So the District is bringing together the 262 School Advisory Council members for an all-day training this Saturday. The District says they really want these councils to guide the turnaround at the 14 schools that might be Renaissance Schools.
It's not the first time Philadelphia has tried to involve parents and community members on school councils. Councils were created at all schools in the early 1990s. (I served on one that got to hire a principal at my daughter's school).
There have been successful school councils at some schools, but a lot of times in the past, councils didn't go anywhere because a) the responsibilities of the councils were unclear and so the participants didn't feel like they had any power; b) there were factions on the councils that squabbled with one another; or c) it just takes time to build a good group, and it is hard to find the time to meet.
This time round, these councils don't have a lot of time to get it right. So what can be done on Saturday or thereafter to make sure these councils get off on the right foot? What are the other pitfalls that have to be avoided?