Philadelphia’s collaboration among public, charter, and Catholic schools is getting a financial shot in the arm from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The effort among Philadelphia’s district, charter, and archdiocesan schools known as the “Great Schools Compact” has received a $2.5-million grant from the Gates Foundation.
Philadelphia's traditional public schools, charters and Catholic schools historically have been rivals.
Now they are receiving $2.5 million over the next three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to foster greater collaboration.
Philadelphia already has some schools that are really good. So why not focus on sending those schools more money and more students? That’s the basic challenge facing the District, says Mark Gleason, the executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership.
"The majority of families in Philadelphia wish they had more high quality school options to choose from," said Mark Gleason, the executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership and a central figure in the Great Schools Compact. "They don't understand why, if we have example of schools that are really good, why can't we have more of them."
The city and the Philadelphia School District will move aggressively on a pledge to eliminate 50,000 seats in the lowest-performing city schools, Mayor Nutter promised Tuesday.
Nutter and members of the School Reform Commission will travel to Denver this week to examine how schools work there. Denver has decentralized many of its school operations and was one of the first cities in the United States to sign a compact promoting cooperation between its school district and charter schools.