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SRC matches Alcorn with Universal, but it's not over yet

By Connie Langland on May 31, 2013 11:47 AM

By a 4-1 vote of the School Reform Commission, Universal Companies last night came one step closer to winning the charter to run Alcorn Elementary School under the District’s Renaissance turnaround program.

But there’s one big "if."

The granting of the charter is still not official, and Deputy Superintendent Paul Kihn emphasized last night that the handover remained contingent on Universal coming to new terms with the District for the use of Audenried High School and Vare Middle School, both in South Philadelphia.

This school year, Universal paid $500,000 total for use of the two facilities -- less than one-third of the actual costs, but more than what the charter operator paid in 2011-12, which was nothing. That was under an agreement with the administration of former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

While the District and Universal have wrangled over rent, some parents have continued to lobby against awarding Alcorn to Universal, taking issue with the deliberations of the School Advisory Council (SAC), arguing that either one of the two other charter operators seeking to run Alcorn -- Mastery Charter Schools or Scholar Academies -- would be a better choice. 

Those concerns surfaced again last evening, when Shakia Williams, a member of the Alcorn SAC, submitted a petition with more than 100 signatures urging the SRC to rethink the charter award, which she insisted resulted from a flawed selection process.

In remarks, she urged the SRC to award Alcorn in Grays Ferry to one of the two other finalists. “Giving us to Universal is giving us more of the same,” Williams said.  

But Robin Mathis, also on the Alcorn SAC, advocated for Universal, which she said has “a proven track record in all its Renaissance schools.”

The advisory group’s backing of Universal was “based in evidence, data, and facts,” she said.

District general counsel Michael A. Davis said that an investigation in May had found “no evidence to support allegations of wrongdoing” in the selection of Universal and that there was “no impediment” to naming Universal to run the school.

But SRC member Joseph A. Dworetzky, who was not present but participated in the meeting by phone, questioned why the SRC should move on Alcorn before the fee dispute related to Audenried and Vare was resolved.

“Why not hold off?” Dworetzky asked, because two other charter management companies had sought to operate Alcorn.

SRC member Wendell Prichett, in voting yes, noted that last night’s vote to match Universal with Alcorn was not the final vote on the issue. “We have another chance” to reconsider, he said, when the SRC votes on the actual charter.

Dworetzky voted no, describing the drawn-out negotiations with Universal about fees as “a serious problem that has gone on for a long time.”

“It’s been forever,” he said.

The 4-1 vote prompted jeers from the audience.

A team of Universal staffers left the meeting room immediately afterward. Several acknowledged they were with Universal, but declined to identify themselves or offer comment on the vote.

“Ask the SRC,” said one.

In other action that reflects the ongoing tug-of-war between the District and charter organizations, the SRC also approved leases for three charter schools to use District buildings that are being vacated next year due to school closures -- although two of the schools moving in have yet to have their charters renewed.

Dworetzky also voted no on these arrangements. He argued that it made no sense to him to grant leases when the organizations have yet to agree in writing to the enrollment caps that the District is seeking from all charter operators. The SRC, which adopted a bare-bones spending plan for next year that strips its own schools of nearly everything but a principal and a core of essential teachers, says that it cannot budget effectively if charter schools are allowed to grow at will.

Deputy Superintendent Kihn said that contrary to Dworetzky’s concerns, he thought that the lease would provide an incentive to the charter organizations to reach an agreement.

The resolutions lease the Shaw Middle School building in West Philadelphia to Anthony Hardy Williams Charter, operated by Mastery; the FitzSimons facility in North Philadelphia to KIPP Philadelphia; and the Stephen A. Douglas High School building to Maritime Academy. Williams and KIPP are still in negotiations with the District on their charter renewals.

Additional reporting was provided by Dale Mezzacappa.

