50 years ago today, a fairly remarkable thing happened in the world of #phled.

Richardson Dilworth -- former mayor and current school board president -- proposed breaking up the suburban school districts and merging them with Philadelphia.

Yes, this happened....(thread)
The School District of Philadelphia was in dire financial straits in 1971.

Dilworth said the only path to solvency was to create 12 mega districts. Each would include a portion of Philadelphia and portion of the suburbs and educate 50,000 students at maximum.
The School District of Philadelphia, as constructed, was "as manageable as a room full of Jell-O," Dilworth told a crowd at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
Remarkably, the head of the Greater Philadelphia Development Corp. actually agreed (publicly!) with Dilworth, according to the Inquirer.
When an official from Chester County said he preferred to keep the "status quo," Dilworth flamed him:

Suburbanites, he said, are "determined during their lifetime that no black people, Puerto Ricans or Mexicans will get into the suburbs." #phled
In a follow-up story the next day, Dilworth told a suburban audience -- to their faces -- that the suburbs were becoming a "white noose" around Philadelphia's "inner city."
Dilworth said that Governor Milton Shapp, recently installed, had the power to abolish and create school districts. He said he'd appealed to Shapp personally during his campaign.
Obviously this never happened. Philly remained its own school district. The suburbs remained carved up into dozens of tiny districts.
Dilworth clearly pushed his plan hard in January of 1971...
But I looked briefly through the Inquirer archives and found relatively little on the topic in the months that followed.

There was a lot more coverage that year on integration within the School District of Philadelphia...but I didn't see much follow-up on Dilworth's plan. #Phled
Something similar to Dilworth's proposal actually happened in Wilmington, Delaware, but that was related to a court order.

It's hard to imagine anyone even floating a plan like Dilworth's today. But 50 years ago, it happened. #Phled

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More from @Avi_WA

11 Jan
I'm looking right now at a spreadsheet of which parents chose virtual education in Philly and which chose in-person...and I'll say this:

Your assumptions are probably wrong. #PHLed (mini-thread)
Quick reminder: Back in November the district said it would invite students in grades K-2 to attend school in-person...if they wanted.

That never happened. But the district did ask parents to choose between in-person and online learning...
Here are the schools where over 55% of families chose in-person learning:
Read 11 tweets

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