Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:32 AM
xchrom (108,903 posts)
Corporations Advise School Closings, While Private Charters Suck Public Schools Away
On Dec. 13, 2012, Philadelphia became the latest major American city to recommend sweeping school closures for the next academic year. Under this new proposal, a total of 37, or about 16 percent, of the district’s 237 public schools will be shuttered this June. That’s down from the 40 schools the city designated for closure back in May, but still represents an unprecedented move in Philadelphia’s history. The School Commission Reform, an outside body appointed to govern Philadelphia schools, has scheduled its final vote for March 7.
Overall, 44 schools will be affected by the shakeup: Of the 37 to be closed, three will relocate by merging with other Philadelphia schools. Beyond this, seven other schools will face major restructuring – i.e., though these school programs will remain intact, the schools themselves will be uprooted and moved to other buildings, merged with other schools, and/or forced to add or subtract grade levels. About 15,000 students will be affected by the proposed changes. And though official numbers have not been released, hundreds of teacher and staff layoffs are also expected.
There is nothing democratic about how this happened to the City of Brotherly Love. Though officials gave lip service to the idea of “parental empowerment” through “ school choice,” in the end, parents had no role in deciding what policies would be enforced. Everything was outsourced. As a Pew study reports, the city consulted with “URS Corp., a California-based engineering design firm, and DeJong-Richter, an Ohio-based company that specializes in school-closing issues” to come to its final consensus. Though town hall meetings were organized between 2010 and 2012 to hear citizen concerns, the closures, relocations and reconfigurations were ultimately decided by the consulting firms, with no serious input from locals.
2 replies, 600 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Corporations Advise School Closings, While Private Charters Suck Public Schools Away (Original post)
Response to xchrom (Original post)
Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:42 AM
bemildred (90,061 posts)
1. Look, our political leaders have been attacking the public school system since the end of Vietnam.
This is just one small part of that. The reasons are not hard to see.