Please Join Today!
view counter

Summary of Renaissance School info

By the Notebook on Jan 29, 2010 01:52 PM

Here's a quick rundown of our Renaissance Schools coverage from late January/early February:

You can bookmark this page for a running list of all articles and blog posts with info about Renaissance Schools. This post will also be updated with an annotated list of coverage, including articles from our edition on school turnaround, which comes out next week.

Let me know if there's any other info you're looking for about Renaissance Schools, or if there's a better way we can organize this info for you.

Click Here
view counter

Comments (6)

Submitted by Jamie Roberts (not verified) on January 29, 2010 9:28 pm

While I'm skeptical of the potential of the Renaissance school model (after six years, there has been no student improvement in Chicago, even though ESOL and Special Ed. kids were quietly shunted into conventional public schools), I do want to commend The Notebook for its comprehensive coverage, which becomes clear when reviewing the compendium above. I think your editorial team covered the sticky situation thoroughly.

It is a shame that teachers and principals continue to be scapegoated, not only because it's patently unfair and unjustified, but because it continues to shine the focus away from what's really holding up educational progress in Philadelphia and other cities. Real change would require a genuine analysis of brain development and learning patterns - and the influence of family and society upon them - but it's much better for most to point a finger, rather than generate a real solution.

However, that isn't The Notebook's fault. They've done a good job keeping all of us informed, which is all a reader can ask for.

Submitted by Psychic (not verified) on August 6, 2013 12:37 pm
Hi, just read your post. Thought you might want to know that I found you through Google.
Submitted by f (not verified) on January 30, 2010 2:45 pm

We don’t have to wait four more years to witness the results of Dr. Ackerman’s Imagine 2014 agenda. All we need to do is to reflect upon the current state of Audenried High School. During the course of this school year violent teenage behavior within and outside of this school has been ripping it asunder.

The school was literally torn to the ground and rebuilt during the Vallas administration. A new school facility was erected at a cost in excess of sixty million dollars. The school reopened last year under the watch of the Ackerman administration. Its staff has been replaced. There is a new principal who leads a reconstituted staff of relatively young and energetic teachers. The instructional reforms (remedial reading and math programs) that Dr Ackerman has trumpeted as the district’s next great curriculum innovation are being implemented there. It should be a great school to attend. Apparently it isn’t as good as it was intended to be.

According to newspaper accounts, chaos and violence are rampant in the school. Parents are fearful for the safety of their children. The staff has been pleading with the central administration for assistance in addressing the problems they have encountered in recent months. They didn’t receive help until the violence at the school became a media issue.

Just this week a team led by one of Dr. Ackerman’s contracted consultants conducted what they described as an extensive educational audit of Audenried’s instructional program. This comprehensive school evaluation process was accomplished in just two hours. This team will now prepare a report that will act as a specific plan for how to improve this school.

Ackerman’s reform strategies, like replacing the principal and staff are apparently not working at Audenried. As a result, this once in a lifetime opportunity to completely transform a neighborhood high school is quickly being squandered.

It is time the educational community of Philadelphia begins to confront the deceptions of the so-called school reform strategies that have been aggressively promoted during the last seven years. Audinried is a prime example of the hollowness of the alleged solutions that mercenary school leaders such as Paul Vallas, Greg Thorton, Arliene Ackerman and their teams have inflicted on our school district.

Audenried High School was intended to be just one of many examples of the Vallas administration’s grand solution to remaking neighborhood high schools. Today, Audenried is in fact an example of what many of the Renaissance Schools as envisioned by the Ackerman administration might look like.

Since the formation of the School Reform Commission in Philadelphia school based staff (principals, teachers, and non instructional support staff) have been told repeatedly, “ Make No Excuses”. Over this period of time the only topic that the central administration has been willing to address when communicating with school based staff is how to raise standardized test scores. The inputs of school personnel who suggest that there are other issues that effect student academic achievement (e.g. living in poverty) beside the schools instructional program have been dismissed.

In fact the effects of living in poverty on a child’s school performance is profound. If we are truly interested as a society in shaping a more positive future for the children who live in our least resourced communities, we need to develop a more comprehensive and integrated school and social service reform agenda. To simply state that every child can achieve at a proficient level on a standardized test if teachers believe they can, is a disservice to our children most in need of a rigorous and challenging instructional program. For seven years, blaming and shaming school level personnel has been the tactic that many of our elected officials, policy directors and high level school leadership have used to dance around their moral responsibility to provide an adequate and equal educational opportunity for every child in our society.
This leadership persistently claims that they will hold all adults accountable for appropriately educating every child. Well who holds them accountable?

Will Paul Vallas be held accountable for the seventeen million dollars the Department of Education wants Philadelphia to repay to the Federal Government for misappropriation of Title I funds? If the Federal government insists that Philadelphia also repay an additional one hundred and forty one million dollars of questionable expenditures made during the Vallas administration, who will be held responsible when our district loses its financial capacity to function?

Currently the Ackerman administration is pouring tens of millions of dollars of stimulus money and additional state funding into purchase of new textbook series, consultant fees, testing instruments and the services of various “for profit” contractors. Who is monitoring these expenditures? The Notebook has not been successful in gaining access to information concerning any of these proposed expenditures until after the SRC has voted their approval.

For too long the people who are most invested in our schools (children, parents, teachers, and principals) have been the subjects of questionable experiments and the victims of failed reform efforts. It is time that we demand accountability from the adults who are the architects and sponsors of these so-called reform activities.

It is time that we the people hold our leadership accountable.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 1, 2010 5:50 pm

West Philly High will absolutely go the way of Audenreid. The so called reforms put into place to "save" the failing Audenreid have turned the school on it's head. This is an example of how reform movements are implemented by one administration (in this case Vallas), fail and at times destroy the good work that students, teachers and parents are working towards. Then when we ask where is the change, Vallas is gone and Ackerman can shrug her shoulders and add Audenreid to HER list of schools that need "fixing". West Philly has been moving forward in a collabortive process that is the root of any change process. To dismiss the efforts at West would not only be disruptive it will be disasterous! When that happens there will be no Ackerman around to stand up and take the blame...but I am sure West's dedicated staff will still be there...At least the next superintendent will have someone to blame.

Submitted by <a href=''>Vpn</a> (not verified) on March 27, 2013 9:46 am
Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.
Submitted by <a href=''>Vpn</a> (not verified) on March 27, 2013 9:59 am
Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

By using this service you agree not to post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable. We reserve the right to delete or remove any material deemed to be in violation of this rule, and to ban anyone who violates this rule. Please see our "Terms of Usage" for more detail concerning your obligations as a user of this service. Reader comments are limited to 500 words. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

Follow Us On

Read the latest print issue

Philly Ed Feed

Recent Comments


Public School Notebook

699 Ranstead St.
Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 839-0082
Fax: (215) 238-2300

© Copyright 2013 The Philadelphia Public School Notebook. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy