In an email to School District employees Thursday, Superintendent William Hite again acknowledged the failure by staffing firm Source4teachers to adequately fill the District's substitute vacancies and described a few planned changes in the Cherry Hill-based firm's contract to be considered at Thursday's School Reform Commission meeting.
"Without a doubt, our efforts this year to ramp up substitute teacher recruitment and hiring by contracting with Source4Teachers (S4T) have not worked as anticipated," Hite said.
High schools received their grades Wednesday as the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released the School Performance Profile scores that it uses to rate schools, along with results on the Keystone Exams.
The state's school accountability system provides a snapshot of student achievement and growth that takes into account numerous measures, with most of the weight going to standardized test scores.
Lawyers for plaintiffs in a case seeking to overturn Pennsylvania's system of funding schools as unconstitutional filed a brief with state Supreme Court on Friday.
The case, brought by several school districts, parents, and groups, was dismissed in April by Commonwealth Court judges, who ruled that school funding -- how much money is spent on education and how it is distributed -- is a matter for the state's legislative and executive branches to decide.
Update: The School District announced Wednesday afternoon that the hearing on nonrenewal of Universal Bluford Academy will be rescheduled for October. A date has not been set.
A nonrenewal hearing will be held this week for one of the city's first schools to be "Renaissanced" under the District's turnaround model that converts neighborhood schools to charters.
On Sept. 17 and 18, the School Reform Commission will conduct a public hearing on the District's recommendation to begin nonrenewal proceedings for Universal Bluford Charter School, a K-6 school in West Philadelphia. Last year, the school enrolled 600 students.
The Philadelphia School District's push to outsource substitute teaching services has thus far been a major disappointment.
The Cherry Hill-based Source4Teachers promised to fill 90 percent of absences, but its rate through the first week of school hasn't come close.