At the end of April 2012, the School District released a reform plan - a "blueprint" to radically transform public education in the city by closing dozens of schools, expanding charters, and reorganizing the School District into decentralized "achievement networks" run primarily by private entities.
Keep up with the latest developments on the plan and community reaction here.
Several activists told City Council that it should require the School Reform Commission to go back to the drawing board on its controversial reorganization plan as a condition for approving badly needed additional funds.
"I don't know why they are doing both," said Susan DeJarnatt, who testified at the meeting.
After a long day at City Council, Pedro Ramos, Thomas Knudsen, and Penny Nixon sped to Northwest Philadelphia on Tuesday night to face about 2,500 people at the city's largest African American religious congregation, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church.
In the vast sanctuary, their faces projected on TV screens, the three officials faced dozens of pointed questions regarding plans for the future of education in Philadelphia that made Council's questions look easy.
“We have to believe in ourselves and we have to speak with one voice,” said Maurice Jones, on the opening afternoon panel of the recemt Teacher Action Group/OneVoice Philadelphia Citywide Education Summit and Curriculum Fair. Jones was one of many speakers who addressed the crowd of more than 100 people on history, lessons, strategies, and victories of transforming our schools from the ground up:
Evening update: A huge crowd turned out at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church on Cheltenham Avenue this evening for a forum about the District budget and transformation plan. Three top officials - Pedro Ramos, Thomas Knudsen, and Penny Nixon - responded to pointed questions and concerns and heard speeches criticizing the plan. More details Wednesday.
Late afternoon update: School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos, under persistent questioning from City Councilman Bill Green on whether Ramos specifically asked the Corbett administration for more revenue, said that both the state and local systems for funding education are "broken."
Local higher education institutions met Wednesday to discuss the District’s transformation blueprint and what role universities might play.
The same day, the District hosted the first of five neighborhood-based budget hearings, while community groups continued organizing their own responses to the reorganization plan.