by Karel Kilimnik
March 12, 2018
Reading about the many recent school shootings has been heartbreaking. School culture has changed so that students today have grown up with metal detectors, school police officers, and lockdowns. Resolution A-4 (Operating Budget: $500,000 Contracts with AstroPhysics, Autoclear, and Ceia – Weapons Screening Equipment and Supplies) tells a sad tale of what has become normal in so many of our schools. Veteran teacher Kristin Luebbert described a lockdown drill at her school in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Hearing the signal while in the hall with her students, she quickly shepherded them back into the room, plastered the windows with paper and sent the children to the back. Turning around she saw her students arming themselves with scissors, a heavy-duty stapler, and a bottle of Windex. They told her they were prepared to defend themselves and her.
Edu-vendors continue to prosper at the expense of our students. Carnegie Learning (B-3) siphons off another $3 million as the District extends their contract to “provide professional development services to approximately 1500 K-8 and Algebra I teachers in support of the District’s annual summer mathematics initiative (2018 Summer Math Institute).”
Carnegie Learning traces its roots back to the 1980’s, when researchers at Carnegie Mellon University developed an “intelligent” math tutoring system. (Carnegie Learning spun out as an independent company in 1998, and its ownership has changed hands several times between private equity groups and other investors.)
Other investors, thereby blurring the lines of accountability and transparency, routinely gobble these private companies up. They are accountable to their investors—not the public.
In January, APPS members submitted questions to the SRC about the resolution approving the sale of the former Ada Lewis Middle School in East Germantown. This meeting’s Resolution A-10 reflects a modification to the sale. How this will affect the community is unknown. The January resolution description provided little information. In our analysis of that Resolution, we share the details we were given at that SRC meeting. We need to keep in mind that Dr. Hite and Mayor Kenney are united in their intention to close more neighborhood schools. District schools receive no dispensation and have no pathway to appeal any decision by the Superintendent or the SRC to close them down. Five years ago, students, parents, and teachers in twenty-four public schools found they had no standing in the fight to save their own schools. Their stories were heartbreaking but caused no change in the decision. The state’s charter law, on the other hand, guarantees an extensive legal process for any charter facing closure, effectively keeping the school open for many years.
Drexel University (A-18) was chosen to manage the federal ProSPER grant whose origins lie to the North in Harlem. ProSPER represents the Obama Administration’s attempt to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone, a private non-profit with several charter schools, preschool programs, health clinics, social service agencies, and parenting programs. The Harlem Children’s Zone provides cradle-to-high school services provided by a private entity. Some of what they have done is worthy of duplication but not under private control where the accountability and transparency evaporate. The question is how much autonomy the District schools have in saying what their school needs.
…instead of outsourcing almost $ 4 million services this month, that money was used to put a dent in the estimated $5 billion it will cost to repair our public school buildings—from leaky roofs to deficient electrical systems?
Register to speak at the March 15, 2018 meeting. Call 215-400-4180 before 3:30 PM Wednesday, March 14.
Next SRC meeting: Thursday March 22 at 4:30 PM. To register to speak, call 215-400-4180 before 3:30 PM Wednesday, March 21.
Resolutions of Note
A-23 Categorical/Grant Fund/Operating Budget: $555,000 Contracts with QBS, Inc., Dale Carnegie Training, and KJR Consulting – Training for Central Office and Select Field Staff
RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission authorizes the School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute, deliver and perform contracts separately with QBS, Incorporated, Dale Carnegie Training, and KJR Consulting, for management and operational training services for central office program and select field staff, for an aggregate amount not to exceed $555,000 for the period commencing March 19, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
Description: This resolution seeks authorization to provide training opportunities for two categories of SDP personnel in order to improve outcomes and service: management and customer service training for central office staff generally, and specifically for the District’s Transportation Department.
Central Office Staff : The most successful grant programs have personnel who know how to effectively manage resources. Well-managed programs are much more likely to deliver the intended result of improving outcomes and student achievement. While the District has many training opportunities for instructional staff, there is not currently training available to program managers specific to developing and improving the key skills and attributes that make managers effective. Such training will cover numerous topics, including effective communication strategies, giving positive and negative feedback, coaching and developing staff, delegating tasks, time management, and running effective meetings, among others. In addition, staff that interact directly with the public will perform better if provided training on customer service focused skills.
