UPDATE: String Theory removed from the meeting agenda at 3:30 pm Monday afternoon by EFCC, discussion postponed till March.
March’s upcoming East Falls Community Council meeting provides a chance to hear more about the hottest hot-button issue in our neighborhood these days. Representatives from String Theory Charter School will be on hand to discuss who they are and what they do.
Whether you’re for or against the school (or, like several people we’ve spoken with, you see both advantages and drawbacks), it’s your chance to hear more to help make your own decision about this complicated issue.
We haven’t come to any conclusion about String Theory, or its effect on Mifflin School, however we did tour their school on Vine Street in January to get a better sense of what they do. We’ve provided some pictures and links that may be helpful.
We also toured the school’s Dance Studio, which features ballet and other types of dance, and a performance space, a combination theater and television broadcast studio in which all studio operations are wirelessly controlled.
After the tour, we met with co-Founder Angela Corosanite, who gave us a history of the school and its reliance on a “multi-intelligence approach,” which uses a student’s unique intelligence to best understand academic subject matter.
String Theory believes students think and learn differently based on several different types of intelligences: linguistic and logical-mathematical (the styles of thinking measured most often on psychological tests), musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic (including large and small motor skills), interpersonal (an area of strength for teachers, social workers, and politicians), and intrapersonal (self-knowledge).
Hear more at tomorrow’s meeting about String Theory‘s plans for a charter school on Scotts Lane, and find out how it might affect our community.
BRUSH UP ON BOTH SIDES OF THE CHARTER SCHOOL DEBATE
String Theory’s Thayne Dibble recommends this video from Philly School Choice, “Charter Schools: 5 Myths in 7 Minutes.”
(summary quote at 06:10):
“The people in this city are saying ‘We want charter schools’ but then you have the few people… saying ‘No… we don’t want any more charter schools.’ Why? Lemme tell you how many people who are in the union, their children go to charter schools. See, I figure we need to do a survey like that!”
And yet, many of those myths in the video above appear in this linked-up Pittsburgh blog piece picked up by the Washington Post, “Twelve Problems with Charter Schools” (which kinda highlights some of the inflammatory conversations the issue of charter schools can incite).
Further information supporting Philadelphia charter schools:
Great Philly Schools “Understanding Public Charter Schools”
Technical Philly “String Theory is Developing the Next Leaders of a Creative Society”
National Review “Philadelphia Parents are Fighting for School Choice, and Winning”
Online petition with names of East Fallsers who’ve recently signed in support of String Theory.
We reached out to Friends of Mifflin as well as Principal Mason & the Philadelphia School District, but have not heard back regarding where our local public school stands on this issue. For more on this side of the story, please visit The Notebook, a website “for Friends of Philadelphia’s Public Schools” with general information and a range of user comments about String Theory.
In addition, the South Philly Review’s written a nice back & forth kinda piece, “Chartering Charter’s Future in Philadelphia,” that weighs both sides pretty effectively. And here’s another from Philly Mag (“Time for Real Talk on Charters”).
And how deeply do we wanna look at the possibly racist history of the Charter School movement itself? Certainly ties to segregation can’t be overlooked — as recently as last December, the ACLU filed a complaint against charter school policies in nearby Delaware.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia School Partnership just offered $35 MILLION DOLLARS to the city school district this week, as 40 new charter school applications await approval. And finally, an op-ed Inquirer piece charges that all this “Pro/Con” discussion about charter schools is a red herring distracting us from the conversations we should be having about taxes, funding & pension reforms.
Whew! Toldja it was a complicated issue!
See you Monday at 7PM at the Presbyterian Church (3800 Vaux Street)! Find out more about String Theory, Mifflin School, and other aspects of this critically important issue.
EXCITING POST-MEETING RECAP at Billy Murphy’s to follow… Even if you can’t make the meeting, come out for the latest hubbub!