Update from the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact Committee
July 20, 2012
The Committee continued its discussion of the School District’s School Performance Index (SPI), affirming several points as it prepares to make a recommendation to the SRC:
- Continue to use the SPI for the 2012-13 school year with lagging college matriculation data (i.e. 2010-11 for the next SPI update rather than 2011-12 data) while monitoring the progress of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s report card system.
- Change the input for student growth from the district’s internal growth calculation to the PVAAS calculation generated by the state Department of Education. Maintain growth and academic proficiency as the largest inputs to the SPI.
- Change the SPI from its current formulation to more heavily weight college-preparedness inputs including college matriculation and retention—utilizing National Student Clearinghouse data.
- To better align with the state report card currently in development, change the high-school graduation input from the district’s four-year cohort methodology to the state’s four-year cohort methodology.
The Committee left the inclusion of student and parent survey data as an open question but affirmed its intent to recommend that annual surveys based on the surveys used by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research be developed and instituted beginning in spring 2013, with input from the Archdiocese. The Enrollment & Student Data working group shared a presentation prepared by the district charter office that had been provided at the last Committee meeting regarding differences in application and enrollment procedures at the city’s charter schools. A survey conducted among a majority of the city’s charter schools showed significant variation in barriers to application and enrollment. There was also brief discussion of the concept of “universal enrollment,” a strategy to remove barriers to application and enrollment by developing a common process and system and making it available to all schools. Included in the presentation were these recommended practices:
- Schools post application forms and all enrollment deadlines on all recruitment materials and school websites.
- The recruitment strategy of the school reflects the needs of the school’s community and stipulations of the signed charter.
- Recruitment takes place across a wide spectrum of media (examples: radio, newspapers, fliers, websites, and open houses).
- Application forms request only information that is needed to contact a student’s parent/guardian, properly conduct a random lottery if necessary, or place a student in an appropriate grade.
- Schools accept applications through at least two methods, such as online submission and drop-off or drop-off and mail.
- Families receive confirmation that the school has received the application.
- The school does not charge any fees associated with the application and enrollment process.
- The school does not require attendance at summer school as a prerequisite for fall matriculation.
- Applicants do not have to reapply in subsequent years.
The next meeting of the Enrollment & Student Data group will be an opportunity to learn about the common enrollment system being used by several other cities.
Discussion on pending state legislation on the proposed State Commission on charter schools was postponed to the next meeting of the Compact Committee due to a lack of time for discussion.
Mark Gleason reported that the final draft of the PSP’s application to the Gates Foundation is due August 1st and will be dramatically slimmed down due to the Gates Foundation only being interested in funding three of the initiatives being pursued by the Committee.
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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