Transportation Department: The Transportation Department seeks to build a comprehensive Professional Development training plan over a multi-year period that will support central office staff needs as described above. In addition, the Transportation Department seeks to address the unique training needs of Bus Drivers and Bus Attendants in order to improve performance and interactions with students and parents.
Contractors were selected using a competitive Request For Quote process (RFQ 181) to determine those most responsive to the needs of the District. Of seven contractors that responded, the three listed in this Resolution were the top scoring, each having extensive professional development experience and capacity, with each bringing unique skills and approach to serve various organizational need. The District seeks to enter into contracts with all three contractors. A survey of central office training need is currently ongoing, including the Transportation Department. Those needs will factor into detailed training offerings to staff. The nature and scope of the training will be developed with the contractor best able to meet the training requirements. Therefore, it is not known at this time the specific amount that will be expended on each vendor. However, the maximum amount to be expended from Grants is $180,000 and the maximum from Operating funds is $375,000. It is expected that contracts will be issued, and amended over time, as training plans are created and executed. The total expenditures will not exceed the total amount of the Resolution.
The District also seeks the ability to do two, one-year contract extensions with the selected contractors in order to develop a sustained training program for maximum impact. Authority for contract term extensions, and potentially additional dollar requests, will be made to the Governing Body as appropriate.
APPS Analysis: Instead of ensuring that the central office is staffed with experienced workers, the trend to outsource both positions and training of existing staff continues. Will the new Board go along with this movement of public dollars into the private sector? This description raises more questions than it answers. What criteria were used to evaluate these contracts? Who was involved in the selection process?
SRC-1 Adoption of Proposed Policies: Policy 248 Harassment and Discrimination of Students; Policy 348 Harassment and Discrimination of Employees; Policy 406 Charter Amendments; Policy 904 Public Attendance at School Events; Policy 907 School Visitors; Policy 913 Non-school Organizations/ Groups/Individuals
RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission hereby adopts amendments to the following SRC Policies, in the forms attached, effective March 15, 2018:
• Policy 248 Harassment and Discrimination of Students Policy 348 Harassment and Discrimination of Employees Policy 406 Charter Amendments
• Policy 904 Public Attendance at School EventsPolicy 907 School Visitors
• Policy 913 Non-school Organizations/Groups/Individuals
Description: The School Reform Commission establishes general parameters in which the daily operations of the School District are to be governed. As such, the policies (listed above and attached) have been revised and updated to align with current local, state and federal law.
These amendments to policies were developed with the support of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), pursuant to a contract entered into with PSBA pursuant to Resolution SRC-5, approved by the SRC on May 19, 2016. PSBA offers a comprehensive Policy Development Service that updates the SRC’s Policy Manual.
Additionally, policies have been reviewed and recommended by the SRC Policy Committee, pursuant to Resolution SRC-4, approved by the SRC on March 16, 2017. The SRC Policy Committee reviews and makes recommendations to the SRC concerning all matters related to developing, updating, and recommending policies for the School District.
The policy development process consists of an in-depth analysis of the existing adopted policies maintained by the School District in relation to the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations; the impact of court and arbitration decisions and recommendations based on governance, liability and educational issues.
APPS Analysis: Some charter managers and CEOs have fought against enactment of Policy 406, claiming that it would bring over-regulation to charter schools. Charter operators have said that they want “a seat at the table” when the district makes decisions about them. Time once again to remind those following this issue that for six months, from October 2016 to May 2017, members of Dr. Hite’s staff held secret meetings with charter operators and lobbyists No notice was ever given to the public, no minutes were ever released, no explanation ever given why these meetings took place.
When we demanded an explanation, we were told that the meetings were held to develop changes to the existing Pennsylvania Charter School Law that State Auditor-Gener DePasquale called one of the worst in the country. but there was no way to verify that. The press did not cover the story about district and SRC staff meeting with the representatives of the businesses they are entrusted to regulate.
APPS requested the documents from these covert meetings; we were informed that we had to file an official Right To Know request. We did, but so much of what we got was redacted that we had to appeal, and we won. That opened the floodgates and we were showered with hundreds of pages of documents from these secret meetings actually held when some charters were up for renewal. Documents showed that CEOs of charters then up for renewal did have a seat at the table, including Mastery CEO Scott Gordon. Mastery has refused to sign their new contracts, stating that the Charter School Office (CSO) conditions are unreasonable. Our question has been: if Mastery and other charters were chosen as Renaissance replacements in order to “turn around” public schools, why would any conditions be necessary? And why have the conditions never been released to the public, again, despite our requests? The protesting Charter Management companies contend that the CSO discriminates against them. In reality the CSO is simply upholding the state Charter School Law as they make their Annual Evaluations and Recommendations. They do not suggest approval or denial to the SRC, they simply present factual information.
