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Philadelphia schools to get $2.5 million from Gates Foundation

By David Limm on Dec 5, 2012 12:43 PM

Philadelphia will receive $2.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote greater collaboration between District and charter schools.

The Gates Foundation, one of the country's largest philanthropies for education, announced today that seven cities will be awarded grants totaling $25 million.

In Philadelphia, the grant money will go toward three intiatives of the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact, according to a statement from the mayor's office. The Compact, formed a year ago, is a partnership between city and state entities committed to expanding the city's number of strong schools and replacing the weakest ones. The grant will be managed by Philadelphia School Partnership, a local nonprofit.

The three Compact initiatives that will be supported are:

  • The creation of the Urban Leadership Academy, a principal pipeline development program that will help 40-50 aspiring principals to obtain administrator certification annually;
  • The expansion of the “Train the Trainer” Teacher Effectiveness Program of Mastery Charter Schools’ program to develop teachers in District, charter, private and Archdiocese schools; and
  • The construction of benchmark assessments aligned to national Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts.


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Comments (16)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 5, 2012 1:09 pm
AHHHHHH! More crap from the so called "Great Schools" under the guise of "school improvement." So, now we are suppose to march lock step behind Mastery Test Prep machine, and take more benchmark tests (just like Mastery) only in reading and math. I suppose the principal training will also be a la Mastery. Gates, Walton (Walmart), Broad, etc. funding is destroying PUBLIC education!
Submitted by anon (not verified) on December 5, 2012 7:40 pm
they're like those damn pods in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" infiltrating our district. everytime you turn around, they're planting another one somewhere.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 5, 2012 1:18 pm
According to Lori Shorr - "In addition, the benchmark assessment work will help to ensure that every student in Philadelphia is prepared for higher education or the workforce.” I'd love to know how taking a standardized test every 6 - 8 weeks prepared anyone for anything other than the PSSA/Keystone tests. What job requires filling in one of four bubbles on a scan sheet? What quality higher education program relies on standardized tests outside of the SAT for admission? Lori Shorr - along with Nutter, Scott Gordon, ETC. have no clue.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 6, 2012 4:14 am
This is like watching the Theater of the Absurd!
Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on December 5, 2012 2:24 pm
$2.5 million to destroy public education. That seems high. I bet Apple founder Steve Jobs could have destroyed it for under a million. But hey Apple is way better at everything than Microsoft. I for one will never buy another PC.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 5, 2012 2:36 pm
Yes. They sold their souls for 2.5 million.
Submitted by anon (not verified) on December 5, 2012 6:41 pm
not so fast my friend. that's about $12.50 per student. do you have any idea how many pencils that will buy? of course billy boy is actually hoping we'll blow most of it on some new ms software instead.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 5, 2012 3:32 pm
The freight train of privatization just keeps rolling over the people of Philadelphia. I do not trust any of those people to do anything other than manipulate things for their own self interests. Sit back and watch this one unfold from behind closed doors.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 5, 2012 3:04 pm
thank you, bill and melinda gates. public education in this city is so dysfunctional that it takes people from the other side of the country to spur action. thank you, thank you, thank you. i say this because i sure wouldn't want you to think that everyone in our city was an ingrate.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 6, 2012 4:05 am
I second that notion. This is how resistant to change the status quo is. They will even comlain about people giving money. Somehow private contributions threatens their complete authoritarian control over every aspect of education with accountability to no one.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 6, 2012 4:16 am
It's not about the resistance to change. It is about the resistance to the takeover of public schools by private interests and the resistance to the dismantling of public education. The change which is most needed is teacher empowerment, parent empowerment, student empowerment, and community empowerment. What I have seen so far is that the "public engagement" is more designed to "sell" the privatization agenda to the public than it is to allow for the public to be part of the process. As you see, this is not about creating new charter schools which are truly operated as public schools. It is about the function of public education being taken over by unelected corporate interests.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 5, 2012 7:23 pm
very generous of the foundation- did they know how it would be spent? Is mastery charter so successful that they will train the district? aspiring principals? more tests? is the word student in there?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 6, 2012 4:20 am
A principal pipeline for public schools that is run by three privately funded organizations whose agenda is the privatization of public schools! Sounds like the circumvention of democracy to me. And the circumvention of the democratic process.
Submitted by Timothy Boyle on December 8, 2012 3:00 pm

Here a video that has been used as part  Mastery's behavior boot camp program, which I expect is part of the teacher effectiveness program.

Do you think Greene Street Friends uses such classroom management?

Submitted by RogueTeacher (not verified) on December 8, 2012 5:09 pm
I don't know about Greene Street Friends, but I felt very controlled and confined, constricted and downright oppressed watching that short 2 minute video. The teachers seemed robotic. No community building there. It was militant-like. This seemed to be everything they discourage in the SDP observation process, yet they'll likely force it upon us and then crush us for implementing it or tell us we are not conforming properly. Either way, no matter what they try to implement, there will never be enough time to prove if it is effective or not.
Submitted by Juanda (not verified) on October 5, 2013 4:14 pm
Can anyone tell me how to get funding to start a children transportation company in Philadelphia from anywhere? Are there any foundations providing grants or financial aide to help me keep some of our kids safe to and from school and home in accordance with the schedules of the parents so they can be on time to work and not have to worry while at work where their kids are after school lets out? I would like to start a 24 hour children transportation service for a very small fee to help the parents and the kids in my neighborhood and surrounding areas. If anyone can provide any assistance or help please reply

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