May 17, 2008
Publication:
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

The School District of Philadelphia, in the summer of 2002, at the request of the State of Pennsylvania, asked for-profit and non-profit managers to participate in a substantial restructuring of its lowest-performing schools under the overall direction of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission (SRC). Thirty elementary and middle schools were contracted out to for-profit management organizations; 16 schools were contracted out to non-profit organizations. Another 21 schools were assigned to be restructured by a newly created Office of Restructured Schools (ORS), a special office within the school district itself. Sixteen schools (commonly called the “sweet sixteen”) were simply given additional fiscal resources.

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