A-9 License Agreement with North Broad Renaissance – Use of a Portion of The School District of Philadelphia Education Center at 440 North Broad Street
RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission authorizes The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute, deliver and perform a license agreement with the North Broad Renaissance for approximately 255 square feet of space on the third floor of the School District Administration Building, 440 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, in “as is” condition to be used for office space for North Broad Renaissance staff members. North Broad Renaissance will pay license fees to the School District in the amount of $4,207.50 annually ($16.50 per square foot), payable on a monthly basis, which license fees include the School Districts operating costs associated with the premises, including all utilities, building engineer, maintenance, cleaning, security and trash removal, for the period commencing March 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019, with an automatic renewal for one additional year, commencing March 1, 2019 through February 29, 2020 with a 2% increase in the license fees, unless terminated by either party with no fewer than 60 days written notice to the other party. The terms of the license agreement must be acceptable to the School District’s Office of Real Property Management, Office of General Counsel and the Office of Risk Management.
Description: North Broad Renaissance is a non-profit that will serve as a Special Service District whose primary role is to provide communication and information to City of Philadelphia administrators and Council, neighborhood and community groups and others who are (or may) do business, development or other activities on North Broad Street, from City Hall to Germantown Avenue. In partnership with community stakeholders, we are looking to revitalize the community, create opportunity, and improve the economic power and overall quality of life along North Broad Street.
APPS Analysis: There seems to be a lot of vacant real estate at 440. The incompetent Source4Teachers rented space before Dr Hite finally gave them their walking papers after an entire school year of miserable performance. In 2016 Kelly Services moved in (August 2016 A-15); 2017 saw the Urban Affairs Coalition getting space (April 2017 A-17); and now The North Broad Renaissance joins them. Is the District getting market value rent for these spaces?
A-10 Amendment to the Agreement of Sale with Green Starr, LLC – Sale of former Ada Lewis School
RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission authorizes The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute, deliver and perform an amendment to the Agreement of Sale originally to be entered into with Green Star, LLC or its affiliate, pursuant to Resolution No. A-24, approved by the School Reform Commission on January 18, 2018, for the sale of an approximately 7.40 acre parcel of ground, including a three-story building containing approximately 187,000 square feet, located at 6199 Ardleigh Street, Philadelphia, PA known as the former Ada Lewis School (“Property”) by adding a zoning contingency by which the sale of the Property is contingent on Green Star, LLC or its affiliate obtaining a zoning variance for the Property to change the zoning classification from RSD-3 to RMX-3. All other terms in the Resolution A-24, approved on January 18, 2018, shall remain the same and shall not be amended by this Resolution.
Description: By Resolution A-24, approved on January 18, 2018, the School Reform Commission declared the former Ada Lewis School, located at 6199 Ardleigh Street, Philadelphia,PA (“Property”), unused and unnecessary and authorized The School District of Philadelphia (“School District”) to enter into an Agreement of Sale to sell the Property to Green Star, LLC or its affiliate (“Buyer”) for $2,418,000. This Resolution authorizes the School District to enter into an amendment to the Agreement of Sale to add a zoning contingency to the Agreement of Sale so that the sale will be contingent on the Buyer obtaining a zoning variance for the property to change the zoning from a RSD-3 classification to a RMX- 3 classification.
APPS Analysis: In the January 18 Eyes we reported this sale to a company with the same name located in Phoenix, Arizona. When we requested the full resolution be posted, instead of the sketchy description initially provided, the SRC responded with a written answer that was distributed at the meeting. While we appreciate the staff’s efforts, this parsing of information shows the disregard that the SRC has for the public’s right to know—in enough time to take any necessary action on this issue.
There is still no information included in this Resolution on Green Star,LLC. One detail revealed by SRC staff in January: Green Star LLC is the Construction Company/Builder arm of the West Village Group, owned and controlled by Hillel Tsarfati. Their previous projects include Croyden Hall (241 S 49th street) and West Village (800 N 48th street). SRC staff reported the district’s plans for the Ada Lewis School:
The Buyer has proposed to construct market rate apartments on the site. The project is currently proposed to be completed in two phases. Whether any portion of the existing building will remain is to be determined.
