Education A National Roundup

State Review Panel Weighs in on Progress of Phila. Schools

By Catherine Gewertz — April 05, 2005 1 min read

A panel of independent experts, established as part of the 2001 law that enabled a state takeover of the Philadelphia school district, is recommending that the district analyze its improvement strategies and eliminate those that don’t work.

A report released last week by the Accountability Review Council notes that in the past few years, the district has made strong progress in raising test scores and almost tripling the number of schools making adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The panel recommends that given the “multiple strands of reform” undertaken by Chief Executive Officer Paul G. Vallas since 2002—such as tapping outside groups to run schools, adopting a unified core curriculum, and using new tests—the district should “assess the coherence” of its school improvement efforts to help identify the most constructive strategies.