Education A National Roundup

Complaint Says Phila. District Slighting Parents’ NCLB Role

By Catherine Gewertz — May 02, 2006 1 min read

A public-interest group has filed a complaint against the Philadelphia school district, contending it has failed to include parents in making school restructuring plans, as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

In an administrative complaint filed April 20 with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Education Law Center contends that while there are instances of parental involvement in developing the restructuring plans of the 97 schools currently in their second year of “corrective action” as defined by the federal law, the district lacks “a reliable system” for ensuring such input.

The law group wants the state to investigate whether Philadelphia gave parents enough opportunity to be involved in developing restructuring plans.

The district’s chief executive officer, Paul G. Vallas, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the complaint was “without merit” because all schools needing restructuring must have an improvement plan approved by parent representatives.

Mike Storm, a state education department spokesman, said the department does not comment on legal matters.

A version of this article appeared in the May 03, 2006 edition of Education Week