Green Star LLC wants to change the zoning classification from RSD classification (Residential Single-Family Detached accommodating detached houses on individual lots) to RMX Residential Mixed-Use District (accommodates residential and mixed-use development). What does this mean for the Ada Lewis neighborhood? Every time a school is shuttered the uncertainty about the future use of the building sends tremors through the community. Will the building remain vacant for years attracting vandals? Will it be developed into housing they cannot afford and raise their taxes? These questions will continue to be asked as both Dr Hite and Mayor Kenney have said that school closures will continue.
A-18 Categorical/Grant Fund: $1,200,000 from Drexel University – Promise of Strong Partnership for Education Reform (ProSPER)
RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission hereby accepts with appreciation by The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, a grant from Drexel University for an amount not to exceed $1,200,000 to provide support for services, professional development and professional staff at Samuel Powel Elementary School, Science Leadership Academy Middle School, Alain Locke Elementary School, Martha Washington Elementary School, Morton McMichael Elementary School and West Philadelphia High School for the implementation and evaluation of “Promise of Strong Partnership for Education Reform (ProSPER)”, a United States Department of Education Promise Neighborhood grant, for the period commencing April 1, 2018 through December 31, 2021.
Description: ProSPER lays out an inclusive, focused cradle-to-college-and career approach to improving educational and health outcomes for persons and families residing or attending school in the federally designated Promise Neighborhood, a continuous two-square mile area in West Philadelphia. The District run schools are: Samuel Powel Elementary School, Science Leadership Academy Middle School, Alain Locke Elementary School, Martha Washington Elementary School, Morton McMichael Elementary School and West Philadelphia High School. ProSPER is a broad outline for a plan that will be developed in partnership with the local community, nonprofits and the District. Key impact areas include: Early Learning, K-12 Reform, College and Career Readiness, and Family and Community Supports.
Each school will receive $50,000 per each year of the grant, which will target supports against the United States Department of Education Government Performance and Results Indicators for the Promise Neighborhood grant. The District will ensure that the supports identified align to the District’s Anchor Goals, Schools’ Action Plan and Schools’ goals.
The schools will use the allocations as follows: Samuel Powel Elementary School: literacy and mathematics professional development and climate support; Science Leadership Academy-Middle School: career exploration mini courses for students focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics; Alain Locke Elementary School: a climate support position; Martha Washington Elementary School: literacy support; Morton McMichael Elementary School: professional development in the areas of literacy and mathematics and job embedded coaching support; and West Philadelphia High School: extended curriculum for students focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
APPS Analysis: ProSPER is a federally funded program based on Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone. His plan did initially have innovative ideas for qualified students enrolled in his charter schools and feeder preschool programs. He created a Baby College with a strong Parent Education component as well as meeting students’ comprehensive health needs on campus. However, one entire class of eighth graders was expelled for not meeting their testing goals. The Zone paid Canada over $400,000 a year. Harlem Children’s Zone receives millions from public coffers; corporate reformers are big fans and funders. Former President Obama was a huge fan, even creating federal Empowerment Zones to support similar programs. Cities competed for this money, and Philadelphia won a grant for schools in the Mantua area, which Drexel now administers. Who is Drexel accountable to and where will their reports be posted? Will these schools have independence in selecting their professional development or will they be forced into using SRC approved vendors such as Jounce and ISA?
Philadelphia parent Alison McDowell on Empowerment Zones in her blog Wrench in the Gears:
These initiatives open the door for districts to contract with outside management companies, while maintaining they are still ‘public’. Within these zones, significant changes can also be made to budget allocations, staffing levels, curriculum, assessment, even the length of the school day and year. Through the innovation concept we can promote competency-based, tech-centered curriculum and online ‘personalized’ learning as a means of being ‘future ready’ while doing more with less.
A-19 Operating Budget: $92,725,926 Contracts with 215-Get-a-Cab, ALC, City Cab, CPC (Germantown), Montco Transportation, and Philly Trans – To/From School Vehicle and Taxicab Service
RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission authorizes The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute, deliver and perform contracts separately with 215- Get-a-Cab, ALC, City Cab, CPC (Germantown), Montco Transportation, and Philly Trans for the transportation of students to and from school, for an aggregate amount not to exceed $92,725,926, for the period commencing July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2023.
