The Philadelphia School Partnership was founded with a mission “to accelerate” the pace of education reform in Philadelphia and to raise $100 million to wield its agenda. So why has PSP in its short tenure here become such a polarizing institution? Hmm . . could it be the fact that they:
- Have prominent voucher advocates on their board of directors?
- Cheered 24 school closures which our own Supt. conceded may not benefit students?
- Hired a lobbying firm to robocall Philadelphians to support Governor Corbett’s “doomsday” school budget for Philly schools?
- Supported the linking of additional funds for Philadelphia tied to undermining teacher professionalism?
- Lobbied to assume private control of student enrollment?
In addition to all that, let’s not forget that the Philadelphia School Partnership convenes and is fiscal agent for and staff to the Great Schools Compact which brings together top level Distirct, SRC and City officials in regular private meetings with assorted school operators to press its ideas.
Recently Mark Gleason – executive director to PSP – announced in a large national meeting of education researchers that the portfolio model he and PSP touted was about “dumping the losers.” Gleason complained that his comments were taken out of context. But a 16-minute audio captured by APPS’ Ken Derstine and our friends at EDU4 and ReclaimingAERA – in which Gleason confronts critics after his session – more than confirms his extremist views. Among them are the idea that religious, tuition bearing schools must be in a District portfolio (aka vouchers/EITC credits) and that the right to an education in the U.S. is not to a quality public school but simply to the following:
“Schools shouldn’t have a right to exist. The right in America is that a student has access to an education.”
Listen to him here and help us tell the District and City to end the Great Schools Compact secrecy.