SRC, Mayor Nutter and Education Secretary Tomalis to make 'announcement' today

Here’s an interesing press release from our inbox ... Mayor Nutter, Education Secretary Ron Tomalis and the School Reform Commission are making an announcement at 1:30 p.m. about “increased cooperation and collaboration!"

What the heck is this all about?

It’s highly unlikely, if not altogether impossible, that they’ll be talking about a huge systemic change to the schools — i.e. the city having more control over the district. We’re guessing they might be announcing a beefed-up “education accountability agreement.”

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: It's Our Money was psychic! See the press release below for more on "phase two" of the educational accountability agreement between the city, state and school district. And check back here for an analysis of the announcement.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis and the School Reform Commission (SRC) announced a Memorandum of Understanding creating full-time Executive Advisors and a Financial Operations and Systems Working Group composed of experts in large organization management to assist in the ongoing reforms of The Philadelphia School District.

“Today marks phase two of the City and Commonwealth’s Educational Accountability Agreement with the School District,” said Mayor Nutter. “In cooperation with our partners, the City and Commonwealth will be providing educational, financial and management expertise and knowledge to the School District so we can better work together to educate Philadelphia’s students.”

“In many cases, the private sector has served as a model for the public sector on how to efficiently operate an organization,” Tomalis said.  “The working group announced today will be comprised of experienced individuals who have the knowledge and expertise to assist the School Reform Commission and the school district to reform their operations to enable the district to better serve students.”

The City and Commonwealth will both designate one full-time Executive Advisor (EA) who will work in the School District’s executive office at the level of the Acting Superintendent. The City will designate Chief Education Officer Lori Shorr, and the Commonwealth will designate Edward Williams, an experienced educator who will serve as a short-term contractor. The EAs will provide advice, input and recommendations to the Acting Superintendent and the SRC.

The Financial Operations and Systems Working Group will be chaired by Craig Carnaroli, the Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania, and will advise the SRC regarding the District’s financial systems, contracting systems, personnel control and general administrative organization. The Working Group will be comprised of a small group of executives from business, education and the non-profit community with significant expertise and experience in managing large organizations and systems. They will be tasked with offering an actionable plan to the SRC regarding financial reforms and system changes at the School District. The Working Group will begin meeting this month.

In June 2011, Mayor Nutter, Secretary Tomalis and the SRC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create the Educational Accountability Agreement. The MOU created the processes for increased cooperation, partnership and ongoing communications between the City, Commonwealth and the SRC.

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