Please Join Today!
view counter

Four new Renaissance Schools announced

By Benjamin Herold on Feb 29, 2012 01:49 PM

by Benjamin Herold
for the Notebook and WHYY/NewsWorks

UPDATE 6 p.m. 

Buoyed by promising results from their initial group of turnaround schools and largely undeterred by the District’s ongoing fiscal uncertainty, officials announced Wednesday that four more low-performing traditional public schools will be converted to charters as part of the Renaissance Schools initiative.

“By continuing this initiative, the District underlines its commitment to the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact,” said a press release announcing the news.

The four new Renaissance charters – Grover Cleveland Elementary in Tioga, Thomas Creighton Elementary in the lower Northeast, Henry R. Edmunds Elementary in Frankford, and John Paul Jones Middle in Kensington – currently serve more than 3,000 students. Although the schools will be turned over to outside managers, they will remain neighborhood schools, joining the 13 existing Renaissance charters already serving roughly 9,400 students.

Current Renaissance providers Mastery Charter, Mosaica Turnaround Partners, Scholar Academies, and Universal Companies will join newcomers American Paradigm and String Theory Schools in competing for the right to manage the schools during a “match process” to take place over the next six weeks. A scheduled School Reform Commission vote on final pairings of schools and providers has been moved from March 29 to April 19 to accommodate for nearly two-week delay in Wednesday’s announcement.

While pressing ahead with charter conversions, the District announced that there will be no new District-managed turnaround schools, called Promise Academies.

“The District remains committed to in-District turnaround models, and the current Promise Academies will continue to operate,” said District Deputy for Strategic Initiatives Thomas Darden.

“Cost was not a consideration in our analysis,” he added. “We didn’t want to start another [Promise Academy] until we completed our academic reorganization.”

Darden estimated that converting Cleveland, Creighton, Edmunds, and Jones to Renaissance charters will cost the District between $2.5 and $3 million dollars, but said a full accounting of the Renaissance initiative was still being developed.

Teachers’ union President Jerry Jordan quickly blasted the announcement, calling the District’s methodology for selecting schools “flawed” and saying the schools have not received the funding and supports need to improve on their own.

“This is clearly a setup by the District,” said Jordan.

But in expanding the initiative, the District touted significant test score gains at its first cohort of Renaissance charters, results highlighted in a recent study by local nonprofit Research for Action.

“We’re obviously pleased that we have third-party validation,” said Darden.

This year’s schools were selected based on histories of poor academic performance and other factors including “school climate, feeder patterns, and neighborhood characteristics.”

"If a school was in an existing [Renaissance] feeder pattern, it got additional consideration this year. ... We prefer to give students a full K-12 continuum of high-performing options," said Darden.

The District still has not released its 2011 School Performance Index scores, which are used to rate both District and charter schools. In 2010, Cleveland, Creighton, Edmunds, and Jones all received SPI ratings of either of nine or ten, the two lowest possible scores.

Creighton, Edmunds, and Jones are all in “Corrective Action II” status after failing to meet their federally mandated adequate yearly progress targets for multiple years. Cleveland, however, met all of its targets last year and is in “School Improvement” status.

Both Cleveland and Edmunds elementary schools are located near existing Renaissance charters operated by Mastery, which currently runs ten schools in the city, including five Renaissance charters. If it were to add Cleveland and Edmunds to its portfolio, the city’s largest charter operator would continue to make progress towards its goal of establishing complete K-12 feeder patterns in multiple sections of the city.

Through its choice of schools, the District did not give ASPIRA of PA, another Renaissance operator, the opportunity to pursue a similar strategy. ASPIRA Executive Director Alfredo Calderon said his organization made it through the District’s prequalification process, but will not be competing to manage any of the newly named Renaissance Schools because none feed into either Edison or Olney High School.

“We want to concentrate our efforts in this particular geographical community so we can make an impact,” said Calderon

Among the six approved “turnaround teams” that did make the final cut were newcomers American Paradigm and String Theory Schools, both of which are connected to local charters.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer children in other areas of Philadelphia the same program our children are receiving,” said Angela Corosanite, the executive director of String Theory, a new educational management organization tied to Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School in South Philadelphia.

As has been the case for the past several months, dark budget clouds hovered over Wednesday’s announcement.

