At fiery meeting, SRC moves to revoke charter school's status

Posted: April 27, 2014

PHILADELPHIA At the end of a marathon meeting, the School Reform Commission voted late Thursday to begin the process of suspending the charter of the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners School.

It also adopted a new charter policy and renewed the charters of several schools.

Four commissioners supported the resolution to begin shutdown proceedings for Palmer. Sylvia Simms voted no, but did not explain why. Farah Jimenez said she voted yes reluctantly.

The charter policy passed by a 4-1 vote as well. Feather O. Houstoun voted no, she said, because she believes having the charter office report directly to the SRC is problematic. Houstoun said the office should remain under the superintendent.

The SRC granted five-year renewals to Mariana Bracetti, Global Leadership Academy, Franklin Towne, and Philadelphia Montessori Charter Schools. It put off a vote on the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School.

While that school is a top academic performer, commissioners expressed concerns about its student body, which does not reflect the diversity of its South Philadelphia neighborhood or the city at large. They said they wanted a written plan for how the school plans to improve diversity before they grant a charter renewal.



kgraham@phillynews.com

215-854-5146 @newskag

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