Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What happened at King?

This breaking news from my colleagues Martha Woodall and Sue Snyder: http://tinyurl.com/3nr4h7p

What happened at King?

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This breaking news from my colleagues Martha Woodall and Sue Snyder: http://tinyurl.com/3nr4h7p

Essentially, Mayor Nutter has asked his chief accountability officer to investigate the Philadelphia School Reform Commission's handling of the King High School charter situation, including the roles of SRC Chair Robert L. Archie Jr. and state Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.)

King was named a Renaissance school in January.  It was to become a charter in September, but now that process is on hold for a year because of two providers' withdrawals from the process and questions about a private meeting.

Nutter said he wants answers. "I am particularly concerned about the many unanswered questions surrounding the withdrawal of Mosaica Turnaround Partners from the charter selection process," the mayor said in a letter he sent today to Archie, whom he spoke to by phone Sunday.  After the phone call, Nutter said he still has questions about what went down.

King's school advisory council, which consists mostly of parents, voted eight to one to have Mosaica run the school as a charter beginning in September.  The SRC endorsed their choice, but after a closed-door meeting with Archie, a Mosaica representative, Deputy Superintendent Leroy Nunery and Evans - who has ties to Foundations, a nonprofit that was the committee's second choice - Mosaica mysteriously withdrew from the process. Foundations withdrew late last week, citing a "culture of unrelenting hostility."

There are questions about the role of Archie, who recused himself from voting on the match because his law firm represented Foundations.  Nunery has said he didn't know what was going to be said at the meeting and was shocked by what happened.  Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has said she didn't know what went on, either. 

Should Archie have been holding meetings about this issue?  What about the district administration, particularly Nunery and Ackerman?  Do you think Mosaica was pressured into backing out of the deal to run King?  How do you think this will affect King's staff and students going forward?

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About this blog

Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham writes the Philly School Files blog, where she covers education in Philadelphia, both in and out of the classroom.

During the school year, you’ll frequently find her hosting live chats about the district on Philly.com.

Please do pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter.


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