Earlier this month, the Notebook/NewsWorks reported that the District is incurring significant facilities-related costs at its existing Renaissance charters. Officials had no precise accounting, however, saying only that that the initiative is costing the cash-strapped District “south of $10 million” this year.

The Notebook/NewsWorks also reported that the District has been allowing current Renaissance operator Universal Companies to operate for free in both Audenried High and Vare Middle schools. While facilities license agreements for the two schools potentially totaling over $2 million remain unsigned, the District is covering all of the costs of operating the buildings.

New District Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen said last week only that that a resolution with Universal is “in process.”

He also declined to put a dollar figure on the Renaissance initiative overall, saying that newly hired management consultant Boston Consulting Group was working with the District to develop a more accurate sense of the real costs of managing its “portfolio schools.”

“Up to now, the District hasn’t had an adequate modeling tool,” said Knudsen. “We are developing it and will employ it to get answers.”

Jordan of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers decried the continued expenditures on charter conversions even as the District slashes staff and services at hundreds of traditional public schools.

“I think it’s nothing short of outrageous,” said Jordan.

Successful districts, he added, “adequately fund their schools, invest in teacher training, and use testing as a means of helping to improve teacher performance and student outcomes. “

“This District is going just the opposite way.”

As in past years, teachers at newly designated Renaissance Schools will be “force-transferred” and made to reapply for their jobs, said Jordan.

According to the revised “match process” timeline outlined by the District on Wednesday, School Advisory Councils consisting of parents and community members will be formed and trained at Cleveland, Creighton, Edmunds, and Jones over the next two weeks.

During late March and April, the SACs will review provider proposals and host forums at which the providers could make their case before making a formal, but non-binding, recommendation on a new manager.

Advocates had worried about a match process that looked like it could be condensed from seven weeks last year to four weeks or less this year. Darden acknowledged this concern in talking about the decision to push the due date for SAC recommendations back to mid-April and the SRC’s final vote to April 19.

“Given the delay in the announcement of the turnaround teams, we wanted to allow for enough time to execute the matching process,” he said.

Last month, nonprofit consulting organization Frontline Solutions was given a $195,000 contract to facilitate the work of SACs during the match process for a third consecutive year.

To date, each year of that match process has been marred by controversy. In 2010, the vote of the SAC at West Philadelphia High was disregarded and ultimately overturned by District officials and the School Reform Commission.

And last year, the city’s chief integrity officer blasted former SRC Chairman Robert Archie and State Representative Dwight Evans after backroom dealing on the future of Martin Luther King High was uncovered and reported by the Notebook/NewsWorks.

Despite the past problems, Darden expressed faith in the match process.

“When SACs are given full autonomy to evaluate turnaround teams and participate fully, they make good decisions for schools and communities,” he said.

For the first time, former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman will not preside over what was often described as the “signature initiative” of her tenure. Instead, new District Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen will retain final say over the proposed matches between the new Renaissance schools and providers. Knudsen will consult with Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon, according to District spokesperson Fernando Gallard.

Click Here
view counter

Comments (82)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Tom Darden and the other puppets in 440 continue to destroy public education.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 10:16 pm

The parents have no voice in the matter anyway. They are POWERLESS.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on February 29, 2012 10:44 pm

Who cares about the parents? It's only their children and the parents don't vote anyway. They and their kids are dollar signs not humans with rights.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 4, 2012 5:39 am

Can you tell me more about Renaissance?
Who owns it, what type of financial entity is it?
How can I find financial records, tax returns, etc?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 2:55 pm

The only school that I have heard that has been Renaissanced is HR Edmunds. Does anyone know where the whole list is?

Submitted by LS Teach (not verified) on February 29, 2012 2:59 pm

Will there be a press conference? or will some just read a statement and the public will have to wait to find out the details from the SRC?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 3:19 pm

Did they notify the staff at HR Edmonds? How do you know this?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 5:43 pm

They just told us today.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 6:42 pm

I am so sorry for you and your colleagues. Having been through the entire process last year I know exactly how you are feeling. Know that I made it through and so will you and all of your colleagues! Remember to stick together and support each other every step of the way!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 4, 2012 12:05 pm


Submitted by A Touch of Sense (not verified) on February 29, 2012 2:32 pm

And out of the darkness of the backrooms of the school district and its connected politicians, we shall see the true agenda of the privatizers without any opportunity for public comment.

All the while our new SRC plays the game of false transparency.

The railroad tracks are already laid my friends and we are merely passengers....