Description: The District currently services approximately 373 routes with taxicab services. School vehicle and taxicab transportation is provided to and from school, including summer school, for eligible public, non-public and charter school students. Taxicab transportation is provided for special needs students when mandated by an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and school vehicle is provided for students whose domicile or school does not allow them to be serviced by a regular school bus route or would be more economical.
This proposed award represents completion of the public solicitation under RFP-570 issued on November 22, 2017, with a submission date of January 2, 2018, for transportation to and from school and bus attendants for any associate routes. This solicitation was sent to thirty-four (34) vendors. Twenty (20) companies downloaded the solicitation. Nine (9) vendors submitted responses to this solicitation. The District shortlisted seven (7) vendors based on their experience and expertise and met with them to discuss rate structure, fleet capacity and implementation timelines. For vendors with current active operations, evaluation committee members completed site visits to observe daily operations. Performance, GPS Compliance, service capacity and rates from the proposals were used as evaluation criteria. Based on their ability to meet these criteria, the District selected 215-Get-a-Cab, ALC, City Cab, CPC (Germantown), Montco Transportation, and Philly Trans.
Contracts with each vendor will be structured as a five-year term from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2023.
APPS Analysis: $18 million a year for taxi service? This deserves more analysis and public scrutiny. How has the district provided this service in the past, and how much did they pay? Temple, Penn and Drexel (which pay no real estate tax) have all expanded their influence, financial and otherwise, in the district. Could one of these institutions undertake a study to find a better and/or more cost-efficient way of transporting students? Have parents, teachers, and community members been been involved in examining this issue? We know of no public meetings on this issue.
Evaluation, Research and Accountability
A-27 Categorical/Grant Fund: $80,000 Acceptance of Grant from the William Penn Foundation – Support of Philadelphia Public Engagement with Education Data; $70,000 Contracts with InProcess Consulting and Mighty Engine
RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission authorizes the School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to accept with gratitude a donation from the William Penn Foundation, for an amount not to exceed $80,000 for the period commencing March 16, 2018, through October 15, 2018, to cover the costs of developing, enhancing and supporting the use of public-facing interactive dashboard displays of Philadelphia education data, to be performed by InProcess Consulting (IPC) and Mighty Engine, as well as associated implementation and evaluation support from the Office of Research and Evaluation, and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission authorizes the School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to enter in to a contract with InProcess Consulting (IPC) to provide website and app development, and associated project management services, valued at $40,000, for a period commencing March 16, 2018, through October 15, 2018, and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission authorizes the School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to enter in to a contract with Mighty Engine to provide market research and associated project management services, valued at $30,000, for a period commencing March 16, 2018, through October 15, 2018.
Description: Supporting Philadelphia Public Engagement with Education Data (SPPEED) project is an opportunity to extend and integrate recent work around data visualization and public engagement. This project builds on the work of two other projects: 1) a William Penn Foundation-funded planning grant to engage stakeholders and develop a plan for city-wide public-facing dashboards of key indicators (led by The Notebook/Research for Action); and 2) a District-led, ongoing project to develop internal- facing and public-facing interactive data dashboards and School Profiles.
The public-facing dashboards that result from the SPPEED project will:
1. Provide an overall city (SDP & Charter) perspective
2. Present information clearly, in ways that are easy to understand and intuitive to navigate
3. Include a small number of intentionally selected indicators for novice users on a snapshot page and advanced information for sophisticated users
4. Group indicators by important themes (attendance, early literacy, high school graduation, and college matriculation)
5. Be transparent about how an indicator was created and how levels or cut-offs were selected Specific IPC services will include data and app development on key indicators via Qlik, the IPC data dashboard platform. Mighty Engine Services will include market research with a variety of user groups, and providing recommendations on how to improve and enhance school profile pages.
APPS Analysis: What kind of data will be collected and visualized for public consumption? You can be selective in your choice of data and tell a range of stories. What stories will they tell with this data platform? To what end will this data be used? To reinforce privatization or to advocate schools get the resources they need? Always follow the money.
