Philadelphia Great Schools Compact: Update #9
April 16, 2012
- The Committee addressed questions and concerns of charter schools relative to current charter modification and expansion policies. These included a lack of clarity about the timing and criteria for decisions on charter modification and inconsistencies in the criteria used to make modification decisions in recent years. As a next step, the Committee agreed to revisit the SRC expansion/modification policy and consider changes for recommendation to the SRC. There also was an expressed desire for the Committee to discuss potential changes to charter legislation, noting that while charter schools and the District are sure to see some issues differently, there may be significant alignment of interests on other issues. Identifying the latter could lead to a more effective strategy for communicating to legislators about legislative priorities. The Committee will look to address the topic of charter legislation at an upcoming meeting.
- The Committee brainstormed characteristics of a charter school office, both in terms of delivering student outcomes and supporting school operators with policies and procedures that enable them to do the former. The Committee will visit the idea of creating a separate working group to flesh this topic out even more.
- Philadelphia School Partnership confirmed that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is prepared to join the Compact by signing an Addendum to the Great Schools Compact that essentially reprises most of the core commitments of the main document.
- PSP submitted a concept paper on behalf of the Compact Committee to the Gates Foundation. The concept paper requesting up to $20 million in low-interest loans that would enable charter and independent schools to adapt and reuse aging District and/or Archdiocese school facilities to expand the number of high-performing schools in the city. PSP would manage the funding in partnership with charter-school financing institutions and build an $80 million “Great Schools Facilities Fund”.
- There was brief discussion of a teacher-training model to serve new and developing hires in charter and/or District schools on an opt-in (by the schools) basis. There was expressed support for the concept, and it was agreed that charter operators, PSP, the school district and others would follow up to discuss the idea further.
The Great Schools Compact is a joint commitment of school providers and education leaders to ensure that policies, strategies and resources align to a common goal of providing a high-performing school option for every child.
The Compact is signed by The School District of Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools, Philadelphia Charters for Excellence, the Mayor’s Office of Education, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a commitment to share responsibility and work together to expand high-quality K-12 school options and dramatically reduce the number of chronically underperforming schools by 2016-17. Please click here to review the Great Schools Compact.
The Philadelphia School Partnership serves as the facilitator of the Compact Committee. The committee was established to oversee implementation of the Compact tenants and action plan, adhering to a results-driven timeline. The committee is comprised of eight voting and two non-voting members. Voting members include:
- Lawrence Jones, CEO of Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School
- Dr. Naomi Johnson-Booker, CEO of Global Leadership Academy
- David Rossi, CEO of Nueva Esperanza Academy
- Dr. Leroy Nunery, Special Advisor, School District of Philadelphia
- Pedro Ramos, Chairman of the School Reform Commission
- Joe Dworetzky, Commissioner, School Reform Commission
- Dr. Lori Shorr, Chief Education Officer, Mayor’s Office for Education
- Michael Wilson, Special Assistant to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education
Nonvoting members include:
- Scott Gordon, CEO of Mastery Charter Schools
- Mark Gleason, Executive Director of the Philadelphia School Partnership
- Penny Nixon, Chief Academic Officer, School District of Philadelphia