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Renaissance schools program enters its fourth year

The District announced that it will continue its fourth year of the Renaissance schools initiative, the turnaround process in which management of struggling schools is outsourced to outside charter school operators. The District has invited applicants to submit proposals in response to its RFP by March 5. The announcement of which schools are set to become Renaissance schools will be made on Feb. 11. 

 

Renaissance Charter Schools Initiative Timeline – Year IV

Activity Proposed Dates
Deadline for submitting questions for vendor conference and Letter of Intent to submit a RFP response February 8, 2013
Announcement of Year IV Renaissance Charter Schools February 11, 2013
Community Engagement Meetings at Year IV Renaissance Charter Schools February 11-22, 2013
School Advisory Council (SAC) Member Recruitment February 11-March 8 2013
RFP responses due March 5, 2013
RFP Finalists announced March 22, 2013
Matching process between Finalists and SACs March 22-April 15, 2013
SACs submit final recommendations re matches with Finalists April 16, 2013
Superintendent makes final match recommendations to SRC April 19, 2013
SRC votes on matches between Finalists and Renaissance Schools Late April/early May, 2013
SRC votes on charter agreements Late May/early June 2013
Renaissance Charter School transition phase May 16– July 1, 2013
New Renaissance Charter Schools open August/September 2013
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Comments (26)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 2, 2013 8:09 am
And the mantra of the privatization railroad marches right along rolled out from behind closed doors. All without any research based evidence that they do anything better other than cost us more money which goes into the pockets of the "charter operators." What a farce that it has become. The SRC and the mayor have lost all credibility.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 2, 2013 8:42 am
Do the Renaissance schools have to keep all of the disciplinary kids? Has anyone looked at that? Why does the Law Center sue the school district but leave charters alone. Do the Renaissance schools pay them too?
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on February 2, 2013 9:22 am
Just for the record -- "renaissance charters" are not charter schools at all. That is a misnomer. There is a significant and substantial legal difference between a "true charter school" created pursuant to the Charter School Law with its own board of trustees particular to the school and the renaissance charters which are really schools operated by "educational management organizations." To call them "charter schools" is not only inaccurate but is an affront to all of the true charter schools. Some day I will write an article for the Notebook explaining the legal difference between the two different forms of school governance and their legal significance. The "renaissance charter" model is the most privatized model of them all.
Submitted by Ken Derstine on February 2, 2013 9:26 am
Please write that article Rich. There is much confusion about this. Dr. Hite and the SRC are continually saying the Renaissance schools are public schools.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 2, 2013 4:44 pm
Here's something that I'm confused about- Will any of the 37 schools slated for closure drop off of the closing list and end up on the Renaissance list? Are those lists mutually exclusive?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 3, 2013 7:13 am
You have no clue, as usual, what you are talking about. They are far more regulated and overseen than a traditional charter and have no control over their facilities or buildings, let alone which kids attend. They also HAVE to employ the same exact discipline policy as the district. My wife works in one. I wish you would just put your supposed facts out there so we can debunk them.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 20, 2013 9:49 am
I completely agree withy ou except for one thing, the schools do not have to adopt the same discipline model. I know first hand as I work for one Charter Managment Agency. People dont really know what it is that gets done in these schools, its great. Yes it is just the same students (stays open as a neighborhood school), But the morale, care and dedication is much higher (again I know first hand from working with regular district schools)., therefore we get results. Not only that, he (person you are writing to) check out the differences in test scores in most of the schools. It climbs each year. The district has not been able to do that in years. I do agree that there are people on here that need to really find out what is really going through real hands on research. On your team!
Submitted by Education Grad Student (not verified) on February 4, 2013 2:35 pm
Rich, If the "Renaissance charters" are not charters, then what are they? Does the state have a unique name for these schools? If there is a legal distinction, shouldn't there be a separate name for these schools? Education Grad Student
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on February 4, 2013 3:13 pm
