full timeline for the process is:

Date
Activity
February 29, 2012
Announce 4 Year III Renaissance Match Schools
February 29, 2012
Announce qualified Turnaround Teams for the Year III Renaissance Match Model
March 5-8, 2012
Conduct school-based community meetings at Year III Renaissance Schools
March 17, 2012
School Advisory Council (SAC) orientation and training
March-April 2012
Matching process between RFP finalists and Renaissance Match Schools; SACs evaluate Turnaround Teams
Mid-April 2012
SACs’ final recommendations submitted to the Superintendent
April 2012
Superintendent finalizes provider-school matches, makes recommendations to SRC
April 19, 2012
SRC reviews and votes on Renaissance Match agreements
April-August 2012
Renaissance Schools transition phase
September 2012
New Renaissance Match Schools open

 

American Paradigm
American Paradigm, based in Philadelphia, was formed last year to help share the "positive blueprint" of First Philadelphia and Tacony Academy Charter Schools.

Mosaica Turnaround Partners
Mosaica Education is a for-profit company that operates nonprofit charter schools in nine states and Washington, D.C. Mosaica currently operates Birney Elementary in Philadelphia. Last year, the School Advisory Council at King High School recommended that Mosaica be named its provider. Mosaica later withdrew its bid amidst controversy over back-room dealings regarding King High's charter contract.

Mastery Charter Schools
Mastery Charter Schools is the largest charter school manager in Philadelphia. Mastery first opened with a regular charter school, the Lenfest campus; then expanded with three pre-Renaissance turnaround charters: Pickett, Shoemaker, Thomas. It also operates five Renaissance charters: Clymer, Harrity, Mann, and Smedley elementaries and Simon Gratz High. Last year, Mastery took over operations of Hardy Williams Academy Charter School. Mastery is one of two operators to have been matched with schools both prior years of the Renaissance Schools Initiative.

Scholar Academies
Scholar Academies is based in Philadelphia and operates charters here and in Washington, D.C. Scholar Academies currently manages Young Scholars-Douglass, which became a Renaissance charter in the first year of the initiative. Last year, Scholar Academies was not selected as a provider finalist made the first cut of potential providers, but opted not to submit a full proposal.

String Theory
String Theory is also based in Philadelphia. Their "flagship" school is the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School, which links academics and arts education.

Universal Companies
Universal Companies, also based in Philadelphia, manages several types of schools. In 2010, Universal took over Daroff and Bluford Elementary Schools. In 2011, Universal took over Audenried High School and Vare Middle School as a Promise Neighborhood Partnership. Universal has offered consulting services to several District schools and continues to operate Universal Institute Charter School.

Comments (12)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 4:06 pm

Just a small correction--Scholar Academies did not submit an application for Year II of the Renaissance Schools Initiative.

Submitted by Erika Owens on February 29, 2012 5:11 pm

Thanks for the catch. I updated the passage.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 6:55 pm

So does this mean only 4 schools will be sacrificed to the crooks? How about of they demand more?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 9:02 pm

Great day for the children of Philadelphia.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 11:34 pm

What happened to Dwight "like a bulldog on a bone" and Foundations?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 2, 2012 10:07 pm

I'd love to hear how King is doing this year!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 3, 2012 8:04 am

You won't get the truth from the official mouthpieces. But I'll be clear: it's a mess. Many teachers have quit or retired -- there are numerous subs in the building. Blatant disrespect and disregard for rules are everywhere. Student cuts are through the roof but unreported. (Over HALF of the students in my classes were absent or cutting yesterday.) The administration has "promised" things to both students and teachers, with no follow through. Students and staff are discouraged by the terrible climate and the general sense of chaos and hopelessness. If I had a child there, I'd get him/her out immediately, and never look back. It will be interesting to see how many staffers at all levels, from teachers to school police to NTA's and admins, actually come back next year. Whatever your guess is, I'm picking "under".

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 15, 2012 8:55 am

Let's thank the parents on the SAC team who wanted to keep King in the District. Good job!! King is a mess!! Congratulations!!

Submitted by citizen (not verified) on March 2, 2012 8:43 pm

Diane Ravitch is brilliant in the current NY Review of Books, writing about Teach for America and the international push for charters (GERM, or "Global Education Reform Movement.") http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/mar/22/how-and-how-not-imp...

Submitted by teacher: a "highly qualified" professional (not verified) on March 8, 2012 10:00 pm

What a disgrace! The city's schools are being managed by "foreigners" who have no true allegiance to or investment in our children and our schools, except for the almighty paycheck they receive. Of course these charter companies are successful. Why wouldn't they be, when they turn our children into "robots" and "test prep" permeates every level of the curriculum! Talk about union-busting and apathy! My school is filled with dedicated, phenomenal teachers and support staff who literally will spend their last dollar for "their babies," and we are told that there is no way to fight this, the decisions have been made, go check the transfer list or get your resume ready for site selection. What a mess we are in, thanks to "Queen Arlene" and her crew!
Sure, they claim they will continue to service the children who live in the boundaries and they are adopting the school district's "Code of Conduct," but they also have parent "compacts" that are signed when students show up, so what happens when the children begin to disrupt and act out, will they be willing to keep the highly "challenging" students who continuously create havoc and ruin the learning experience for everyone!! No, they will hold meetings and decide that this child needs to leave and find another "public" school that has no choice but to accept them and figure out how to deal with their issues!
I just can't believe how powerless we all are,.... and how our district leadership needs some major overhaul, not just the budget, but the entire staffing!!!! I know there are some great public schools still out there in our city, but they are only as good as the quality leadership and community support they receive.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 25, 2012 3:43 am

Scholar Acadmies is a mess! I totally agree with the comment above... Foreigners coming into the district claiming to bring change.... However the leadership in these schools cannot begin to relate to the families and communities they serve. Its all about the money! So much emphasis is put into test prep to make the school appear good... However, moral is low! People quit all the time! Students are not provided with a quality education, no books, the facilities are awful!!! when are we going to wake up ?? The public education system is failing our youth. Why does everyone think charters are better??

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 25, 2012 3:50 am

Scholar Acadmies is a mess! I totally agree with the comment above... Foreigners coming into the district claiming to bring change.... However the leadership in these schools cannot begin to relate to the families and communities they serve. Its all about the money! So much emphasis is put into test prep to make the school appear good... However, moral is low! People quit all the time! Students are not provided with a quality education, no books, the facilities are awful!!! when are we going to wake up ?? The public education system is failing our youth. Why does everyone think charters are better??

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