During this first meeting, the Committee unanimously approved three resolutions:
- Dr. Lori Shorr was elected chair of the Committee.
- Scott Gordon was appointed a nonvoting member of the Committee.
- The Philadelphia School Partnership was selected as the applicant that will apply on behalf of Philadelphia for additional grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support implementation of the Compact.
In its first meeting, the Compact Committee agreed that it is important to regularly update constituents to the Compact on the work of the Committee. Accordingly, it is the Committee’s intention to deliver reports via email on each meeting it holds or significant recommendation it makes. These reports will be published, like this one, via email and will come out as soon as the Committee approves the Minutes for a meeting—usually about a week after the meeting occurs.
The first Committee meeting was largely an organizational one. The Committee Chair, Lori Shorr, established three working groups to lead the Committee’s efforts around specific topics: Talent Development, Enrollment & Student Data, and Facilities. There likely will be additional working groups as time goes on.
There was a substantive discussion about criticisms of the School Performance Index (SPI). These included:
- Use of the current academic-growth metric instead of PVAAS calculations
- No inclusion of dropout rate in SPI calculation
- No inclusion of student turnover (or re-enrollment) rates
- No inclusion of safety data
- No consideration of schools’ legal compliance or financial stewardship
- Weighting of achievement gap data
- Not enough factors or weighting relating to college readiness and success in high-school SPI
- No separate calculation for standalone middle schools
At its next meeting (January 20), the Committee will discuss the development of a new, multi-measure school accountability framework. It also will begin a discussion about how to better leverage taxpayer-owned facilities to expand student enrollment in high-performing schools.