The School Reform Commission (SRC) announced plans to radically transform the city’s public education system, dismantling the School District, cutting/consolidating/closing everything within reach through dire austerity measures over the next five years, and decentralizing controls over public education. It’s not possible to overstate how dramatic these plans are, and how high the stakes.
I’ll be collecting stories about the seismic shift that’s proposed and posting them here. If you’ve found one that’s especially useful, share it here along with your comments and I’ll keep adding to the list.
Kristen A. Graham, the Inquirer’s excellent education reporter is also eyeball-deep in coverage:
- Find Graham’s comprehensive explainer on the financial and structural obsolescence of the District and the nuts and bolts of the SRC plan to decentralize control, slash the budget, close schools, and immediate reactions to the whole thing. SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos said, “The School District has reached a point where it will either achieve fiscal sustainability and succeed at providing safe, high-quality schools or it will become a mere social program.”
- In brief, Graham looks at how the School District will self-destruct and build a new system from the remaining parts, as well as the financial conditions that led us here.
- In the Daily News, Graham writes that in the SRC’s eyes it matters less if a school is charter or district-run. What does matter is if a school is high- or low-performing. She also reveals some interesting numbers: 25% of Philly students attend charters, and that could jump to 40% by 2017.