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West teachers must decide Friday; SAC chair calls probe a 'travesty'

By Benjamin Herold on Jun 4, 2010 01:14 AM

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 Philly won't be Ren. School next year

By Benjamin Herold on Jun 2, 2010 05:52 PM

West Philadelphia High School won't be joining the Renaissance after all - at least not for another year.

Blackwell: Glad for West Philly delay

By Benjamin Herold on May 31, 2010 12:05 PM

It can seem that all roads in West Philadelphia eventually run through City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.

Behind the West Philly delay

By Benjamin Herold on May 26, 2010 09:30 PM

The School Reform Commission delayed a vote Wednesday that would have matched West Philadelphia High School with Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now for turnaround as a Renaissance School.

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 damage may be done, say West teachers

By Benjamin Herold on May 25, 2010 04:39 PM

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.

Daroff council picks Universal

By Benjamin Herold on May 11, 2010 01:00 PM

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.

Daroff council: Promise Academy model 'lacks promise'

By Benjamin Herold on May 5, 2010 11:59 AM

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.

The Daroff SAC discusses Mastery Charter Schools' proposal to radically transform their school.

At Daroff, outside providers woo community

By Benjamin Herold on Apr 30, 2010 03:32 PM

"I think the change is going to be bittersweet," said Assistant Principal Nancy Hatchett, summarizing the mood during Daroff Elementary School's turnaround team public forum.

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.

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