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SRC makes it official: Creighton to Universal, Hope Charter to close

By Katie McCabe on Jun 29, 2012 01:54 PM

The School Reform Commission brought closure Friday to two running controversies from this spring, formally granting a charter for Universal Companies to run Creighton Elementary as a Renaissance charter and accepting a proposal from Hope Charter High School to close in 2013.

“We’re relieved,” said Shahied Dawan, chief financial officer at Universal. “We’re going to get in there and create a new climate in the school, start moving the school in the right direction.”

The awarding of a charter to Universal for Creighton was delayed this spring after the SRC agreed to consider a teacher-led turnaround proposal that Creighton’s School Advisory Council supported.

District officials shot down the plan, and the School Reform Commission voted in early June to match Universal with Creighton.  

Hope Charter, meanwhile, will stay open for the 2012-13 school year, but close after that.

In April, the SRC voted 4-0 for non-renewal of Hope’s charter, noting that it had received the lowest possible score on the District’s measure of quality, the School Performance Index. The 10-year-old school was established to serve the most at-risk students.

Last week, Hope made the decision to waive its legal right to appeal the SRC’s decision. Instead, it submitted the negotiated resolution that was approved.

Friday’s meeting is in recess until 6 p.m. Saturday, when the SRC will reconvene to authorize a resolution related to tax revenues. The SRC cannot proceed officially on the matter until the Pennsylvania state budget is finalized. 

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Comments (9)

Submitted by Charles R. (not verified) on June 29, 2012 6:43 pm

Just the thought of giving Kenny "I gots mines" Gamble a school is laughable though deplorable too. Nothing has changed at all.

Submitted by anon (not verified) on June 29, 2012 6:26 pm

so let me get this straight. the only charter schools that the src really shows any willingness to flex their muscles on and make "walk the walk" are the ones that service "at risk" students because afterall, they can always close them and dump their population in the remaining public schools and if their presence serves to drag down those public school scores going forward, oh well, all the better, just more fodder for the entrepreneurs out there. slick.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 30, 2012 7:33 am

It is a sad day when Universal Corp. gets another Philadelphia school considering its track record. There is no academic, and certainly not ethical, justification for turning a public school to a charter operator that does not pay its fair share to the SDP and has not improved other schools it has been "given." The SRC has no credibility.

Submitted by Richard (not verified) on July 2, 2012 6:40 pm

I totally agree. The SRC is a joke, replete with corruption and more corruption. Yes, giving Kenny Gamble another school to suck the life out of tells you everything you/we need to know about the SRC's credibility. Gamble is, has been and will continue to be the worst of the worst and everybody including the SRC knows it. They don't care !!

Submitted by Ken Derstine on June 30, 2012 8:59 am

It's amazing how people do not learn from history. But then, I guess it isn't, because people don't know history. This can only get worse since history is so neglected in the curriculum.

There are many people who have wanted to give the current SRC the benefit of the doubt since they came in last fall. I think the situation at Universal should end any such notion. This whole relationship with Universal reeks of corruption. It is the most blatant example of what a scam the whole corporate reform movement is.

The lack of transparency and manipulation of the selection of the new Superintendent is part of the same pattern.

The SRC itself is an undemocratic institution. It is an outside colonial administration set up to take control of OUR schools and OUR students away from us.

Truth and justice will eventually win out. I am just so sad about the impact all of this is going to have on an entire generation of students before this generations greedy opportunists faces the court of history.

Submitted by Diane (not verified) on July 2, 2012 6:41 pm

I hope you are right and I hope all this corruption hits the fan sooner rather then later. Yes, the current SRC has shown its cards and it ain't pretty. Kenny Gamble is a horrible person and has Nutter in his pocket. At least Mastery pretends better than Gamble who can't get out of his own way. NOBODY in Point Breeze respects him and for good reason. Gamble, Nutter and Harold James sitting in a tree............

Submitted by Phantom Poster (not verified) on July 1, 2012 1:13 am

I certainly agree with the posters who preceded me and don't understand how Universal gets a pass on its failures.

The over-reliance on scores and select data assures that students are denied a second chance to earn a diploma; the SRC looks at the numbers and fails to consider the humanity - the young adults who are cast aside - who would be better off WITH an earned diploma from a school that understands their strengths and limitations - they are set up for failure. I'd be interested in knowing how many of the displaced students enroll in charter, special admit or neighborhood.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 2, 2012 9:47 pm

my thoughts: how much suffering and damage has to be done before truth and justice.....I know that good guys always win in the end

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