- The Compact Committee had a thorough discussion of ways to improve how school performance is measured and compared. There was consensus for elevating somewhat the weighting of postsecondary-readiness measures in assessing high school performance. The Committee weighed the pros and cons of various measures for parent and student satisfaction and engagement. And there were a lot of questions about the differences between the District’s student-growth measures and the state-contracted PVAAS calculations. Unable to answer all of those questions, the Committee agreed to pursue a deeper understanding of the two measurement systems from data experts at the state and District.
- The Committee established one additional working group on the topic of shared services. It asked each working group to hold at least one meeting prior to its Feb. 3 meeting. There are now five working groups: Accountability, Enrollment & Student Data, Facilities, Shared Services and Talent Development.
- Three of the Committee members will attend a conference with representatives from 15 other Compact cities Jan. 25-26 and will report on what they learn there at the Jan. 27 Committee meeting. The trip is being paid for by PSP and the William Penn Foundation.
CLARIFICATIONS & CORRECTIONS
- There have been some questions from school leaders about the status of the School Performance Index. The Compact Committee intends to develop and recommend the establishment of a new multi-measure performance framework for use beginning with the 2011-12 academic year. For data gathered in the 2010-11 school year, the District used the existing School Performance Index to generate a ranking for each public school, using the same formula and weighting as was used in 2009-10. Most of the calculations for the 2010-11 SPI already had been completed and checked prior to the signing of the Compact.
- There also have been questions about grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Philadelphia School Partnership has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Gates Foundation to support the work of the Compact Committee—these funds are intended to indirectly benefit schools through the recommendations of the Committee but will not be available for direct grants to schools. PSP will soon apply for additional funding from the Gates Foundation on behalf of Philadelphia, but it is too soon to say how those funds would or could be used. Developing a grant proposal and a corresponding budget is part of the upcoming work of the Committee.
- The update covering the Jan. 13 Compact Committee meeting mistakenly named Thomas Darden of the School District of Philadelphia as a voting member of the Committee. Mr. Darden attends Committee meetings in support of or in lieu of Dr. Nunery, and has authority to vote as proxy for Dr. Nunery or Mr. Ramos when necessary, but is not officially a Committee member. The eighth voting member is SRC member Joseph Dworetzky, who was absent on Jan. 13.