Thank you to Everyone Who Helped Develop Goals & Guardrails!

Posted on December 17, 2020
Categories: Blog, Insights with the Board

Now that the Board of Education has formally adopted Goals & Guardrails at its December 10th action meeting, we would like to express our gratitude to all those who helped inform this strategic vision and five-year plan that will focus intently on student learning and achievement.

We spent the past two years listening to the community, learning more about District operations at committee meetings and meeting with school boards across the country to inform our work. These diverse voices have been so helpful as we navigated a path forward.

In just the past two months, Board members have met with more than 100 different stakeholders and community members to share information and gain feedback on Goals & Guardrails. In addition, the Board has held town hall meetings for District students and staff to share information and to answer questions.

The Board especially appreciates the work of its Parent and Community Advisory Council, The Council of the Great City Schools, AJ Crabill, Mike Casserly, Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Dr. Tonya Wolford, Naomi Wyatt, Alicia Prince and members of the Board staff.

The Board also recognizes the importance of having community members’ viewpoints which are often shared during action meetings and in our community meetings. “I thank the many community members who have shared their perspectives with us and built this work,” said Board President Joyce Wilkerson.

The Board also appreciates the support that Goals & Guardrails is receiving from the community and would like to share the following notes of support.

Notes of Support for Goals & Guardrails

As a long-standing partner in support of quality education working closely with the School District of Philadelphia and members of the business and civic community, we applaud the Philadelphia School Board’s Goals & Guardrails initiative with its focus on student achievement and helping every student reach their full potential. Ensuring that all students are provided an education that encourages them to thrive and succeed is imperative in our global society.

— Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia President and CEO Rob Wonderling

I applaud the District and the Board for doing this. I know a lot of people won’t be happy, but I believe it’s something that really needs to get done, and the fact that the guardrails are there and include all stakeholders and how they can support the students and the fact that the District is committing to this, even in the middle of COVID, is remarkable; and if we want to see a big change, we have to be willing to make a big change. This is going to take a lot of will and a tough change, but I think everyone needs to step up and get on board with this if we want to see a difference, or we will continue to be in the same place.

–Tony Rocco, Member, Parent and Community Advisory Council


It is imperative that we keep the needs of our students front and center in all of our decision-making. When there are so many priorities competing for our attention, it is easy to lose our focus on students. It requires intention and commitment to stay true to their needs. I commend the school board for not just choosing a student-first approach to their work as a governing body, but for instituting Goals & Guardrails to guide their thinking, their actions and their votes.  And, I thank them for sharing these Goals & Guardrails publicly both as an accountability measure, but also as an invitation to organizations, like the Philadelphia Education Fund, to partner in the effort.

— Farah Jimenez, President and CEO, Philadelphia Education Fund

PIDC wants to see a Philadelphia economy that is growing, diversified, and inclusive, and which supports a high-quality of life for everyone who lives and works in our city. The School District’s commitments to Goals & Guardrails that give each student what they need to reach their fullest potential will both prepare our emerging citizens to fully participate in our city’s economy and provide our entrepreneurs and employers with the access to the diverse talent they need to grow.

–Anne Bovaird Nevins, President, PIDC


I’m proud of the tremendous amount of work the Board of Education has done to establish its new Goals & Guardrails initiative that fundamentally restructures Board operations, so the Board can focus intently on student achievement while giving the public new ways to hold the Board accountable for its work.

–Mayor Jim Kenney