Charter operator, facing opposition, withdraws from plan to convert MLK High

Posted: March 18, 2011

A day after being named as the charter operator of Martin Luther King High School, Mosaica Turnaround Partners announced Thursday that it would withdraw from the plan.

State Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.) on Wednesday expressed his displeasure to the School Reform Commission that Mosaica Turnaround Partners had been selected to convert the high school in East Germantown into a charter school.

Evans has been involved with the high school for many years and has been an advocate for the nonprofit Foundations Inc., which has been working at the school, though not running it.

When asked if he had intervened to have Mosaica withdraw, Evans responded by saying that he wanted to "thank Mosaica for the decision that they made."

He also thanked Robert L. Archie Jr., chairman of the commission, and vowed that he would work to make Martin Luther King "the best high school in the United States of America."

In a district news release, Mosaica said it had decided to focus on its other proposed charter-school conversion at Gen. David B. Birney Elementary School.

Foundations Inc. was the second preference, after Mosaica, of the King School Advisory Council, which is composed of parents, students, staff, and community members, the district said.

The president and chief executive officer of Foundations is Rhonda H. Lauer, a former Philadelphia School District associate superintendent. Foundations is based in Moorestown.

Mosaica, a for-profit company, did not respond to a voice-mail request for comment left at its New York office.

It was one of three charter operators named by the commission Wednesday to run six low-performing schools as part of Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman's Renaissance charter schools initiative.


Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com.

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