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Comments (47)

Submitted by Concerned Phila. (not verified) on May 31, 2013 12:02 pm
Isn't it more than ironic that charters are opening up in recently closed District buildings? Does the SRC / Khin / Hite see the problem? Their claim of underutilized is because the District won't invest in schools but will sell them off to charter companies? Why does Hardy Williams / Mastery need more space? They aren't adding students. Why does Maritime need more space? They aren't adding students. KIPP has brazenly added students against their charter cap.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on May 31, 2013 1:20 pm
To them it is not a problem. To them is is the plan! Irony is just fine as long as you get away with it.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 2, 2013 7:12 am
Concerned Phila.-----It's ALL connected. By the way, KIPP has more political clout than almost all the other charters. There's a stampede on free and easy money and these folks are fighting among themselves while the gettin is good. "Absolutely power corrupts absolutley," and so far, they ain't being stopped by the courts and certainly not by Obama. This is very dangerous and ugly stuff in 2013 America but hey, the people they're preying on are poor, predominately people of color so who cares?
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 2, 2013 7:45 am
Sorry Again------Absolute Power corrupts absolutely. I don't have my good reading glasses with me right now.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on June 2, 2013 2:06 pm
Joe, Absolute power is why Dr. Hite is so dangerous. For all intents and purposes, he has absolute power because the public does not elect the SRC. Dr. Hite is therefore insulated from the public accountability of voting. He has talked a good game about children of color, structures, restorative practices, and so forth. However, when it comes down to decision-making and actions, he is beholden largely to moneyed white male power---Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Mark Gleason, Scott Gordon, Mark Mannella, Lars Beck, and Kenny Gamble/Rahim Islam. Hite plays the race card when it's convenient for him but his actions show that all children (of color) are to him are seats and dollar signs. EGS
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 2, 2013 3:53 pm
Exactly right on every point. Hite, Nutter and Obama himself are all shell game players who will throw anybody under the bus except themselves. Playing the Race Card when it's not necessary is like screaming "fire" in a crowded theater. It ain't good and it speaks volumes about who you are as a person. We know what the 3 of them are by their ACTIONS. You are what you do not what you say.
Submitted by Concerned Phila. (not verified) on May 31, 2013 12:22 pm
To award Universal Companies anything is a slap in the face to every taxpayer in Philadelphia. Enough already. Universal had a sweet deal with Ackerman / Archie - now they need to pay the FULL cost of using the buildings. Audenried is a brand new building. It has many amenities. To give another school to Universal - which has NOT turned around any schools successfully - is ludicrous and immoral.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 31, 2013 2:07 pm
Why is it that Dwortesky is the only one that sees this problem. It seems to me that the other 4 members have been bought off by charter organizations. Every vote is 4-1 because Dwortesky is the only person with a conscience that cares about the students in Philadephia.
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on May 31, 2013 2:05 pm
It has nothing to do with educating kids and everything to do with money, easy and abundant. To hell with Freedom for the poor. This is a shakedown of the meanest kind, concentrating like laser beams on the poor, predominately people of color who can't defend themselves. By the way, your good friend, Obama has sat on his hands giving tacit approval to it. Tell me where I'm wrong or exaggerating.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 31, 2013 1:23 pm
Finally, Dworetzky is asking the questions we told him to ask 2 years ago when they were awarded Audenried. Too little too late, the ship is sinking and the captains aren't going down with it, but the steerage and crew certainly are.
Submitted by Hope Moffett (not verified) on May 31, 2013 2:58 pm
If only the other four members of the SRC would take the time to research Universal thoroughly. even if one scandal doesn't raise a red flag, shouldn't a recurring pattern of slimy behavior raise suspicion? Maybe everyone on the STC is on a two year delay and their enlightenment will unfortunately come too late.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on May 31, 2013 7:28 pm
Hope---Please stop looking for hope in a hopeless, shameless, corrupt takeover. You of all people should know the real agenda and it has nothing to do with enlightenment or a delay in understanding how slimy Gamble is. The fix is in, period--end of story.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 31, 2013 1:54 pm
How much money is being paid under the table?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 31, 2013 2:36 pm
Dworetzsky is the only one that cares about the public schools in Philadelphia and the problem with charters taking away all of the public funds. How come he is the only one questioning these decisions. The rest of the SRC is being bought off by the charters!
Submitted by Hope Moffett (not verified) on May 31, 2013 3:40 pm
