Following the surprise announcement that West Philadelphia High School would not become a Renaissance School next year after all, School District officials told West’s 62 teachers Thursday that they had 24 hours to decide whether to stay or go.
West Philadelphia High School won't be joining the Renaissance after all - at least not for another year.
It can seem that all roads in West Philadelphia eventually run through City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.
SRC chairman Robert Archie said that new information came to light that needed to be considered before the final vote. He did not elaborate.
But later, it became clear that someone had complained to the SRC that one or more of the parent members of West's School Advisory Council, which recommended Hopkins, was paid as part of a parent outreach program run by the Philadelphia Education Fund. PEF has had a longstanding relationship with Hopkins. Beginning in 1999, PEF helped bring the Talent Development program to several high schools in the city, including Strawberry Mansion and Edison. Talent Development also runs a ninth grade academy at West. PEF would be one of Hopkins' local community partners in the West turnaround.
The two-week delay imposed on West Philadelphia High School for choosing a “turnaround” provider under Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s Renaissance Schools process could result in the loss of the some of the schools’ best teachers, according to nearly a dozen faculty members.
The result of Monday night’s final vote by West’s School Advisory Council (SAC) to select their preferred turnaround team will not be made public until Wednesday. The options were Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now, Ackerman’s own Promise Academy, and Mastery Charter.
In a surprise move, the Daroff School Advisory Council (SAC) Tuesday recommended to Superintendent Arlene Ackerman that Universal Companies assume management of the troubled elementary school at 57th and Race.
The Daroff School Advisory Council (SAC) unanimously rejected on Monday the District’s invitation to submit a revised application to become a Promise Academy, opting instead to focus on its deliberations to select an outside turnaround team to assume management of the troubled K-8 school as part of the District’s Renaissance Schools initiative.
From the outset, the school auditorium at 56th and Vine felt like a somber family gathering, perhaps to discuss the terms of an unpleasant but necessary divorce.