Claudio Sanchez: The Crisis in Philadelphia Public Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

Claudio Sanchez of NPR did an excellent analysis of the tragedy unfolding in the Philadelphia public schools. The schools have been under state control for a dozen years. When Paul Vallas was in charge, he implemented a bold privatization experiment, which failed. Now the schools are vastly underfunded by the state of Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Corbett can find any amount of money to give corporate tax breaks, but he wants to extract $300 million from the Philadelphia schools. His big idea is to squeeze the money out of the budget by cutting jobs and teachers’ salaries. The schools have been cut to the bone. Many lack guidance counselors, arts programs, librarians, social workers, and in addition, thousands of teachers were laid off.

The governor (whose approval rating is currently about 20%) wants more charters so that private operators can take charge of the kids. The city’s superintendent, Broad-trained William Hite…

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