Dworetzky voted yes on the Audenried/Vare deal. Although he added stipulations to the deal, when Universal backed out of their promise of an extended school year for 2012, he did nothing. He is usually a conscientious member of the SRC now, but even during the charter renewals for UICS, he voted to renew the charter even though scores at UICS have actually declined every year since the school's opening. Feather Houston voted no because she was troubled by the trends, but Dworetzky still approved it. Going against the status quo is tough work, even when the data supports it. I wish Dworetzky did it more often.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 31, 2013 3:12 pm
I wonder if Dworetzky's sudden perspective comes from spending a lot of time outside of Philadelphia? Does he still commute in from California? If so, maybe he's not involved in lots of internal communication/meetings, and thus is taking a much more skeptical eye to these proposals? In short, the more time he spends outside of Philly, the more the Philly mode of operation seems absurd? Just a thought.
Submitted by tom-104 on June 1, 2013 7:18 am
Yes, he was on conference call for Thursday night's meeting.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 31, 2013 7:51 pm
Universal is holding the District hostage. At least the SRC had the rudimentary sense to put the stipulation that the contract for Universal's operation of Alcorn require that the District come to a resolution regarding Audenried and Vare. But if the SRC had any sophisticated sense, they wouldn't have approved Universal to operate one of the Renaissance charters in the first place!!! And did anyone else see Universal Co.'s President/CEO Rahim Islam walk up the front steps into 440 yesterday in his black suit and glasses? I forget exactly when it was, but it was either before the rally or right before the SRC meeting. EGS
Submitted by Max (not verified) on May 31, 2013 9:04 pm
Universal is one of the worst! Just look at what nakedphilly and philadelinquency have written about Universal head Kenny Gamble in the past week. To me this looks like backroom wheeling and dealing. Just what our city schools need in time of crisis. If mastery and scholar academies want this school, let them have it. Im no lover of their model, but THEY have a proven track record of success. (I teach at an independent charter, not involved with this issue in the least bit)
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 2, 2013 7:14 am
Max---First of all, Kenny "I gots mines" Gamble is a wort on the ass of life and has been forever so you are totally right about him. He and Nutter go back a long time so the fix is in. Do you think Nutter and the SRC didn't know about Universal's not paying appropriate rent???? That alone is fraud 101. Also, why do you believe Mastery "has a proven track record?" Is there OBJECTIVE, TRANSPARENT proof in the traditional sense?? No, there isn't so as Christopher Hitchens liked to say, "What can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof." My point is I DON"T know whether Mastery is a con job or not but neither do you. Until the facts, pesky little critters that they are, come out for all to see, evaluations and conclusions are useless. Yes, people in the Point Breeze area have lots of comments about Gamble and his antics down there for 40 years. There's nobody left to lie to.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 2, 2013 7:42 am
Sorry-----wart though he may be both.
Submitted by tom-104 on May 31, 2013 10:24 pm
It's not only Universal which is trying to make its own rules. Charter management companies are holding the District hostage violating the terms of their charter agreements on enrollment caps. The SRC has this cap so they can predict costs. The charter companies enrolled students over their previously agreed enrollment cap. When the District tried to stop them, they went to Corbett's Department of Education and the state took the money for the over enrolled students from the School District budget. At the meeting Thursday, it was said this has cost the District $7 million. According to this article, "All told, 21 charters want 15,000 new seats, which the District estimates would cost it about $500 million over five years." http://tinyurl.com/mrunz26 In FY09, charters were 15% of the District budget. In the FY14 budget just passed, they are 30% of the budget. The SRC has created a monster and now it is turning around and attacking them!
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on June 1, 2013 8:58 am
Yes, the basic question remains unanswered -- Why are we turning any public schools over to any charter operators? Tom, I know you know the answer to that question, but we are not getting any honest answers from any of our leaders. We attend and watch SRC meetings and watch what is rolled out to us from behind closed doors. Concerned citizens and stakeholders comment about the ills of what they are doing, but the decisions of the insiders have already been made behind closed doors, and the SRC members go ahead and vote however they want no matter what is said. There is no accountability to the public at all. What we are seeing unfold before our eyes is a strong argument for an elected school board over a politically appointed school board. When a governing body is not accountable to "the public," the "public will" can be ignored and is being ignored. Senator Dinniman of the Senate Education Committee put forth a plan for "nonpartisan" elections of our school board. I suggest we visit his plan. When democracy is taken out of the governance of our public schools, our schools are no longer public, and our democracy itself, and all the values we cherish, are also at stake.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 2, 2013 7:21 am
