New SRC states priorities

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

The School Reform Commission under Sandra Dungee Glenn released an “agenda for action” October 17, stating several educational priorities that differ from the direction taken under James Nevels and CEO Paul Vallas.

The agenda emphasizes shoring up schools and classrooms during the regular school day rather than prioritizing add-on initiatives like afterschool and summer school programs.

It highlighted two “mandatory” priorities: reducing class size, especially in grades K-3; and exposing all students to art and music – meaning a restoration of such teachers in many schools.

Other priorities:

  • More guidance counselors, especially in high schools
  • More nurses in elementary schools
  • Adequately staffed libraries.

The statement also said the SRC was affirming the “diverse provider model” as a way to expand educational options for parents; examining “best practices” to improve “Corrective Action II” schools that have consistently fallen short of achievement goals; and promoting school safety.