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on February 29, 2012 4:27 pm

So let's recap:
That splendid gentleman, Kenny "I gots mines," Gamble will get to destroy another group of children in South Philly while John Q. Porter, another wonderful advocate for kids, will get his mits also on another group. John Q. as he liked to be called in the past, was chased out of Oklahoma City back in the day for misuse of funds. Queen Ackerman once worked for him. You just can't make this stuff up. At least, Jerry Foghorn Leghorn Jordan finally found his voice. There's a meeting tomorrow--we all better hope it doesn't rain because Jerry won't be there if it does.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 4:38 pm

Great day for the children of Philadelphia.

Submitted by ? (not verified) on February 29, 2012 5:59 pm

Throwing more money down the drain. The SRC is not trying to help public school education but merely destory it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 6:11 pm

Destroy public education in Philadelphia and the country! destroy unions give tax money to private corporations!! wtf thanks Arnie Dunkin and President Obama

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 6:58 pm

Well said.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 6:59 pm

Well said.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 6:21 pm

Are they really serious about the exisiting Promise Academies remaining intact? Where the heck are they getting the money for this. Are they talking about both grade schools and high schools? Get serious! They are a gross waste of money. I can't believe that the district keeps handing over schools to the charters.
Doesn't anyone see the Promise Academies for what they are? The kids DON'T stay until 4 p.m., the teachers and staff are exhausted and the day is way too long?
What is going on here?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 6:37 pm

What about Dwight "like a bulldog on a bone" and Foundations??

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 9:29 pm

Foundations Inc. is the worst. They turned our charter school from bad to awful. And lets not mention that Julie. They kicked her butt out of Wissahickon Charter School and replaced her with the Co-CEO's. She must have done some damage. Now Foundations has a charter school in Camden opening up next year. They could not open a school in Phila so they ran across the bridge. LOL!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 6:16 pm

Foundations Inc. is run by caring individuals who put children FIRST! Everything they did at King High School was for the better. They are honest and upfront about what they do.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 7:24 pm

This has been a paid commercial announcement brought to you by Foundations and Dwight Evans. Dwight Evans supports its content.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 8:28 pm


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 2, 2012 10:54 pm

LOL. That must be someone responding from Foundations. See what I mean worst. If they would have read they would have known I said Charter school and not Public. Foundations Inc. should be investigated. They are all in Philadelphia Schools but their office is in new Jersey.

P.S. Why is it that they are only in failing schools? LOL

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on February 29, 2012 10:36 pm

I think Kenny "I gots mines" Gamble is right there with the light knight and John Q. Porter who was chased out of Oklahoma City. But you may be right, Foundations is truly hard to believe.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 7:29 pm

The war on the teacher's union continues. It will continue until Jordan grows a pair and calls for a strike.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on February 29, 2012 8:25 pm

I agree and I think all unions would join us. If not, we're dead anyway so let's go down fighting and not pontificating like educated morons. If ANYBODY pulled this on the TEAMSTERS, you and I both know what would happen.As you'll recall a couple years ago, Prince Nutter threatened to bring in non union workers to work on buildings in the city and Pat Gillespie, head of the Building Trades said, "I DARE HIM TO TRY THAT." Naturally, the mayor slithered away never to bother them since. Actually, Pat who is a devout Catholic, warned the Cardinal the same thing. WE need to learn from that and not be afraid to get our hands dirty. UNIONS built this country and workers better always be able to have rights against corporations. Unlimited Power corrupts........

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 9:36 pm

Great day for the children of Philadelphia.

Submitted by Teach! (not verified) on February 29, 2012 9:21 pm

I the disaster known as Mastery Gratz deterred the charter providers from asking for a high school. The proof is in the pudding.
Where will all these k-8 charters send their darlings? I guess that doesnt matter for they are unqualified to do it. In 5 years, we'll look back, and see how dumb this entire rash decision was.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on February 29, 2012 10:42 pm

I truly believe this is a passing phase and in time, traditional Public Ed. will be back. The bigger issue is, was and will be, whether the government will fund the schools appropriately so as to fix them as much as possible. Of course, the biggest issue is the Racism, Classism, Poverty Cycle etc. that has to be dealt with better to give the inner city kids a really fair shot at success in the world. For 400 years, things for blacks have been very bleak so I wouldn't hold my breath. 50 years from now, when the people of color outnumber the white population, things will necessarily change unless we have an openly Apartheid Society.

