This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Philadelphia City Council’s hearings yesterday on the school-closings plan featured testimony from a number of Philadelphia’s education stakeholders. Some organizations have published their testimony, which are linked to below:
- Philadelphia School Partnership’s executive director Mark Gleason’s testimony displayed some figures regarding the graduation rate, student proficiency level, racial impact, and safety issues about the specific schools subject for closure.
- Donna Cooper, executive director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, said City Council and the city needs to ask itself two important questions: 1.) Will receiving schools be “as good, at a minimum, or ideally better” than the closing schools? and 2.) How can the city and the District ensure that “shuttered buildings quickly become new community assets"?
- Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan talked about why a one-year moratorium is needed, saying that “a moratorium would give us the time to develop real alternatives and solutions.”
- After stating that her organization doesn’t have a stance on the District’s proposal, the executive director of Research for Action, Kate Shaw, talked about other major cities’ experiences regarding school closings, and what they say about “the potential impact of the closing plan on Philadelphia and its families and students.”