Kudos to Keith Newman for his Letter to the Editor (see below) in Wednesday’s Inquirer on the failings of the 'Diverse Provider Model' and successes of the District's own creation, the 'Restructured Schools Model.' (Yet, which model lives on in our children's academic careers, and which was sent to the "Graveyard of Philly School Reform Models?") In any event, thanks, Keith, for keeping the issue in the spotlight!
SAYING ONE THING ... (Letter to Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 2007)
In a letter June 25, members of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission said they were "focused on balancing the budget without injuring key reforms already in place, such as the movement to smaller high schools, smaller class sizes, teacher certification, and the extended-day program." It would be wonderful if all this were true, but sadly it isn't.
The School Reform Commission initiated the "Diverse Provider Model" to try different solutions for a stubborn problem. For this it should be praised. But of these diverse solutions one stood out - the Office of Restructured Schools, which was responsible for 16 of the most obstinate schools. It demonstrated improvement far above other reform models, including charter schools.
Yet it was eliminated, while failed models, such as Edison, continue to receive extra funding. We can thank the SRC for demonstrating what works. Now we need someone who can implement what we've learned.
The writer, a teacher in the district, is a member of the Parents United advocacy group.
(Philadelphia Inquirer, Wed., July 11, 2007, Philadelphia Media Holdings,