Hite Reveals School “Action Plan 1.0” (Oh Goodie, More to Come)

Marking perhaps the first time anybody’s marketed something using the tag “1.0,” Philly School Superintendent William Hite, Jr. has released a 25-page document spelling out his hopes, dreams, and semi-concrete plans for the District. The plan is two pronged: improve academic outcomes and become more financially sustainable. His solutions for saving money (the District will face a $1 billion shortfall in five years if nothing is done) weren’t laid out very specifically, but teachers can expect to shoulder a good chunk of the burden, either through salary/benefit cutbacks or changes to hiring and tenure practices. As Hite put it in his comments to the press yesterday, “If you’re a teacher, it’s going to be a tough conversation.” (The plan also called for teacher and principal evaluation metrics.) While the teachers unions won’t be pleased to hear that, they’ll be happy with Hite’s plans to improve in-class “professional development” to help them tackle challenging students or subject matter–something they’ve asked for. In his comments, Hite also said that charter schools have reached a “natural saturation point,” suggesting he’s not as school-choice happy as it has sometimes seemed. Other notable aspects of the plan include: improving alternative education centers to corral back truants and dropouts; opening up curricula to more technical education; increasing access to early childhood education by better spending federal dollars. [Newsworks]