Chat 'n Chew: Connecting Education and Public Health
December 16, 2015
Who's Next: 16 Young Teachers and Leaders Shaping Philly Education
March 27, 2015
Apply for SEED 5.0
December 29, 2015
Why Philadelphia's Public School Problems Are Bad for Business
January 27, 2015
A cursory look at the state of the Philadelphia public-school system makes it seem like an Achilles’ heel in an otherwise growing, healthy City blessed by thriving businesses, bountiful universities and medical facilities, millennials happy to be in Philly…until they contemplate living here with school-aged children.
Talk to professionals involved in the lives of the 142,266 students enrolled in the Philadelphia School District’s 218 schools and you hear a different story, one of cautious optimism as a new governor prepares to take office he captured partly by promising more attention to school funding, as candidates take to the streets to replace Mayor Michael Nutter, as dropout rates fall.
You hear phrases like “agents of change” (the district’s 8,483 teachers), “no magic wands” (a commitment to hard facts and real programs) and “weighted funding” (to replace hold-harmless state funding, which requires at least as much money for districts one year to the next even if enrollment drops).
Mostly, you sense determination to turn things around in a school system the area’s business community needs to churn out future workers…and keep young professionals here by making them believe City schools can sustain families despite 5,000 layoffs (spurred partly by Charter-school costs and pension funding) and 31 school closings, mostly over the past three years.