… I just want to offer two thoughts on the governance question. One is, while it’s imperfect, I think the current state and city hybrid appointed School Reform Commission is probably the best model. Here’s what’s wrong with an elected school board. If you’ve been in Philly lately you know we are engulfed in a huge scandal right now about elected officials taking cash payments. There is a lot of evidence of that in Philly’s history and in urban politics in general. The smaller the race the more opportunity there is for abuse”.
Philadelphia School Partnership Executive Director Mark Gleason
No surprise here. The present form of governance with no public accountability and minimal transparency suits Mr. Gleason fine. PSP is free to maneuver behind the scenes, using money as a lever, to advance its privatization agenda.
The irony of Gleason holding up corruption as a reason to reject an elected school board is rich. The PSP, while operating legally, represents a profound form of corruption of democratic institutions. The monied few are calling the shots, elbowing out the public.
The antidote to corruption is more democracy and transparency, not less. This month we will be circulating petitions to place a question on the ballot to return our schools to local control and abolish the SRC. Join the fight!