Four months after William Hite took the helm of one of the most troubled big-city school districts in the nation, the new Philadelphia superintendent is set to release his blueprint for turning the system around on Monday.
Hite is facing a grim reality. He is already committed to closing 37 schools -- nearly one in six -- and needs to stave off what will turn into a $1 billion annual shortfall by 2018 if austerity measures aren’t taken now.
Response to the October 2012 edition article “A new blend of public and private”
I think the decentralized approach to school management that is a component of the portfolio model is questionable due to the lack of actually decentralizing.
The always daunting process of getting into high school has a new twist this year.
In a system where studies have found that parents are already befuddled by the process, students and their families have a dizzying array of high school choices – small schools, large schools, themed schools, charter schools, themed charter schools, neighborhood schools that have become charter schools – the list goes on.
By Benjamin Herold
for NewsWorks, a Notebook news partner
The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) made its first grant to a traditional public school Monday, giving a team of partners $215,000 to map out a dramatic transformation of the neighborhood schools in West Philadelphia's Powelton Village neighborhood.
By Charlotte Pope
Student activists brandishing coffin-shaped props rallied on the steps of the School District's headquarters Thursday morning to protest nationwide school closings in a campaign called Journey for Justice.
Young advocates from Boston, Newark, and New York City joined members of the Philadelphia Student Union, Youth United for Change, and Action United for a news conference, and continued to Washington for a rally at the U.S. Department of Education. They demanded a meeting with President Obama.
The two-year-old Philadelphia School Partnership, at the center of the city's strategy to support "great" schools regardless of who runs them, announced Thursday that it was more than halfway to its goal of raising $100 million from area foundations, corporations and individuals.
At a press conference attended by Mayor Nutter and School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos, PSP executive director Michael Gleason said that his group has commitments for $51.9 million.
Can Philadelphia establish a robust, accountable "portfolio management" system for schools at the same time it faces huge budget shortfalls?
Research for Action this week released an issue brief on portfolio management that examines the implementation of the model in Chicago, New Orleans, and New York City. It also looked at Philadelphia's past experience with what was then called a "diverse provider" model.
By Dale Mezzacappa and Benjamin Herold
The School District released a 119-page document on Thursday that summarized the analyses and recommendations of the Boston Consulting Group, an outside firm retained at private expense to help the District avert a financial meltdown by radically overhauling its business operations and delivery of education.
The document details BCG’s work and thinking on hot-button topics ranging from charter expansion to labor negotiations. It also includes the previously unreleased analyses behind controversial District proposals to close dozens of schools and reorganize those that are left into decentralized, independently managed “achievement networks.”
The Notebook has a content-sharing agreement with Education Week, where this piece originally appeared. It outlines the experiences of some other cities that have moved toward a system of "portfolio management" for schools.
As "chief talent officer" for the Hartford, Conn., school district, Jennifer Allen finds herself in a different role from many central-office personnel who work in human resources.