Friday, August 16, 2013

How Arne Duncan could have saved Philadelphia Schools | A "Fuller" Look at Education Issues

How Arne Duncan could have saved Philadelphia Schools | A "Fuller" Look at Education Issues:

How Arne Duncan could have saved Philadelphia Schools

Posted on August 16, 2013

Much has been written about how Philadelphia schools got into the financial mess that they are currently experiencing. Some blame teacher unions while others blame district leadership or simply the inefficiency of urban district bureaucracies.
More likely culprits are the state management of Philly schools that put the district deep in the red, a state charter school funding system that transfers large amounts of money from public districts to charter districts that greatly exceeds the cost to educate students in the charter schools, and a state finance system that has become increasingly regressive under the new governor Bruce Baker has written a number of very insightful posts at schoolfinance101 that can be accessed below.

Stop School Funding Ignorance Now! A Philadelphia Story

Most Screwed Local Public School Districts Update 2009-2011

The Commonwealth Triple-Screw: Special Education Funding & Charter School Payments in Pennsylvania

Which states screw the largest share of low income children? Another look at funding fairness

How could Arne Duncan have saved Philly schools? Instead of insisting that states adopt unproven, research-free teacher and principal evaluation systems in return for NCLB waivers and Race to the Top funds from the federal government, the US Department of Education could have insisted that a progressive (or at the very least, equal) school finance system be adopted as a condition of receiving an NCLB waiver or RttT funds.
Interestingly, I was at a convention in Washington DC at which several US DoE high level leaders spoke. I Asked them why the USDoE did not adopt such a requirement. The three panelists looked