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Phila. School District Cancels Public Meetings on School Evaluation Design

(Philadelphia School District headquarters, at 440 North Broad Street.  File photo by Mike DeNardo)

(Philadelphia School District headquarters, at 440 North Broad Street. File photo by Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia school district has scrapped the remaining public meetings on its plan to design a new school evaluation system, after getting an earful from parents at the first one.

The district had planned six public meetings to get input on how to design a new “report card” to evaluate school performance.  But after the first meeting on Monday, the rest have been called off.

Parents are questioning the timing, wondering how you can evaluate schools when their resources have been gutted by budget cuts.

“We really felt all energies should be applied to the classrooms and the schools at this point, and anything else should be put on hold until we can solve the situation we’re in,” says parent Terrilyn McCormick.

Parents also questioned the fact that the report card was being created by a consultant and paid for with private money.

Then, parents who showed up for Wednesday’s meeting found it had been abruptly cancelled.

School district spokesman Fernando Gallard says the district wants the focus to be how a report card should be developed, not whether.

“We are coming from a position that a report card should continue to be designed.  We have one now.  We want to improve it,” Gallard says, adding that the district may move to focus groups or surveys to gather public input on the issue.

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