You always ask such good questions and I will answer them in depth when I do write a scholarly article on those issues. You are correct as there are serious differences which go to the issues of "rights in schools" of students, parents, teachers and everyone else who has anything to do with our schools. It can be viewed as a continuum between a charter school and a school which is operated pursuant to a "performance contract" with an educational management organization which is actually privately controlled and operated. A public school or a charter school can be operated through a performance contract with a privately held organization. That private organization can be a nonprofit or a for-profit. Privately structured organizations are known as "educational management organizations" or EMO's. There was already an important PA Commonwealth Court decision which made it clear that a privately organized EMO can not be granted a charter school but the board of trustees of a charter school can contract with an EMO to manage its school. There just was a decision in the State of Washington which held that in a similar situation the teachers were hired by the EMO and therefore the laws governing rights of public school teachers, did not apply. Under the Charter School Law, all Charter schools must be set up as "public nonprofits" with certain additional requirements required. For example Universal was set up as a nonprofit separately from being given Audenreid. When they were given Audenreid to operate they did not set it up with its own board of trustees. The SRC did not turn Audenreid into a charter school. They gave Universal a contract to operate Audenreid. Thus, Audenreid is not actually a charter school at all. It is a school being operated by an organization which is actually an EMO running a public school. The line, as Mayor Nutter has said, is becoming blurred between "public and private." However, it is not "merely an esoteric difference." There are crucial differences which go to the rights of students, parents and teachers -- and the community. We all need to understand these issues as they go the crucial question of "What is a public school?" There are a Pandora's box of serious legal issues at play.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 2, 2013 3:56 pm
Guestimate...@ 600 forced transfers and 600 layoffs. Get ready for the roller coaster ride and a rough start to school opening September 2013.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 2, 2013 4:42 pm
You are correct in saying that their is a major difference between a charter and a renaissance school. Students with chronic behavior issues can not be expelled easily, though it can happen it does not "look good." Only students from the catchment area should attend the renaissance school. In essence, it is a neighborhood school and must accept everyone from the local community. A traditional charter school can have students from all across the city....
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 2, 2013 6:47 pm
Mastery Inc. says they can take 3 "Renaissance" charters a year. If that is true, Mastery must have an administrative office compatible to many schools districts. Has there been any investigation of Mastery's "central office" staff? How many? Who? Experience? What about school level staff? Mastery appears to have many adults in their buildings other than teachers. How many? What do they do? How do they afford such a top heavy staff? What funding - and from whom - do they get other than the allotment from the District and Title 1?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 2, 2013 9:26 pm
This is great news. I'm happy the city is continuing on a great path. I was a school district teacher and now I work for Mastery. They are doing a great job and do it much better than overwhelmed district. The district has enough to worry about. Let them keep handing over troublesome schools and focus their resources on schools they can improve. Great Job Hite! Keep improving the city.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 3, 2013 11:51 am
What resources?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 3, 2013 6:46 pm
money, staff, supplies, curriculum all kinds of resources. They need to be focused on schools they can actually make a difference in not on schools that are a lost cause.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 4, 2013 1:21 pm
NO SCHOOL IS A LOST CAUSE
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 4, 2013 2:38 pm
There are lots of schools in Philadelphia that are a lost cause and the district still fumbles in helping them out. Those schools need to be supported by an organization that can help them turn a poor school into a school that supports and educates students. I have been in many low performing schools that are a part of the PSD that are just deplorable. Being a lost cause is an understatement.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 5, 2013 10:25 am
lost cause means that nothing can be done to help them. I do not agree with that and just in your last statement you don't agree with it either. especially if you say that they would do better with extra help. I myself have been in many of what some would say is the worst of the worst but i have never viewed them as a lost cause.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 3, 2013 3:05 pm
Isn't there a moratorium on charter school expansion? How does this jive?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 3, 2013 6:34 pm
These are not charter schools.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 12, 2013 5:45 pm
What schools were selected for the Renaissance Process Year IV?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 14, 2013 4:25 pm
I believe the three schools are Kenderton, Alcorn and Pastorius Elementary Schools
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 23, 2013 10:06 am
What providers were announced yesterday for this round? I cannot find this information anywhere, but the announcement was to be made yesterday.
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Submitted by markerr (not verified) on September 25, 2014 7:00 am

Renaissance schools program is a program made by the educational department in order to improve the skills of students in  web designers   preparing seminars and presenting it. The program had started four years before and it is a big success across the country.

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