School board postpones vote on superintendent's 5-year plan

Superintendent Tony Watlington unveiled his plan for Philadelphia schools on Wednesday
Superintendent Tony Watlington
Superintendent Tony Watlington Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

UPDATED: May 25, 9 a.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — After nearly a year on the job, schools Superintendent Tony Watlington has unveiled his long-term plan to improve student achievement and accelerate progress toward the Philadelphia Board of Education’s Goals and Guardrails standards.

He will deliver the long-awaited strategic plan to the school board next week, and the board is expected to vote on it then.

Watlington said in December that the five-year plan would be collaborative. He has taken input from his transition team as well as students, staff and the public through a series of listening sessions.

“When the strategic plan is finalized, I want to be sure that Philadelphians can say ‘This is our plan,’ not Tony Watlington’s plan,” he said at the time.

The school district on Wednesday posted to its website a summary of “Accelerate Philly,” the school district’s five-year plan to improve student achievement.

It includes a pilot program for year-round schools — an idea Democratic mayoral nominee Cherelle Parker has endorsed.

Watlington's report was not going to be made public until just before the board vote — which was originally scheduled for May 25 but postponed until June 1 following public backlash.

Watlington has talked about developing strategies to raise student achievement above the 36% of students who meet state proficiency in reading, and 22% in math. He has also talked about ending the practice of launching initiative after initiative, without weeding out the ineffective ones.

“When I say that we will stop doing things that don’t work, we’re going to defund it. We’re going to defund things that don’t work,” he told KYW Newsradio in December.

He said his long-term plan for academics would drive decisions about school buildings, so the district’s facilities master plan has been on hold.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio