The rising tide of test scores in Philadelphia has been lifting all ships - public schools and charter schools, District-run and privately managed schools.
But even though they have progressed in both reading and math scores each year since 2002, the more than 40 schools in Philadelphia run by private managers are as a group lagging ever further behind District-run schools in their student proficiency rates, according to the latest state test results.
The impact on Philadelphia's school employee unions of the state takeover, the growth of charter schools, and the No Child Left Behind law has drawn little media attention. But the largest of those unions, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), has lost some 3,000 members.
Meanwhile, Local 1201 of the Service Employees International Union, representing School District maintenance workers, has seen cleaning jobs at 22 high schools contracted out to a private company.
On a sunny afternoon in June, public school parents, students, educators, and advocates gathered at the University of the Arts to socialize, eat, and most importantly support the Public School Notebook “Turning the Page for Change” event.