Philadelphia School Partnership
The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) works to give every child in America’s fifth largest city the opportunity to attend a great school. We invest philanthropic funds in high-impact schools so they can serve more low-income students—whether they be in the traditional public, public charter or private sectors. Our aim is to catalyze the creation or transformation of enough schools to ensure better options for 50,000 students, or nearly one in four of all Philadelphia schoolchildren. Since 2011 PSP has invested in more than 50 schools, creating new educational opportunity for 21,000 students. PSP also works to create the conditions that enable great schools to grow and thrive, including a strong pipeline of qualified teachers and principals, resources and initiatives to empower parents and families, and policies that enable entrepreneurial school leadership and create opportunity for high-performing schools to grow. Additionally, PSP invests to catalyze collaboration, facilitating the sharing of best practices among schools and support organizations. Nonpartisan and data-driven, we work with government officials, business leaders, education leaders and practitioners, and community groups to pursue the promise of a great school for every child.
PSP believes that in a city as large as Philadelphia, there is not one best or right kind of school. Two hundred forty thousand children need a wide variety of schools from which to choose. The city has numerous examples of high-performing schools, and they span all three primary sectors: charter schools, district schools and private/Catholic schools. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of quality options in all three sectors. More than 35,000 students sit on waiting lists for the city’s best schools—which include private, charter, district magnet, and district neighborhood schools. Our work centers on leveraging philanthropic capital to attract entrepreneurial leadership and overcome inertia and financial and political barriers so that Philadelphia can have more great schools.
Like all cities, Philadelphia has finite resources for K-12 education. PSP believes the route to effectively educating all of the city’s children lies in fomenting and sustaining an educational ecosystem that steers resources toward effective schools, regardless of sector or type of school, so they can grow; increases equity of access to all school choices for families; and utilizes multiple measures of school performance to hold schools accountable for outcomes, thus ensuring support and—if necessary—intervention for struggling schools.