At a special meeting on July 8, the School Reform Commission unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the District to sign a consent agreement bringing an end to a long-standing lawsuit on racial inequity. The case dates back October, 1970, when the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission filed a complaint that the Philadelphia School District was "unlawfully segregated by race."

The agreement uses Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s Imagine 2014 strategic plan as a framework for continuing steps to address racial inequities in the District. The PHRC will retain the ability to go back to court if the agreement’s goals and objectives are not met.

In the agreement, the District made specific commitments to:

  • Teacher instructional evaluations based on teaching standards, with professional development based on those evaluations, in low-performing schools, to begin in 2009-10.

  • Common planning time for teachers in those low-performing schools;

  • Reduction of resource gaps resulting from high teacher turnover through the use of strategic compensation of staff in low-performing schools, beginning in 2010-11;

  • Reduction of the resource gaps at low-performing schools by comparing actual teacher cost with the average cost in developing school budgets, and supplementing resources if necessary to reduce the gap, beginning in 2010-11;

  • Full site selection in low-performing schools in 2010-11;

  • Implementation of weighted student funding in a pilot area in 2010-11 and districtwide within five years.

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