Three current Renaissance School managers are joined by four newcomers as the approved provider finalists who will be vying to turn around this year's cohort of six "Renaissance Match" schools, the School District announced Tuesday evening. The seven successfully completed a request for proposal process. They include:
Delighted with the recent changes at their school, parents and community members on the School Advisory Council (SAC) at Mastery-Smedley are lining up in support of the move.
We recently published a story about Mastery Charter Schools' Smedley Elementary and the "palpable sense of urgency" that drives its instruction.
We just posted a story with a more comprehensive look at teaching at Mastery in our December edition on teachers and reform.
The original story sparked a lot of discussion, and a post over on City School Stories. Blogger and former elementary school principal Frank Murphy questioned putting so much pressure on such young kids:
After managing a relatively smooth transition of seven low-performing public schools into neighborhood charters, all four of the School District of Philadelphia's current "turnaround teams" have been invited back to compete for more schools during the second round of the Renaissance Schools initiative.
But this year, they will face an expanded pool of competitors, including three new providers with national profiles.
Just a few months ago, Kallie Turner was limping to the end of her first year as a classroom teacher. Exhausted, she feared that she had failed her students.
"I didn't get them where they needed to be," Turner says of the children at the Louisville public school where she taught last year. "The hardest thing was knowing that I didn't have an answer – and that no one was helping me find that answer."
This fall, Philadelphia's Mastery Charter Schools won $7.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education to expand its system of performance-based teacher salaries. The grant will help Mastery test a policy that's being pushed hard by the Obama administration and widely debated in education circles: tying teacher compensation to student achievement.
But even as Mastery's pay-for-performance system expands, in another group of Philadelphia charter schools, a similar experiment is about to end.
The District has named 10 finalists from the 20 respondents to its request for potential providers to run schools in a second cohort of Renaissance Schools. The list of "RFQ finalists" includes some national players in school turnaround that would be new to Philadelphia.
It’s not yet 8:30 am, it’s the Friday before Halloween, and the audience before him is made up of five- and six–year-olds.
But Mastery Charter-Smedley Elementary Principal Brian McLaughlin is not one to go off message, especially just two months into Mastery’s effort to turn around the long-struggling neighborhood elementary school in Frankford.
A group of high-powered philanthropists, business leaders, public officials, and educators say they have the financial and political clout – and the determination to support schools that “work” and close down schools that don’t – to make Philadelphia the highest-performing urban district in the nation within five years.
Mastery Charter Schools has been awarded $7.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education from the Teacher Incentive Fund, which is used towards developing new systems of teacher compensation that reward performance rather than just longevity and education level.
U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah announced the award, which Mastery CEO Scott Gordon called "a game changer" in a press release from the congressman's office.