March 11, 2011 |
In a move that's a first for Philadelphia, one troubled charter school has handed over its operations to a successful charter organization. The board of the Hardy Williams Academy Charter School in Southwest Philadelphia voted Thursday night to join the network of Mastery Charter Schools. The Hardy Williams Academy, which was founded in 1999 by State Sen. Anthony Williams (D., Phila.) and originally called Renaissance Advantage Charter School, has a history of low test scores and has not met the academic benchmarks of the federal No Child Left Behind law in five years.
June 5, 2014 |
KEANU DAVIS didn't like going to school during his freshman year at Simon Gratz High School, and the numbers prove it: He was absent 30 times and arrived late 80 more times, he said yesterday. Davis, now a college-bound senior, decided to stay enrolled at the Nicetown school the following year after Mastery Charter Schools took control of the district school. It took a few months, but Davis noticed a change. Other students started attending Gratz with regularity - as did he. "My whole viewpoint of school and of life has been changed because of Mastery," said Davis, 19, who plans to attend Susquehanna University this fall.
January 15, 2014
A story in some editions Monday incorrectly reported the number of schools Mastery Charter Schools operates in Philadelphia. The firm runs 15 schools. A "News in Brief" item in some editions Monday about a burglary at the home of Eagles player DeShawn Jackson did not fully identify Denise White, founder and CEO of the public relations firm Entertainers & Athletes Group.
November 8, 2013
THE PHILLY High School Fair, a chance for middle-schoolers and their families to check out prospective high schools for 2014-15 enrollment, will be held in West Philadelphia. Representatives from about 80 city schools - district, parochial and charter - will be at the Armory at Drexel University, 33rd Street near Market, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 16. The annual event, which is usually organized by the district, had been canceled because of the district's fiscal issues; last year, it cost $137,000 to put on. This year, the Philadelphia Schools Partnership and other nonprofits are sponsoring the fair.
December 7, 2012 |
THE BILL & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $2.5 million to pay for new educational initiatives that will benefit Philadelphia's district, charter, parochial and private schools. Philly was one of seven district-charter compact cities that received multimillion-dollar grants Wednesday from the Gates Foundation, which handed out a total of $25 million. Each city has signed agreements with various educational sectors pledging to work together to improve schools. The Philadelphia Great Schools Compact has commitments from Mayor Nutter, the school district, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools, the state Department of Education and others to collaborate on expanding the number of high-performing schools.
October 2, 2013 |
ABOUT 20 PROTESTERS chanted outside a North Philadelphia charter school yesterday afternoon, claiming a group of visiting philanthropists were "deciding what education looks like in America, not the parents, not the students. " The activists from Fight for Philly and the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools protested outside Grover Cleveland Mastery Charter School on 19th Street near Erie Avenue, where attendees of a conference, "All of the Above: How Donors Can Expand a City's Great Schools," were taking a tour.
May 2, 2014 |
NEARLY 200 parents turned out yesterday at a Nicetown elementary school for a vote that should determine whether it will remain a traditional public school or be run by a charter operator. Parents and guardians at Steel Elementary cast secret ballots in the school's foyer from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., as the School Advisory Council cast a separate vote. The League of Women Voters of Philadelphia served as an independent monitor and tallied the results, which are expected to be announced today by the school district.
May 22, 2015 |
Mastery Charter Schools is poised to take over another former Philadelphia district school. The School Reform Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether Scholar Academies can hand over management of the Frederick Douglass School in North Philadelphia to Mastery. The district's charter school office will recommend the change beginning with the 2015-16 academic year. Scholar Academies asked Mastery to consider managing the school a little more than two weeks ago after the district's charter office said it would not recommend renewing the school's operating agreement because Scholar Academies had not delivered the academic improvement it had promised five years ago. Douglass, a former district elementary school at 2118 W. Norris St., was among the first low-performing district schools converted to Renaissance charters under the academic-turnaround program developed by then-Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman.
April 11, 2011
The Philadelphia School District has 70,000 empty seats, and that number will only increase as charter schools expand in the city and the district itself votes to cede management of some schools to outside organizations. We know the district is counting on $25 million in savings over the next two years through closing and consolidating schools. But which schools? No schools will close in September, however, and we don't know which ones will close by 2014, the target date for the district's "rightsizing" efforts.
May 23, 2015 |
The School Reform Commission approved a new charter school Thursday, bringing to six the number it has signed off on this year. The SRC had denied KIPP West Philadelphia Charter's application in February, but the organization tweaked the proposal, making changes to proposed school governance, academic certification, location, and opening date. On second pass, the SRC approved the school's charter, 3-1. But it was not a ringing endorsement. Chairwoman Marjorie Neff voted against the charter, and Commissioner Feather Houstoun said she felt it did not rise to the level of other applications, but was approving it because leaving the board deadlocked put the SRC on shaky ground legally.