Radical change ahead for Philly public schools: The administration’s case

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    Students protest outside of a School Reform Commission meeting on March 29. (Bas Slabbers/For Newsworks)

    Hour 1

    In a decisive, dramatic and controversial break with the past, the School District of Philadelphia’s leaders have charted a course that could “blow up” the district’s structure, close 40 schools over the next two years and more each year after that, slash hundreds of administrative jobs, and create entrepreneurial “achievement networks” to compete to lead groups of schools within the city. The district’s hemorrhaging finances, due partly to federal and state aid cuts, have opened up hundreds of millions in deficits and forced deep spending cuts by the district, and Chief Recovery Officer THOMAS KNUDSEN says the price tag for not making dramatic changes could be a $1.1 billion deficit over the next five years. Joining us this hour are Knudsen and two School Reform Commission board members: Chairman PEDRO RAMOS and LORENE CARY.

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    [audio: 050312_100630.mp3]

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