Yes, Mastery Gratz is a disaster and everybody knows whether they want to say it or not. Mastery will bite the dust as more and more staff people and former staff persons speak up. You simply can't run a school like a concentration camp, with freedom speech anathema to working there. Not in the USA, at least not yet.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 8:53 pm

You must be kidding! I was at Mastery Gratz today and I saw a vast improvement over the mess it has been for several years. In addition to that, I know someone who retired from the Board of Ed. and frequented Gratz quite often. I saw him last week and he was raving about the tremendous change that is still taking place at Gratz. My statements are factual.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 2, 2012 1:14 pm

Yes. All facts are based on your opinion.

Submitted by Mark J. (not verified) on March 2, 2012 1:49 pm

Agreed--Facts are nasty, pesky little varmints, aren't they?

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on February 29, 2012 10:09 pm

I agree--remember The Edison Fiasco of a few years ago. When the PEOPLE see the folly and corruption inherent in Charters, the pols will back away like rats which, of course, they usually are.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 1, 2012 12:13 am

Yes, Mastery is trying to hide the Gratz Disaster as charters always do with the pols help. But the nightmare is huge and will get worse as the weather warms. It couldn't happen to a better guy than the dwarf. I know of at least 50 guys who would love to catch him at some point. He's the worst kind of punk.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 7:07 am

Whats been going on at Gratz, not much has been reported in the news.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 1, 2012 9:27 am

TOTAL chaos but they keep it quiet with the bigtime help of the pols.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 8:52 pm

That's because there's not much to report...not bad news anyway. Now, don't get me wrong, there are still some challenges at Gratz, but the students are working and not smoking weed in the hallways. They are coming to school and most importantly they are learning. Mastery seems to know what they're doing. I'm all for it.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 1, 2012 8:02 pm

According to the 39th District, you are wrong, wrong and wrong.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 9:10 pm

Creighton and Jones schools for sure received letters....have friends in both

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 10:01 pm

The letters referred to these schools being the second set of turnarounds and listed 2011-2012 as the year the initiative would start. Maybe a "turnaround" editor is needed?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 10:02 pm

Didn't Rendell say years ago that students should be measured on their own baseline performance?

“Up to now, the District hasn’t had an adequate modeling tool,” said Knudsen. “We are developing it and will employ it to get answers.”

In Public Schools we are helping everyone go forward, everyone! Knudson is looking for a model from the industrial revolution when we could not help each student reach their personal best. The industrial revolution was about conforming everyone to a certain model.

Now we are helping each student break that model of failure and frustration responsible for so much misery in the history of the world.

Sadly, there are no visionaries at 440, just people stuck in the past who could not even balance a check book ! We are all fucked and so are the kids!

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 1, 2012 1:05 am

Yo Ace---Get over yourself and grow up. It's time to fight. Put down the kleenex and get angry. The bean counters at 440 are very smart people who are following the script set by OBAMA and Arne Duncan. How hypocritical is it for Obama to now suck up to unions when he needs us after ignoring the unions and the inner cities for 2.5 years?? But he's better than the alternatives.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 2, 2012 9:30 pm

Like hell he is. He is the most two faced politican I've ever seen. You won't catch me voting for that fake this year. If that means Romney gets elected than so be it. We must send a message to Democrats everywhere that they can't take us for granted.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 2, 2012 9:44 pm

Romney maybe but SANTORUM !!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 2, 2012 9:05 pm

Let me tell you something my friend. There is a war going on in this country against the middle class. Democrats should be sticking up for us working middle class teachers. But they are doing anything but. In fact, they are piling on. I've had it with Obama. Race to the bottom, the Rhode Island teacher firings, Arne Duncan... If we keep voting Democrat the attacks on us from all sides will continue. We need to tell these jerks loud and clear that they are either for us or against us. And right now they are aginst us. A President Santorum or Romney, as scary as that sounds, to me is a better option then continuing to be held hostage by Obama and Duncan.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 2, 2012 10:08 pm

Our choices are not good right now, I agree but Santorum WOULD turn back the clock 200 years. Obama has been a punk and a coward but he is still better than Santorum. Hopefully, after Obama, a truer dem will run but right now, he's our best option, as putrid as he has been. Romney at least seems less scary and bigoted than Rickie S. Of course, The Boma knows he has millions of people in his pocket and I despised him to but Santorum as US President!! The problem with your theory is that Santorum would likely be President for 8 YEARS not 8 days.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 2, 2012 10:04 pm

