Monday, April 28, 2014

Parents facing a charter takeover vow to stay “Steel Strong” | Parents United for Public Education

Parents facing a charter takeover vow to stay “Steel Strong” | Parents United for Public Education:



Parents facing a charter takeover vow to stay “Steel Strong”










On April 1, the School District of Philadelphia announced that its Renaissance-chosen charter operators Mastery Charter Network and ASPIRA, Inc. would be matched with Steel and Munoz-Marin Elementary schools located within these charter provider’s feeder pattern. Parents had less than one month before a school-wide vote on this process. The charter process has not been particularly welcoming to parents. The District charter office re-organized the parent-led School Advisory Council, directly accepting applicants outside its own rules. In a parent presentation last week, District officials painted a punishing portrait of Steel, calling it one of the worst schools in the city based on test data. But a comparison of test data with other struggling schools shows that not only is Steel far from the worst of Philly public schools; it has significant advantages in test scores even over Mastery schools, especially those that are nearby.
The parent vote will be held this Thursday, May 1st. Steel Elementary parent Kendra Brooks agreed to allow us to re-print her testimony before the School Reform Commission last Thursday. 

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STEEL-STRONG“I am speaking today as the president of the Steel school SAC because I want what I’ve always wanted – whatever is best for my children and the children at Steel school.  I have been a parent and volunteer and booster for Steel School for almost 20 years.  Steel’s children are the reason I became part of the SAC, and that is the reason I have been working diligently as the SAC president.
When the district suddenly announced that they may be turning Steel into a Renaissance Charter that is controlled by Mastery, I continued to stay engaged and focused on making sure parents had a voice in doing what is best for our children.  However I am very concerned about the efforts of the district and the charter office that seem like you want to make sure that Steel School is given to Mastery Charter.
I have been president of the Steel SAC for a year now.  The charter office, however, does not respect our role. First of all, it required us all to re-apply for a new SAC process, with one of the requirements being that new members must visit a Mastery school during the two weeks before the vote or they will be ineligible to vote.  In fact, long-time contributing SAC members who are unable to visit a Mastery school will now be eliminated from Parents facing a charter takeover vow to stay “Steel Strong” | Parents United for Public Education:

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