On Monday, the School District of Philadelphia’s superintendent announced that two of the cities lowest performing schools would be turned over to charter operators as part of the district’s Renaissance program, in an effort to boost student achievement.
Dr. Hite’s announcement also included a disappointing move to take a Renaissance conversion off the table for a third school, Wister Elementary, that had originally been a part of next year’s transformation. Despite Wister’s abysmal student achievement scores, Dr. Hite has chosen to put political interests before students and condemned these children to another year sitting in classrooms that fail to meet their educational needs.
The following is a full statement from Jon Cetel, PennCAN’s Executive Director:
“It’s outrageous that the best school turnaround provider in the city – and arguably the country – has now been unable to do new turnarounds in Philadelphia for three consecutive years. The likes of President Obama and Oprah have praised Mastery’s achievements, and yet Dr. Hite today told Wister families that they are better off under the management of the School District of Philadelphia.
85 of Philadelphia’s schools are in need of intervention based on the District’s own metric. Dr. Hite today announced plans for two.
At literally the same time, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives were debating the ongoing budget impasse, with some republican members expressing frustration that Governor Wolf allocated so much money to Philadelphia.
Today’s decision just made it even harder for PennCAN to convince skeptical republicans that the School District of Philadelphia is serious about using its new revenue to transform its chronically underperforming schools.”