The Philadelphia School District has released a proposal to restructure the district by dismantling its central office, closing the worst-performing schools, and reorganizing schools into networks run by current principals, district staff, charter school organizations, or universities under performance-based contracts. The new school networks would be organized by geography or theme, such as college preparation or community-style schools. The reorganization would go into effect for fall 2014.
The district is heavily indebted and for years has been plagued by low student performance. The following statement from Joy Pullmann, managing editor of School Reform News at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/731-9364.
“Philadelphia schools have long been a repository of student violence and central office mismanagement. The district’s plan to decentralize would fit with common-sense steps taken in similarly debilitated districts such as Detroit and Cleveland. Mayors in these towns have realized centralized, Byzantine bureaucracies only perpetuate the problems of the status quo, and they are taking smart steps to provide long-past-due restructuring.”
The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.