A grass-roots organization of parents, community members, and school staff, fighting to defend public education. We work together to provide analysis and demand accountability from the School District of Philadelphia to provide students with a high-quality education.
Close to 200 students from Saul High School, Franklin Learning Center and several other special-admission schools rallied on the steps of district headquarters to fight against the devastating cuts in faculty and staff caused by the district’s faulty enrollment algorithm. Students and supporters held up signs saying “Save Our Teachers” and “I Am Not An Algorithm”. Parents, teachers, principals, and community members came to support the students and their schools at the rally and in their testimony to the Board. For the first time in a long time, the auditorium was packed, and many who came were diverted to the overflow section in the atrium.
Southwest Leadership Academy Charter School (SLACS) has had less than stellar academic and financial accomplishments for years. The K-8 school in Southwest Philadelphia was originally authorized by the SRC in 2007 as a K-6 at one location, but currently operates out of two rented facilities, (Gr. 3-8) 7107 Paschall Ave, 19142 (its original location) and (Gr K-2) 6901 Woodland Ave, 19142. It has a City-wide admissions designation, but students reside mainly in the local geographical areas and Delaware County (to which some prior students moved while attending SLACS and continued at SLACS). The school’s student composition is 89% African American, 7% Hispanic and 4% White. Asian Pacific and Multiracial. 13% have special needs, 4% are English Language Learners (ELL) and 69% of the population lives in poverty status.
This district opened its first charter school in 1998. Every year, those lobbying for and profiting from the privatization of public schools have promised to improve education for the city’s children. They said that the district had an obligation to create charters for the good of the children and the community. Twenty-five years later, we can see that the charter experiment foisted upon the city and its families has failed. Because of the backing of well-funded PACs and special interest groups, with their increasing political influence, charters have avoided accountability to the same communities they made 6their promises to.
The district has had many years to learn that the aspirational language of charter apps is rarely achieved. Charter renewal evaluations don’t measure whether the schools have fulfilled their promises of innovation; they cite standardized test scores and other data.
School District of Philadelphia Board of Education Action Meeting Written Testimony
January 26, 2023
by Dr. Cheri Micheau
As I have mentioned numerous times, it would be very helpful to the public if Board meetings could include reports from various offices at 440 about ongoing projects and initiatives, as well as reorganization and important changes. Following are several requests for information that should be a part of updates at upcoming meetings: