The School Reform Commission has designated six schools for turnaround as District-run “Promise Academies” and has authorized outside organizations to convert seven of the city’s lowest-performing schools into charters.
But as the District’s speedy timeline for radically restructuring these schools moves ahead, there remains rampant uncertainty about what happens next, especially for teachers.
The School Reform Commission delayed a vote that would have matched West Philadelphia High School with Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now for turnaround as a Renaissance School, even though there was a resolution prepared to do this.
SRC chairman Robert Archie said that new information has come to light that needed to be considered before the final vote. He did not elaborate.
West's School Advisory Council voted Monday night to choose its turnaround provider. Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now was the choice of the 15-member committee, which is made up of 8 parents and 7 community members.
Reporter Benjamin Herold compiled a timeline of the Renaissance Schools process at West since January.
UPDATE: Details on the delay.
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.
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.
Charlene Young, a parent at Smedley Elementary in Frankford, doesn’t want much for her daughter’s school – just an end to the chaos.
“More controlled classrooms,” she said. “More organization, more respect for the teachers, more respect for each other inside the school.”
Jana Wilcox, development director at the Young Scholars Charter School, promised that her team could deliver.
The nine Renaissance Schools will have community meetings with potential turnaround partners through Saturday, May 8. All are at the school, unless otherwise noted. The deadline to complete the matching process has been extended to May 11. It was originally scheduled to end this week.
The schedule is:
It appears that two of the nine planned Renaissance Schools will have only one choice of potential outside manager, based on new information from the provider proposals about their plans to be suitors for these low-performing schools slated for turnaround.