Rich--I contend that there's too much easy money involved for these slithering types to care about right and wrong. I also believe that some folks "will do whatever you let them get away with," to paraphrase Mark Twain. So far, they've been able to get away with damn near anything they want with total impunity. If ever there were a Civil Rights issue up close and personal, this would be it. Obama should be inserting himself in a big way and showing his leadership. He, on the other hand, couldn't possibly care less about the plight of people who overwhelmingly voted for him and for "Hope and Change." He, like his little buddy, Nutter, knows they have these folks in their pocket regardless of how horribly they treat them.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on June 2, 2013 8:16 am
I agree that the greatest civil rights issue of our time is the destruction of public education and the removal of democracy from the governance of our public schools. This is only happening in urban areas. Why? When unelected corporate entities control the decision-making processes for our schools, such as the Gates compact committee, the right of self determination of those citizens is taken from them. When education is taken over by private corporations, the determining factor is no longer the "common good" nor is it the "best interests of the students." It then becomes only the best interests of those who seek to profit from our schoolchildren. Students, parents and teachers all have less civil rights in charter schools, and worse, in charter school networks. How can anyone, in good faith, advocate for a school system which gives citizens less rights in schools? How can anyone, in good faith, advocate for a school governance system which denies the public the right to control what happens in their public schools? As I said time and again, when democracy is taken out of public school governance, our schools are no longer public schools. When democracy is taken out of the governance of our schools, our schools are no longer run for the best interests of the students and their communities. No matter how it is twisted, we can not escape the "imperative of democracy" in the governance and leadership for our public schools. That is what is being taken from us -- democracy itself.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 2, 2013 8:44 am
Rich--Tom Jefferson himself couldn't have said it better. Not even Joe K. could have.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on June 2, 2013 2:39 pm
Rich, You are so correct about the simultaneous destruction of public education and democratic governance in urban areas, particularly high-poverty areas. The charter management organizations like Mastery and Universal aren't targeting wealthier neighborhoods like Chestnut Hill, Center City, the Far Northeast, or Penn Alexander's portion of University City. They are targeting the "easy targets," the neighborhoods with fewer resources and less "capital." Most (but not all) charter schools place democracy on the back burner, instead focusing on the "importance of education in the 21st century" and "college readiness." These charters prey on the desperation of low-income, but caring and involved parents and caregivers whose children attend(ed) traditional public schools in which safety and the quality of education is/was, by many measures, sub-par. The promotion of phenomena such as test scores feeds into this narrative of college readiness. Unfortunately, there are some serious issues within the School District of Philadelphia that have festered. Parents, out of desperation and frustration, have sought other options, be they private, charter, or selective public schools. The growth of charters and the state's preferential treatment of charters and NCLB mandates have further exacerbated the problems existing in the SDP. Prior to the arrival of charter schools, many of the parents just sent their children to Catholic schools. The difference was that this school choice didn't occur at public expense. There has always been a great deal of individualism in our society, but the individualism seems to be increasing. There is less concern for the common good. Some of this is due to the increasing prominence of market-based approaches and some is due to other factors. The growing importance of education for career prospects and staying above poverty makes the pursuit of a quality education the number one priority for many parents. Democracy is an after-thought. The common good is an after-thought. It's all about the best educational opportunities for one's children. And who can blame parents? I know employees of the SDP whose own children attend private schools, wealthier suburban districts, or charter schools. People want to do what is best for their children, and this is perfectly respectable. There is an urgent need to supplement this narrative of college readiness and education for the 21st century with more about democracy. The narratives of "education for the 21st century" and "education for democracy" can work in concert. This is the case in many well-funded suburban districts in the Philadelphia area. The question is, How do we work to supplement the narrative of "education for the 21st century" with "education for democracy" in Philadelphia? How do advocates for public education educate the public about the concrete dangers that school choice and privatization pose to their children and to democracy? How do advocates for public education market their message in a way that resonates with the public, parents, and policy makers? EGS
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on June 2, 2013 7:55 pm
