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District charter office chief resigns

By Benjamin Herold on Jul 31, 2012 11:44 AM

by Benjamin Herold for the Notebook and WHYY/NewsWorks

After a series of public missteps, Thomas Darden, the head of the District's Office of Charter Schools, has stepped down.

On Friday, members of Philadelphia's School Reform Commission publicly chastised Darden for failing to provide critical information about projected enrollment growth at Belmont Charter School before to the SRC's scheduled vote. Darden, whose official title was deputy for strategic initiatives, resigned later that day, confirmed District spokesperson Fernando Gallard.

Darden had earlier come under fire for publicly estimating that the cost of charter expansions approved this spring by the SRC totaled $38 million - $101 million less than the actual figure.

Last week, the Notebook/NewsWorks reported that city leaders are considering an overhaul of the District's charter office. Gallard wrote in an email Tuesday that he is "not aware of any further changes in the charter office" at this point.



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Comments (20)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 31, 2012 1:29 pm

bout time!!!!!!

Submitted by anon (not verified) on July 31, 2012 1:37 pm

convenient fall guy - nothing to celebrate about. his replacement will follow same marching orders from powers that be, just more effectively.
src is still voting to expand charters even with the higher cost numbers. they're just pissed off that the fiscal irresponsibility and sheer lunacy of their actions was exposed and made headlines in a way that even joe public could understand, with a nice round number such as $100,000,000.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 31, 2012 2:05 pm

They're especially embarrassed that their corruption is being picked up nationally.

Submitted by Anon (not verified) on July 31, 2012 2:29 pm

Darden's salaray was ~$125,000.

Submitted by Jack (not verified) on July 31, 2012 2:03 pm

Not too shabby for someonw who couldn't add...


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 31, 2012 2:25 pm

Darden thought he could throw that crap passed John Q. Public but Dworsky threw Darden under the bus in front of that SRC crowd.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 31, 2012 3:41 pm

Darden has been in way over his head since entering the game. The SRC is only pointing out his recent missteps because it suits them in the advancement of the privatization/charter movement.

The William Penn Foundation's probably selected a new deputy for strategic initiatives weeks ago. Can't wait to see the connection the new deputy has to the Boston group, SRC, and/or Foundation.

The days are numbered for many others at 440 as the paradigm shifts.

Submitted by tom-104 on July 31, 2012 3:36 pm

Another alumnus from the Broad Foundation via Ackerman is shown to be incompetent. The thing is, this was known when he was hired. Or didn't anybody bother to vet him?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 31, 2012 3:26 pm

Hite is from the Broad Foundation. If he brings in his people, should we assume their is more Broad trainees coming? The implications are frightening.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 31, 2012 7:13 pm

Will the Harvard Data Fellow that assisted him go as well?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 31, 2012 9:59 pm

If any group has the right and record to criticize--it is the School Reform Commission because they have been so successful at "reforming" the School District of Philadelphia--just look at the financial success of the district and the academic achievement of the district; what leadership!

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