Home > Uncategorized > Can Philadelphia Ever Be Freed from Charter Mania? It Depends on the School Board Developing a Spine

Can Philadelphia Ever Be Freed from Charter Mania? It Depends on the School Board Developing a Spine

July 16, 2018

Diane Ravitch wrote a post yesterday drawing on a commentary written by Lisa Haver and Deborah Grill, two activists in Philadelphia for thenothebook.org. In the commentary, Mss. Haver and Grill describe the machinations of the Philadelphia School Board who recently took control of charter schools in the city after politicians determined that School Reform Commission was failing in its mission to improve the schools after 17 years of oversight. I was hopeful that the newly installed School Board would insist that charter schools adhere to the same standards and regulations as public schools. But, alas, it appears that school board members are “negotiating” standards and regulations with charter operators behind closed doors, presumably based on the fact they negotiate with teachers behind closed doors. But negotiating standards and regulations are not the same as negotiating wages and working conditions. Nor are they the same as negotiating contracts with vendors who provide indirect services to schools and students. In short, there is no rationale for negotiating standards behind closed doors or negotiating them at all. If teachers and students in public schools have different standards than students in privately operated charters the playing field is clearly NOT level… and the students who attend schools with the lowest standards will clearly suffer. Here’s hoping the Philadelphia School Board develops a spine.

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