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Comprehensive District Reform: Philadelphia’s Grand Experiment

This report from Benchmarks, desribes Philadelphia’s comprehensive school reform initiative beginning in December 2001 after the state takeover of the district. It outlines the implementation of the diverse provider model in which 70 schools identified as ‘low performing’ had a significant change in governance, either turned over to an external for-profit or non-profit manager, became restructured but still managed by the district or managed by a university. This report also describes the development of the Talent Development Middle School reform initiative, the most widely adopted comprehensive middle school reform model in the District, operating in 12 of the District’s 43 middle schools.