Democracy was taken away from all of Philadelphia with Act 46. As Tom has pointed out, It can be well argued, that in reality, Act 46 represents the colonization of Philadelphia. It was a hostile takeover by the state from the get go back in 2002. The charter schools are not democratically governed organizations -- none of them. That is not a condemnation of them at all. It is just a point of fact and law. Many provide really great service to children, and those that do, should receive our highest respect. The SRC does not answer to the public. They answer to the mayor and the governor. The more I study the Pennsylvania School Code of 1949, I see how much wisdom was written into it by our General Assembly back then. They attempted to serve the students and the local communities. They set up a really good school system. The additions to the School Code of the Charter School Law and Act 46, has created the worst mess I have ever seen in my lifetime and has resulted in all Philadelphians having less rights in schools. We have one of the most poorly written charter school laws in America. It has also resulted in a lesser percentage of educational dollars going directly to children. More people have their tentacles in our school system than ever before, and it can be well argued that is what is draining the lifeblood from our school system and causing the budgetary problems. Even the small, true charter schools are feeling the pinch and may die one by one. The only people who now have more rights in schools are charter school operators and charter school founders and their boards of trustees. They now have a statutory right to run their schools which can not be taken from them without "due process of law." Yet their teachers can be fired without "due process of law." To close a charter school, the SRC has to put them on trial and prove that they have "good cause" to close them. We, the taxpayers, and the school district, pay for both sides of that litigation, and I assure it you it will always become nasty and very costly. The lawyers will prosper at the expense of children. Just watch and see what happens. To close regular public schools, all they have to do is give the public notice and an opportunity to comment Pretend you are out in the ether looking down on "all of this." What do you see? Talking about a Divine Comedy. If it were not so all so sad.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on June 2, 2013 7:43 pm
Sorry for the typos above "If it were not all so sad." They took my secretary from me and I can't get anything right without her.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 2, 2013 7:43 pm
I contend the Charter Laws were designed to be so hard to fight and so obscure as to make them hard to even debate and come to any real conclusions, especially those in favor of Public Schools. Yes, the real charters will likely bite the dust as they provide the pols no money. In any case, you bolstered my point that traditional protests won't work here and that a much more "aggressive" approach is not only appropriate but well deserved. It may well be our only chance to save the kids in Philly from the ALEC hotline to Prison that Tom 104 speaks about and that Corbett is more than happy to employ. Hard to believe this is America in 2013.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on June 2, 2013 8:41 pm
Yes. But the answer is with the General Assembly. They know the scoop. I was at the House Democratic Policy Committee school funding hearings last week. They know the scoop and one of our representatives said point blank, "Those on the other side of the isle do not think the same way so you have to change the way they think." The battle will be won or lost at the Battle of Harrisburg. They pass the laws. They amend the laws. As Diane Ravitch said about the privatizers, "They have more money than us, and they are giving it to the legislators." Oh yeah, Ashley DeMauro from Students First (the national chapter) was there saying that instead of giving more money to public schools, they should invest in children and let the money go with them." She did not make a good impression on them or me at all. She did not make sense.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 2, 2013 8:27 pm
Rich, Who, if anyone, has the standing to sue the state for not funding the public schools adequately?
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on June 2, 2013 9:57 pm
That is a very good question. Certainly the school board, here the SRC, has standing to sue the state for proper funding. In Chester-Upland, it was the democratically elected school board who sued the state to force Corbett and Tomalis to pay up. They prevailed in federal court. Actually, the SRC could sue on behalf of our students. Once they are appointed, they are legally independent of the mayor and governor. The governor and mayor are not their bosses. I think there was a city council member who last week asked Pedro and other SRC members to institute such a suit. SRC members can only be removed for malfeasance and the like. I would argue, and I would have strong case law to support my arguments, that the SRC has the sole legal duty to act in the best interests of its pupils. If they went against Corbett, all he could do is refuse to reappoint his picks. However, realistically, I do not believe the SRC has the courage to do such a thing. It certainly would be cool though! It also may not be the wise thing to do. Class actions are complicated legal actions. There are several standing issues. A single student if and when aggrieved may be able to start a class action. A group of students, or groups of students may be able to attain standing. They just have to show that they represent a class of citizens who are harmed. Parent groups are similarly situated. A group of activists or several groups of activists who actually represent citizens who are aggrieved may have standing. All of those groups and individuals combined would likely have standing. If I were a city council member, I would have a few attorneys research the issue of whether city council can sue on behalf of our citizenry. As a state representative said last week, "The only part of the state budget which the state is constitutionally mandated to fund is education. Everything else in the states's budget does not have to be funded." In the PA Constitution it says: "The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth." If they do implement the present budget, they would certainly be opening up a legal "cause of action" from several angles because several classes of citizens would then be aggrieved by the state's failure to fulfill its constitutional duty. These are historic times unfolding. But I believe, if we can't get it together for schoolchildren, what is wrong with us as Americans?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 2, 2013 11:21 pm
