Philadelphia is among seven cities to receive roughly $25 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve collaboration between public and charter schools, city officials announced.
Philadelphia will receive $2.5 million to help implement additional training for teachers and principals as part of the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact, a joint effort between the School District of Philadelphia, charter operators, private schools and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to create more high-performing schools.
Specifically, education officials will create the Urban Leadership Academy, a principal pipeline development program which will assist 40 to 50 aspiring principals to obtain administrator certification annually; expand the “Train the Trainer” Teacher Effectiveness Program of Mastery Charter Schools to develop teachers in district, charter, private and Archdiocese schools; and create benchmark assessments aligned to national Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts.
The money will be managed by Philadelphia Schools Partnership, which will work with the compact committee to raise the remainder of the funding needed for these initiatives.
"Our Administration is committed to building a system of great schools to provide a quality education for every Philadelphia student," Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement. "This investment by the Gates Foundation supports the efforts of the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact to make that system of great schools a reality and serves as a confirmation of the Compact's dedicated work."
The other six communities to also be approved for funding are Boston; Denver; New Orleans; New York City; Hartford, Conn; and Spring Branch, Texas. They were among 16 communities that signed district-charter compacts.
Among the recipients, Hartford received the most at $5 million, while Spring Branch received the least at $2.2 million.