February 28, 2009

The School District of Philadelphia's Imagine 2014 Plan

Philadlephia got itself a brand spanking new "CEO" of its schools who promptly issued her plan to reform Philadelphia's well-funded yet under-performing schools. Here it goes.

It's full of pretty words and lofty goals and, by my calculation, stands a zero percent chance of working.

The plan's primary tell is found on page 8.

Elementary Schools


o Ensure that all elementary students are proficient in reading by third grade.

o Utilize multiple assessment tools to identify students who need targeted reading interventions.

o Provide students reading below the 40th percentile with the opportunity to receive half‐hour daily lessons for 12 ‐ 20 weeks from teachers specially trained in the Reading Recovery model.

o Improve reading fluency and comprehension of ELL and elementary students with language deficits by using guided oral reading instruction and building sight word knowledge in order to recognize words quickly when reading.

Guided reading instruction and Reading Recovery for the strugglers that's a recipe for reading failure.

Last I checked, poor readers don't typically find academic success. They also tend to behave poorly -- better to act up than to look stupid in front of your peers.

And just in case a few students learn to read with some proficiency they're going to be hit with:

instructional practices, such as the use of cooperative learning, inquiry‐based instruction, thinking maps, project‐based learning, simulations, hands‐on learning, and integrated technology

because this works so well with students having little background knowledge and low language skills, i.e., many of Philadelphia's currently failing students.

If they had a way to short these plans, you could make a killing.


Unknown said...

Sound like my district. Been there. Failed at that.

Unknown said...

That would be "sounds".

Anonymous said...

1) Parent Help Line:
(215) 400-4000 If you have questions about anything that affects your child.

2)Bully Hotline:
(215) 400-SAFE To report bullying, violence, harassment, threats and truancy. 24 hours / 7 days a week

3)Citizen Crime Commission Tipline:
Toll free (877) 345-TIPS To report crime in our schools or in our communities.

All just lip service. Sharen Finzimer the School Principal at F.S. Edmonds Elementary School located at 8025 Thouron Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19150 and John Holland at the Northwest Regional Office sweep all the bullying and physical assaults under the rug, and hope that the parent goes away. My son has been both verbally and physcially assaulted since being transferred to the school because he looks different. I lost time from work as well as sleep worrying about my son's safety and welfare. How can a child focus on learning, when the child is focusing on when am I going to be punched in the face again, or kicked in my back and stomped on by a group of children?