Categorical/Grant Fund/Operating Budget: $3,160,000 Amendment of Contract with Carnegie Learning, Inc. – Professional Development for Summer Math Institute and Math Institute Specialists
RESOLVED, that the School Reform Commission authorizes The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute, deliver and perform an amendment of Contract No. 0344/F18, originally entered in to with Carnegie Learning, Inc., pursuant to Resolution B-9, approved by the School Reform Commission on March 15, 2017, by increasing the amount of the contract by an additional $3,160,000.00 from $6,326,174.00, approved by Resolution B-16, to an amount not to exceed $9,486,174.00, and by extending the term of the contract from its original scheduled expiration date of June 30, 2018, through June 30, 2019, to provide professional development services to K-8 and Algebra I teachers in support of the District’s math initiative.
Description: This resolution seeks authorization to amend Contract No. 0344/F18 with Carnegie from $6,326,174.00, approved by Resolution B-16 on October 19, 2017, to an amount not to exceed $9,486,174.00, to provide ongoing support to teachers representing 70+ schools, during the 2018-2019 school year, who will participate in the 2018 Summer Math Institute. This resolution also seeks authorization to amend the aforementioned contract with Carnegie Learning, Inc., as indicated in the current approved SRC Resolution B-16, whereby Carnegie Learning, Inc., will provide professional development services to approximately 1500 K-8 and Algebra I teachers in support of the District’s annual summer mathematics initiative (2018 Summer Math Institute).
As part of an effort to ensure that teachers have access to the highest quality professional development in mathematics, The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) is launching its third annual summer math institute for approximately five hundred (500) teachers of grades K-2, five hundred (500) teachers of grades 3-5, and five hundred (500) teachers of grades 6-8 and Algebra I, on June 18 – June 22, 2018. The goal of this intensive, evidenced-based, professional development effort is to significantly improve mathematics instruction and students mathematics achievement. Each day will begin with a 45-minute plenary session for all participants, followed by three training sessions per day, a scheduled lunch, and 30 minutes of school planning at the end of the day. Each training session will last 90 minutes, instructing a class-size of 20 to 30 educators (including teachers, school principals, assistant principals and itinerant education staff such as teachers of special education and English language learners). Participants will cycle through 14-15 sessions, total during the week.
Carnegie Learning, Inc. will provide intensive standards aligned mathematics workshops for K-12 educators that are designed to expand teachers understanding of content and pedagogy during the week of June 18-June 22, 2018. The three main elements are: grade appropriate content; problem-solving in a learner-centered environment; and heightened awareness of teaching practices.
In addition to the five-day professional development, Carnegie Learning, Inc., will also: -Provide three (3) project managers for up to 50 schools during school year 2018-2019.
Project Management will include three (3) full-time Carnegie Learning, Inc., certified Project Managers providing job-embedded support from the first day of school in the 2018-2019 school year; approximately 36 weeks. In collaboration with the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, the Project Managers will work directly in schools with teachers and administrators, four days per week, to plan, prepare, organize data, and provide actionable support to school administrators. One full-time Project Manager can support up to 25 schools.
• Provide professional development to the designated school-based math leads. Starting in June 2018 and continuing into the 2018-2019 school year. The ten custom math lead professional development workshops will be customized to meet individual school-based needs.
•Provide registration and scheduling services, plus keynote speakers for each day of the 2018 Summer Math Institute.
• Provide 12 Math Institute Specialists to support the participating schools for the 2018-2019 school year. The Math Institute Specialists will be contracted solely through Carnegie Learning, Inc. They will not be recruited or hired as employees of the The School District of Philadelphia. (Qualifying school will be selected based on 50% participation at the Math Institute).
• Provide 1 Math Institute Specialist to support Hartranft.
APPS Analysis: The SRC has approved contracts totaling over $15 million with Carnegie since 2016 to provide professional development to District teachers. Last October, APPS members warned about edu-vendor Carnegie Learning selling personalized learning – more students propped in front of screens instead of interacting with teachers and other students (Eyes Oct 17, 2017). While publicly committing to stability and equity, the Hite administration has pushed the outsourcing of professional development along with the blended-learning model that disrupts relationships between teachers and students. There is a growing teacher shortage in this country for many reasons, but blended learning is not a solution. Corporate education reformers have blamed teachers for what they call “failing schools”, ignoring the devastation brought by an austerity budget created when corporate tax rates are cut year after year, at both state and federal levels.) This continual farming out of professional development fails to consider what individual schools need. It creates an out-of-District workforce with little accountability. Once the private sector takes over programs they are the deciders. When the funding runs out or profits are not being made, they leave despite District needs.