Thanks. Any takers?
Submitted by tom-104 on June 2, 2013 11:34 pm
There is an article about this on the City Paper website: Could Philly school funding question be left to courts http://tinyurl.com/luvwbv4
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on June 3, 2013 9:05 am
I also believe that the reaction to those legal actions noted in the article you cite was the implementation of Act 46. One of our finest advocates for truth has recently written this article which helps us refresh our memory on our history: http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=4316&section=Article I advise everyone to read it.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on June 6, 2013 9:16 pm
Excellent piece by Mr. Derstine.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on June 6, 2013 9:29 pm
Ken's article is fantastic. He weaves all of the different issues, plus historical background, into a coherent piece of writing that is easy to read and easy to comprehend. Kudos, Ken! EGS
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 2, 2013 6:15 am
Tom 104-----I agreed with you until the final line. I don't believe for a nano second that there's any real conflict between the SRC and The Charter Lie folks. Playing good cop, bad cop, is an old strategy as you well know. How about another perspective on Dworsky to????? How about if he is playing the same game?? If he's not, he better not buy any green bananas.
Submitted by tom-104 on June 2, 2013 1:11 pm
I don't really disagree, I just think we need a more nuanced understanding. It is important to see the divisions on the other side. When you are in a battle you must be able see the reality of the other side in order to plan accordingly. The ALEC inspired people from Harrisburg are not the same people as the Broad inspired people at the School District. Their ultimate goal is the same, but if you attended the entire SRC meeting Wednesday there were cracks showing in their united front. Corbett is so gung-ho for decimating the School District and advancing the ALEC school to prison pipeline ( http://tinyurl.com/ko9jxpv - this is part of the $700 million increase for prisons when he cut education by almost $1 billion two years ago) that they are coming into conflict. How are they going to expand charters when the budget has been decimated? The Philadelphia School Partnership is doing its best give charters every advantage, but the Corbett administration has so decimated the District's finances, it has to impact charters which are now 30% of the District budget. The charter management companies are openly defying the SRC on enrollment caps, with the encouragement of the Corbett administration, and Universal is balking at starting to pay rent for Audenreid and Vare. Wednesday night these conflicts were on display. 21 charters want $15,000 new seats at a cost of $500 million over the next five years. It is obvious Corbett's strategy is to get major concessions from the PFT and break the union. After that there will suddenly be millions available for charters. Also obvious Wednesday night, Mastery and Universal may hate the public schools, but they hate each other more because they see each other as competition in the market place.
Submitted by tom-104 on June 2, 2013 2:24 pm
I also agree with you about Dworsky Joe. He is the SRC member in charge of charters. I believe his main concerns is about how decisions will impact charter management companies. I don't buy their sentiments about what a "hard decision" their vote was. They had no problem finding $15 million for cyber schools, millions for Pearson for Schoolnet and other technology, and millions of dollars of interest payments to the banks. Why must the students be the ones to suffer so they can be "fiscally responsible"?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 1, 2013 12:10 pm
Good idea Rich. thanks >> "Senator Dinniman of the Senate Education Committee put forth a plan for "nonpartisan" elections of our school board. I suggest we visit his plan."
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 3, 2013 9:28 am
Also Ironic, Universal has an advertisement for hiring teachers directly to the right of this article? So does Mastery, and KIPP, Weird...
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on June 6, 2013 8:30 pm
The Nopebook has to pay its bills, I guess.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 6, 2013 9:01 pm
While the SDP is cutting staff, the charter operators are expanding. That is not because of The Notebook - that is thanks to the SRC / Phila. School Partnership / Hite/ Khin. So, only the charter operators need to advertise - or have the money.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 3, 2013 1:50 pm
Don't be to surprised if you see Ms. Mathis working for them next year thats what Universal does to get parents over on their side. Just ask 3 of the parents at Audenried Highschool one of them was actually on the news saying that she did not want Universal to take over Audenried and then Poof she had a job and her whole view changed.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 5, 2013 11:44 am
Thats funny. This whole city does nothing but back door deals. What are you or anybody going to do about it? your just a mouth peiece nothing will wont change for the better, so why bother in the first place.

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