Student Achievement Committee Meeting: December 6, 2018

by Lynda Rubin

Attending: Co-chairs Dr. Chris McGinley and Dr. Angela McIver, Committee members Julia Danzy, Mallory Fix Lopez, Maria McColgan, Student Representatives Alfredo Practico and Julia…

McGinley opened the meeting. The November 8, 2018 Minutes were approved.

Every Student Succeeds Act Changes Assessment

Chief of Schools Dr. Shawn Bird gave his presentation on the first item on the agenda—modifications made to the federal ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) which has replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Pennsylvania’s plan, entitled “Future Ready PA Index” (www.FutureReadyPA.org), stipulates that schools will be judged on two years of data instead of one and will cover more than just academic proficiencies and less emphasis on just standardized tests. The new plan will track academic proficiency, on-track progress and college and career readiness indicators. Within those categories new items will include annual growth, English language proficiencies, chronic absenteeism, 3rd grade Reading and 7th grade Math proficiencies, 4- and 5-year graduation rates, and career standards benchmarks. The status of all schools in the state can be accessed on this Index.

There will no longer be the NCLB designations for progress and support needs according to Priority and Focus schools. The current categories into which schools will be placed for support are CSI– Comprehensive Support Improvement,  ATSI– Additional Targeted Supports and Improvements, and TSI– Targeted Support and Improvements. Schools in CSI and A-TSI designations will be tracked for three years. Charter Schools Office Director Christina Grant reported that this year 60 of Philadelphia District schools, including 10-12 charter and cyber schools, are in CSI and A-TSI categories. As of this meeting, the names had not been given to the district, but had been shared with the actual schools. Those schools assigned to CSI will be the bottom 5% Title I schools and high schools with graduation rates of 67% and below.A-TSI schools will track any school with a student group that meets CSI parameters in one or more subgroups. TSI will comprise, for one year, any school with a student group that meets CSI parameters for one or more subgroups and is designed as an early warning system. However, the progress of one or more subgroups (e.g. English learners, chronic absenteeism, etc.) will have more weight in determining the status of each school.

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APPS member Diane Payne responds to Hite’s Sweeping Changes

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The story by Kevin McCorry of NewsWorks titled District proposes sweeping changes for 15 schools reads as though it was interesting news rather than an alarming catastrophe.  The Philadelphia Public School District is being dismantled and it is being reported as though it is an interesting school feature by news outlets across the region.  The dismantlers are shrouded in cloaks of double-speak and everyone just nods their heads as though these double-speak words are their true intentions.

Let’s start with Dr. Hite, a graduate of the Broad Superintendents Academy.  An academy instituted by the uber rich Eli Broad who has a mission to dismantle public education across the country and thwart the democratic process. See Who is Eli Broad and why is he trying to destroy public education and More on Broad in Philadelphia at Defend Public Education!

Broad trains like-minded individuals in this academy and sends them across the nation to further these goals.  Lucky for him, Dr. Hite secured a position right here in Philadelphia and has been furthering those goals of privatization ever since.  There are many takers in this privatization grab because there are trillions of dollars in education.  Where there are dollars there are grabbers!

Recently, Dr. Hite made a slew of new hires…did we notice they were out-of-town folks with strong charter backgrounds?  One even came under a cloud of suspicion.  Do we care?

Then there is Philadelphia School Partnership with a very influential seat at the school district table. PSP is shrouded in secrecy, most board members are not Philadelphia residents, they are pro-privatization and does anyone care?

Then there are the SRC meetings where teachers, parents, advocates and community members ask, beg, and yell week after week and never get answers.  Does anyone notice or care?

Then there are the frivolous lawsuits that the district engages in to continue to thwart transparency and the democratic process (even when there is no money for basic necessities for our children). Do we care how much money the district spends on these lawsuits?

Then there is the very real fact that the two-tier, double standard system of charters and public is costing a sh$% load of money and at the end of the day has no silver bullet fix to show for it. Does anyone care?

Then there is the churn, chaos, disruption that is ever present in this two-tier system that sucks the life out of our district. Does anyone care?

This is alarming! We are watching the demise of public education and we are reporting it like it just another news story.

An Analysis of How Philadelphia School Partnership Has Implemented Its Mission

By Coleman Poses

PSP

August 26, 2015

Philadelphia School Partnership can trace its origin back to 2010, as a nonprofit organization with a mission to “create and expand great schools in Philadelphia.” To accomplish this mission, it had planned to collect and distribute 100 million dollars to successful Archdiocesan, charter, and district schools for their incubation, startup, expansion, and turnaround endeavors.

This mission coincided with the launching of the new District-Charter Collaboration Compacts, which would, according to the marketing, commit its signatories to usher in a new era of cooperation between school districts and charter schools across the country. In theory, there would be less competition for resources, and a universal enrollment would end the practice of schools luring students away from other schools. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation issued the grant to fund these compacts.

As of this writing, 21 districts have signed such agreements. Philadelphia’s agreement, called the Great Schools Compact (GSC), however, was unique in that it included Archdiocesan Catholic schools. The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) was charged with guiding the GSC as well as acting as its fiscal agent.

This article focuses on the activities that the PSP has undertaken.

Click here to read the full article.