Here's my point of view my friend. Let's say Santorum wins. He pushes charter schools, merit pay, and trys to bust our union. HOW IS THAT ANY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! We MUST tell Democrats our support is not unconditional. Right now Obama, Nutter, Dems think they can push us around and we'll be there for them on election day no matter what they do. Not me. Screw them. Bunch of bums. No better then corbett, christie, walker, and scott. Public school teachers need to send a message this election cycle. WE WILL NOT BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 29, 2012 11:22 pm

There is a lot of teacher bullying going on. I don't understand why there is such a sudden attack on teachers. I feel that I've done everything, going above and beyond to help my students. I feel disrespected on a daily basis. If the new trend is to make teachers feel worthless than they've done their job. I don't even know who "they" are.....who can one trust?

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 1, 2012 1:31 am

Start with your President, your Gov., your mayor, Foundations, Universal, Mosaica and all the crooked pols lining their pockets off the backs of the kids. By the way, stop whimpering and empower yourself. Grow Up !!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 9:08 am

Let us not forget that the charter schools perform at 20% less income per student then the public schools.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 1, 2012 5:41 pm

OH--PLEASE--don't being a dope. They get whatever they want and they don't have to pay their workers a livable wage. I just can't believe your post and I hope you're just trolling.

Submitted by David Lapp (not verified) on March 1, 2012 2:19 pm

Are we to expect more "turn around" by just pushing the difficult students back into district school, like this "American Paradigm" school?

And are we to expect that the Renaissance schools will now be political soapboxes for Corbett's privatize / voucherize agenda, like this "American Paradigm" school?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 6:26 pm

I attended the rally at 440. I was amazed that hardly any PFT members were there. If we want things to change, we have to show up and let everyone know we aren't going to take it anymore.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 2, 2012 10:06 pm

Because it means NOTHING. People like Corbett just laugh at marchers, especially educated ones. When we decide to get hostile en masse, THEN things will change but not until then.

Submitted by tom-104 on March 2, 2012 10:05 pm

No, Corbett laughs at people like you who complain and do nothing. I know Corbett, Nutter, the SRC and the 1% they represent care nothing about what we think. To them we are just a colony to exploit.

I participate in political action to join with other people who want to see a change. It is a place to hear from others who are alarmed about what is going on and to network with them about what we should do about it.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 3, 2012 9:15 am

I agree with you------I always agree--I've been told to no be so militant etc. I also work within a group in Harrisburg for the same purpose.

Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on March 2, 2012 10:44 pm

 I was at the rally at 440 as well.   I counted perhaps a dozen PFT members not counting retirees.   Jerry Jordan spoke.   Where are all the people on this blog who constantly talk about the need for him "to grow a pair," call a strike, etc.?   More action, less bravado is what's needed.   The Occupy 440 action, led by PFT nurses,  every wednesday at 4pm, the SRC meetings around school closures, the fight to make the banks give back the money they took from the District with interest swaps......These are real fights going on right now.   Without a mobilized PFT membership supported by an arroused community there is no chance of beating back these attacks. 

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 9:01 pm

I's obvious, the only people that can't see the changes for the good at Gratz are the union teachers.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 2, 2012 6:57 pm

Yes, the 39th district police are lying too. Right !!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 9:36 pm

Teachers at the charter schools are very content with their salaries and the fact they are not a UNION.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 10:04 pm

This has been a paid commercial announcement by Scott Gordon of Mastery Charter Schools. Scott Gordon supports its content.

Submitted by Tara (not verified) on March 1, 2012 11:09 pm

That is not entirely true. I know of a Center City charter school that attempted to unionize. The teachers actually took a vote, which didn't pass. Then the following year, only a few classroom teachers and a couple of Prep teachers had their contracts renewed.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 2, 2012 9:06 pm

America of the future if we're not careful.

Submitted by Milton (not verified) on March 2, 2012 9:25 pm

bleat or another troll must have posted this inane comment.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 10, 2012 8:39 pm
How long is your nose by now?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 1, 2012 11:01 pm

How about the bad teachers you can never replace.

Submitted by Autumn.X on March 3, 2012 1:32 pm

In this day and age where the economy is in the pits, so to speak, there should not be any operation that is allowed to operate in these building for free; even if they are schools.


