We are in a time of historic change for education in the city of Philadelphia. Beneath the headlines, there is growing momentum around a simple idea: every kid in every neighborhood deserves access to great schools.
First, in proposing sweeping reforms yesterday, the School District of Philadelphia reaffirmed that we must drive towards great schools. School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos said, “What we do know through lots of history and evidence and practice is that the current structure doesn’t work. It’s not fiscally sustainable and it doesn’t produce high-quality schools for all kids.” There are still questions to be answered, there will be critical decision points, and many challenges will emerge. But the plan’s focus on high-quality schools of all types represents a transformational step forward for Philadelphia.
Second, on Monday the Archdiocese of Philadelphia joined the Mayor, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, the School Reform Commission, and over 80 charter schools in the city as signers of the “Great Schools Compact.” The Compact is both a chance for school operators to collaborate, as well as a commitment to replacing 50,000 low-performing seats with high-quality ones of all types. As of today, we believe Philadelphia to be the only city in the United States that is convening school operators from the district, charter, and private school communities.
At PSP, we are working hard to build on this momentum and help drive change in Philadelphia by ensuring every child in every neighborhood has access to a great school. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to get more involved in that effort, and please take a moment to connect with us on Facebook.