Paul Vallas had a lot of terrific ideas but left more than a few loose ends. His departure presents a tremendous opportunity for the school district to work with the city and state to attract more funding and allow the mayor's office to take more responsibility for its success.
I propose that the city of Philadelphia continue to partner with the commonwealth but have greater representation with one more seat at that table.
As mayor, I will push for the creation of school report cards to let parents and teachers know which schools are succeeding and which schools are failing.
I will advocate for districtwide implementation of School Improvement Teams, so that all schools can be placed on a pathway to success. I will work to create performance-based incentives for our teachers to reward those who innovate.
To improve school safety, I will urge the School Reform Commission to rehire non-teaching assistants to monitor activity in the hallways during classroom instruction. I also will bolster school police and strategically redeploy them to schools with a documented history of violence.
Another way to help teachers is to reintroduce accommodation rooms. Disruptive students should not be allowed to hijack the educational process.
Success begins at kindergarten, and here in Philadelphia too many children reach high school unprepared. I will work to ensure each child gets the fundamental skills they need to succeed. Their success is our future.