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Notes from the news, Aug. 31

By the Notebook on Aug 31, 2012 09:35 AM

Consultant Paul Kihn picked as deputy superintendent for Philadelphia schools The Inquirer
Incoming Superintendent William Hite's second-in-command is an outsider, a former teacher now with McKinsey & Co., a consulting firm. Penny Nixon stays in her CAO position for now.

This year, it’s Philly charter schools’ turn to wrestle with budget cuts
Mastery CEO Scott Gordon says his organization will be more vocal on funding issues in Harrisburg.

Ice-cream outreach as a back-to-school pitch in Northeast Philly The Inquirer
The outreach effort was conceived by one of the District's new principal learning teams.

News Summary from Keystone State Education Coalition

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Comments (20)

Submitted by Concerned Phila. (not verified) on August 31, 2012 12:26 pm

It appears that Kihn is replacing Nunnery. Has Nunnery resigned yet? The language on Nixon also looks iffy. Does this mean "Penny's friends" also go? She has incubated herself with so many "friends" by placing them in leadership / administrative jobs, it is hard to imagine. It also appears Hite wants to bring in more high paid positions. Meanwhile, will the rank and file be told, once again, we take the heavy cuts?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2012 1:06 pm

Dr. Nunery left the SDP about two weeks ago. Very small paragraph in Daily News. He has returned to his own consulting company.

Submitted by Annonym. (not verified) on August 31, 2012 4:49 pm

I thought Nunnery was with Edison. Considering his record in the SDP, I can't imagine anyone would hire him as a consultant. The fact the SDP left him on payroll for so long while doing nothing is a slap in the face of all taxpayers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2012 7:38 pm

Ackerman just got hired as a consultant. Enuf said.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2012 8:11 pm

Iffy is an understatement! Best start packing.

"Asked if Nixon would continue in her role, Hite said: "At the moment, yes. Penny is the person in that position until such time that there's a need to re-advertise or change the nature of the job."

Hite said the district's organizational chart would evolve over the school year, "following the work" as the district is transformed."

Submitted by (not verified) on December 20, 2012 11:01 pm
Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2012 1:32 pm

Sources tell me Penny is resigning and is being hired by Universal. This is not a joke.

Submitted by Annonym. (not verified) on August 31, 2012 4:42 pm

Not surprising considering all the perks thrown to Universal by Ackerman and Nixon. Nixon can take her crew and their cheating talents to Universal.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2012 5:08 am

It is a joke. She sent out an email to principals last night. Thanks for the short lived laugh.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2012 5:11 pm

Penny has made so many changes to Central Office within the last few weeks that it will be difficult to make changes this year. Hite, McKinsey and Lynch have their work cut out for them. Dunkley, Runner, Kolsky, Johnson and other appointed Superintendents......beware.

Submitted by Annonym. (not verified) on August 31, 2012 6:43 pm

I assume Nixon did this to protect herself. There were many Ackerman hold overs who left. Then, Nixon padded 440. (Curriculum is a joke - and a mess. No leadership for high schools at all.) Is anyone going to produce a "whose who" at 440?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2012 6:09 pm

Someone tried to leave the plantation and found out that's not allowed!

Philly couple charged with enrolling child in suburban district
from the Philadelphia Inquirer
“Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman brought criminal charges Thursday against a couple who allegedly enrolled their child in the Lower Moreland Township School District when they lived in Philadelphia.
Hamlet and Olesia Garcia were charged with theft of services and conspiracy to commit theft of services. Tuition payments for an out-of-district child attending the Lower Moreland schools would have cost $10,753 a year, Ferman said.”

Submitted by Annonym. (not verified) on August 31, 2012 7:10 pm

In theory, Opportunity "Grants"/Vouchers are suppose to allow students to attend other school districts - not just private/parochial schools. How many suburban districts will open their doors?

Submitted by K.R. Luebbert on August 31, 2012 7:37 pm

Exactly zero, probably!

Submitted by J.J. McHabe (not verified) on September 1, 2012 8:00 am

Typical Philadelphia. We get the cool guy's brother. Instead of George Brett, we get Ken Brett. Rick Surhoff instead of BJ Surhoff. Mike Maddox instead of Greg Maddox. Now Paul Kihn instead of Greg Kihn????smh

Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on September 1, 2012 9:13 am

I looked up the company Mr. Kihn works for - McKinsey and Co. This is from their web site: "McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm. We are the trusted advisor to the world's leading businesses, governments, and institutions." This is from Boston Consulting Group's web site: "BCG is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. " Sound similar?

Knudson and Nowak (William Penn Foundation) brought in Boston Consulting Group. Hite is bringing in Kihn and McKinsey and Co. Does this mean Hite is backing the BCG proposal after it is tweeked by Kihn? Will there be an open process/discussion about the future of the SDP? Will there be any transparency?

Submitted by Education Grad Student (not verified) on September 3, 2012 10:54 pm

But at least Kihn was a teacher....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2012 3:37 pm

So, all have wonderful things to say.Who is ready to put this on live stream at an SRC MEETING.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2012 12:54 am

One thing that is encouraging is that Hite seems to be attracting people who've accomplished things on their own, rather than just bringing in a bunch of cronies (a la Ackerman). Another encouraging sign, for me, is that one of the key points that Kihn emphasizes is that most education reforms/system fail because they are poorly implemented. Ackerman was actually a good example of that. Quite a few of her "ideas" were actually pretty good. It was the fact that they were implement in terrible ways (and without a sustainable plan) that made them such a disaster.

Just about every one of her initiatives was terrible because of implementation, not because it was a bad idea in the first place. So, if the hiring of Kihn indicates an effort to do things WELL instead of just trying a bunch of "solutions," perhaps this will be a good thing.

I think it's also good to bring in someone from the outside for this position. From inside the system, it's easy to forget how fundamentally dysfunctional the SDP is. I'm not in the SDP anymore, but when I tell friends, even those who teach in other urban districts, about some of the stuff that happened in Philly, they think I'm making it up.

Yeah, he's getting paid a lot, which is bad for PR, but it makes essentially no difference in the overall budget. And, I'd rather pay an Asst. Supt. a little more for some quality and effectiveness, rather than pay less for a crew of administrators that are so inept that we have to hire outside consultant to point out the obvious. (For all the grumbling over the BCG study, most of the findings were pretty much just common sense, [i.e. "without some changes the District's in huge financial trouble"] that the Ackerman regime managed to overlook).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2012 5:25 am

There have been many changes to leadership within Central Office (440). I wonder if those appointed to new positions were required to take the 5% pay cut and pay towards benefits that all non-represented employees were forced to take earlier this year. Promotions, new hires, re-hires, and pay raises are an affront to those affected. Many of the salary cuts came from grant funded positions such as DOL, Title I and Title III and funneled back into the operating budget. As a reminder, this did not occur under Ackerman but with Nixon at the helm. These salary cuts contributed to new hires, re-hires, and promotions of far too many people. Dr. Hite, I hope that within your first 60 days you address this travesty of justice.

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