"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Siege of Philadelphia Public Schools is Now a Full-Scale Assault

By Ken Derstine

December 13, 2015

The Pennsylvania Legislature


The bipartisan celebrations in Washington D.C. over the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act were barely over when the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill which goes to the heart of the states’ rights dangers opened up by the new law.  In a bipartisan 42-9 vote on December 10th, the Senators approved a school code bill that would require the state to turnover to private interests five “persistently low performing “ schools each year. The only school district in the state affected would be Philadelphia.

As detailed by Kevin McCorry in Newsworks, the Pennsylvania Department of Education would have five intervention options:
  • Turn over operations of the school to an outside education management organization
  • Convert the school into a neighborhood-based charter
  • Close the school and facilitate transferring students to higher performing schools
  • Authorize a new charter and guarantee admission preference to students who reside in the area around the low performing school
  • Replace the principal and at least half of the school's staff

The action is in line with the charter mandate in the Every Child Succeeds Act. As detailed by Jim Horn of Schools Matter in his article Massive Charter Giveaways in ESEA Re-Write, Part 1,

With a continuing federal mandate to fix the bottom five percent of schools, the ESEA rewrite will provide at least a billion dollars each year to fund charter school expansion, thus further weakening public education.  The new grant programs will be fashioned to provide minimal oversight and maximum autonomy to charter companies and their corporate support organizations, and for the first time, private non-profit corporations will be classified as “state entities,” thus eligible to apply directly for federal grant programs.

The Historical Background of the Bill

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:54 AM

    The following collection has over 100 articles documenting the harms of corporate charter school reform:
    Charter Schools & Choice: A Closer Look: http://bit.ly/chart_look