Parents United for Public Education has won its state Right To Know request to gain public access to the list of 60 schools identified by the Boston Consulting Group for closure and to the firm’s criteria for school closings -- a request for information that the District has consistently denied to the public.
Last spring, the Boston Consulting Group came under intense criticism for a plan that promoted school closings, massive charter expansion, and privatization of key functions within the District, such as transportation. Under its multimillion-dollar contract with the William Penn Foundation, BCG agreed to provide the foundation a number of “contract deliverables,” one of which was identifying 60 schools for closure. The “BCG list” was referred to by former Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen in public statements, but District officials had refused to release the list, stating that it was an internal document and therefore protected from public review.
by Bill Hangley Jr.
On the heels of presenting a “doomsday” budget that would reduce schools to the bare essentials, the School Reform Commission voted Thursday night to close North Philadelphia’s M.H. Stanton Elementary School, triggering an explosion of tears and rage from its supporters.
The SRC also voted to establish its own cyber charter school and renew contracts with providers of accelerated and discipline schools. It also added a new provider.
After the 3-1 closure vote, Stanton’s defenders were devastated.
“I’m hurt. I’m hurt really bad,” said Tracey Lester, a Stanton grandparent and vocal supporter.
Evynn Pendergrass had fought the good fight, appearing twice before the School Reform Commission to plead that the District not close the University City High Promise Academy, where she is a junior.
She lost. And now she must find someplace else to complete high school.
In the wake of the 23 school closings and five relocations or mergers approved by the SRC in March, she is just one of thousands of students and District employees scrambling to sort out their options.
Evynn Pendergrass había peleado la buena batalla, presentándose dos veces ante la Comisión para la Reforma Escolar para pedir que el Distrito no cerrara la escuela University City High Promise Academy, donde ella cursa el undécimo grado.
Pero perdió. Y ahora tiene que buscar otro lugar donde terminar la escuela superior.
Just 14 days after being sworn in as the School Reform Commission’s newest member, Sylvia Simms faced a daunting task.
She and fellow commissioners voted on Superintendent William Hite’s school closings plan, deciding to shutter 23 District schools. The vote capped off an intense period of work for Simms, founder of community group Parent Power and a former District bus aide.
The community meeting to discuss the planned closure of Beeber Middle School will be held at 6 p.m. tomorrow, March 19, at the school. The meeting was postponed from March 6 due to a forecast of inclement weather.
The District's revised Feb. 18 closure plan announced the proposed closing of Beeber, a school serving grades 6-8. The plan says: "Students will be offered reassignment at Overbrook High School. Overbrook will expand its grade organization to become a 7-12 middle secondary school."
by Milena Velis
As the struggle for the future of public education continues in Philadelphia, this video presents the Chicago Teachers Union as an example of how to fight and win.
A day of impassioned protest came to a harrowing end for many who fought the District's closure plan when the School Reform Commission decided to close 23 schools, sparing four, last Thursday. With all the commotion that night, it might have been easy to miss a few things. Luckily, Benjamin Herold was keeping track.
10 things you might have missed on the day #phillyeducation closed 23 schools...
— Benjamin Herold (@BenjaminBHerold) March 9, 2013
by Zachary Lax
I am a second-year high school teacher who is proud to serve the students of the School District of Philadelphia. I am also among the many members of our community whose school will be closed. I know that my colleagues, my students, and their parents share my sense of dismay and betrayal over the final decision by the School Reform Commission -- and by extension their appointers, Mayor Nutter and Gov. Corbett -- to ignore our pleas.
by Benjamin Herold for NewsWorks, a Notebook news partner
After an excruciating day of protests and pleas for mercy, Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission voted Thursday night to close 23 city schools and merge or relocate five others. (See NewsWorks footage of reaction to one closing.)