Corporate Greed Threatens Gains in City High SchoolsTake a look at this piece on Hallwatch, which condemns the School Reform Commission for considering the elimination of a highly successful program that targets low-income high school students, called the "Talent Development Model."
This program is being run at 5 high schools in the city and is based on a model created by John Hopkins University. It has "boosted attendance, on-time promotion, graduation, and successful completion of algebra at Philadelphia high schools," according to the new research findings reported in an excellent piece by the Philadelphia Public School Notebook. In short, this new model has been successful at creating the kinds of advances and improvements that Paul Vallas pays lip service to regularly.
So, why is the program in jeopardy?
Money of course. The implementation of this new model costs $300 more per student then is spent in other high schools managed by the District. However, the argument for shutting down a successful, quantitatively proven program due to fiscal belt tightening looks pretty flimsy when this year's budget include even more expansions of private contracts for management of schools.
Sounds to me like another case of Vallas and his Republican puppet-masters looking out for their corporate buddies. Philadelphians can not let public dollars be taken away from a program that clearly improves performance at city high schools in order to give more to private corporations.
While Council and the Mayor dominate the majority of our political attention, the Republicans have taken over powerful agencies like the Parking Authority and the School District and are giving away the farm as fast as they can.
You can weigh in these and other Republican hijinks at the SRC meeting today:
What: Public Meeting of School Reform Commission
Where: Central Administration Building, 21st and the Parkway
When: Wednesday, June 8, 2005 at 1:00 pm