With Ramos at the helm, SRC talks changes

UPDATE, 3:45 p.m.

It seems that Pedro Ramos will waste no time in making his mark on the SRC.  As he said in an Inquirer interview earlier this week, he will bring a committee structure to the commission.  That should allow for better discussions of the important matters that come before the SRC.

A finance and audit commitee will be ultimately chaired by Feather Houstoun, after she's confirmed by the state Senate.  For now, Ramos will chair the committee. A commitee on safety and engagement will be chaired by Lorene Cary.  Joseph Dworetzky will chair a committee on charter schools, turnarounds, and facilities master planning.  Wendell Pritchett will chair a group on higher ed, career and technical education, data and school innovation.

There will be ad hoc committees, too, including one on ethics issues, Ramos said.

Ramos also said the SRC will look at changing some of its meeting times.  The current 2 p.m. meeting time doesn't allow many working people to attend meetings, Ramos noted.


UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.

Unrelated to the SRC, but worth noting - Gov. Corbett attended a rally at a Philadelphia charter school today.  Corbett touted the voucher/charter bill currently awaiting action by the state Senate.

Corbett, speaking at First Prepatory Charter School in Tacony, touted competition.  "Is this new system guaranteed to succeed?  We won't know for certain until we try.  But we do know that after more than 30 years of trying, the old system has been a guaranteed failure.  We need to begin now."

It's not clear whether Corbett's voucher plan, which would hit Philadelphia public schools hard, will get enough traction to pass. 


The School Reform Commission meets today at 3 p.m.  It's the first SRC meeting for newly-confirmed Chairman Pedro Ramos, and a full agenda is planned.

Scheduled are presentations on Promise Academies - district-run turnaround schools - and Renaissance Schools, struggling schools formerly run by the district but now operated by charters.  There's also a presentation on the "Great Schools Compact," which deals with charter schools.  That presentation will be made by Lori Shorr, Mayor Nutter's chief education officer who's working in a new role as "executive adviser" for the district.

Expect speakers to talk about the planned school closings, too.

As usual, I'll be live Tweeting the meeting.  Follow along here, or on Twitter @newskag.