    Charter schools being allowed to operate for free to play online games in some buildings seems a little strange when looking at the overall economic situation.

Submitted by Mark G. (not verified) on March 3, 2012 7:17 pm

Gee, I wonder why they are allowed to operate free like that. Could it be kickbacks? Could they be protected by the crooked pols who put them there? Could it all be another example of the charter jokes getting an easy ride at the expense of the real schools?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 3, 2012 8:26 pm

Lies,Lies,Lies if you tell them long enough you'll think it's the truth. I know first hand that the charter schools have to pay monthly rent per square foot and that's not including utilities, insurance, construction cost for any improvements,salaries and all while receiving 20% less
Income per student then the public schools.How do they do it, good management, watch
and learn.

Submitted by A Touch of Sense (not verified) on March 3, 2012 9:26 pm

Oh, is that how they do it in those charter schools where they set up a little side entity so the school pays rent to the side entity. Then the operators pocket the kids' money as profit through the side door entity.

You know, like Vahan and Brian Gardiner did....

Submitted by Tara (not verified) on March 5, 2012 4:25 pm

The Chester Charter School has been court-ordered to open their books under the Freedom of Information Act. So maybe that will explain where the money is going.

Submitted by tom-104 on March 5, 2012 8:20 pm

Details about the court-order are here:

Court says school required to disclose financial records

Submitted by A Touch of Sense (not verified) on March 5, 2012 9:25 pm

That is considerably different than the charter schools being required to publicly present their budgets annually and show where every penny of the school's funds came from and where and to whom every penny goes.

In that case, the court ruled that the "requested" salary and contract documents must be disclosed to the requesters. That case did not require Chester Community Charter School to publish their budget publicly every year or present those documents publicly.

If charter schools are to truly be public schools their budgets should be presented publicly and published publicly so anyone can peruse the school's budget. A copy of the budget should be sent to every famjily who has students enrolled in the school.

Public schools require public transparency and public accountability. The School District of Philadelphia must present its budget publicly and to city council. So do the other school districts have to publicly present their budgets.

Charter schools, as public schools and independent LEA's, should be required by statute to do the same. That is the only way to assure the kid's money is not being misappropriated or outright stolen.

That article presents a classic situation how Guregian created a side management organization to divert the charter school's money into his own pockets. In my book -- it is a scam.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on March 6, 2012 2:34 am

Forcing charters to make their annual budgets public would also make the budgets transparent to the staff. Most charters don't make administrative salaries public. Teachers would know how they are compared to colleagues. This would provide a basis for staff beginning collective bargaining.

Submitted by A Touch of Sense (not verified) on March 6, 2012 7:06 am

If charter schools are to be true public schools their budgets must be made completely transparent and easily accessible to the public and parents of charter schools.

The only reason for any lack of transparency in public schools is wrongdoing and self-dealing by their operators.

Charter schools, like regular public schools and school systems, must be held accountable to the public and the families who send their children to those schools.

Charter schools are not private businesses owned by their CEOs and trustees for the their own private personal benefit and profit.

With our new Great Schools Compact, I wonder if the new and supposedly transparent SRC and its individual members have the "Courage" and fortitude to force transparency in charter schools.

Or is the Great Schools Compact designed to give more "charter operators" the opportunity to profit off of our schoolchildren?

Is it about the benefit of the children or not?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2012 8:22 pm

Bingo !!!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 3, 2012 11:02 pm

Crap wages and few benefits for their teachers who do the bulk of the work.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 3, 2012 9:19 pm

The rent the charter schools pay is paid directly to the school district, we do not own these buildings, get your facts straight.

Submitted by A Touch of Sense (not verified) on March 3, 2012 10:30 pm

Charter schools have many different rent schemes. Some rent from the district. Some rent their space and buildings from legitimate property owners, and some have rent schemes which allow insiders to make money. Some charter schools own their buildings as it should be.

Now if every charter school, as public schools, were required by law to present their budgets publicly, we could all have our facts straight, now couldn't we....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2012 1:20 pm

I am extremely impressed by this. I have a bunch of mix feelings. Having had worked for the school district and at one time this school. I hope this change is for the better and that the kids get there act together. The teachers at this school work their tail off, in trying to give these children the best education that they possibly can have. I hope this move is what needs to be done for the children

Submitted by Student of Creighton (not verified) on December 29, 2013 5:12 pm
i go to creighton

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