Worst Performing Philadelphia Schools Face the Heat

Written by Patricia Hawke for www.schoolsk-12.com

Philadelphia Schools at the Bottom of the Heap Face Tough Decisions
 
Some Philadelphia schools which are performing so badly they have been failing the No Child Left Behind Act provisions for five years in a row are facing the heat.  The Schools Reform Commission recently met to discuss a series of measures to tackle the problem at dysfunctional Philadelphia public schools.  No Child Left Behind empowers school bodies and regulating authorities to make a complete overhaul of a school system if it consistently fails to meet its benchmarks.  By the looks of it, quite a few Philadelphia schools are in the running for a complete revamping operation.
 
Reform Measures at Philadelphia Schools are Painful, but Necessary
 
This possible overhaul might include a complete change of staff at Philadelphia schools, or re-opening them under the new guise of charter schools. Philadelphia schools could also be handed over to private management companies and universities.  As of now, 70 Philadelphia schools have been identified as in need of severe reform and out of these 38 are already under private company or university management.  The plans for reform have not been announced but there already seem to be glitches in the process.  Authorities claim there are only enough resources to reform a maximum of 19 schools.
 
Opposition to Reform at Philadelphia Schools Pours in
 
Teachers and school authorities in Philadelphia schools are not too happy with the prospect of reform, and not only because it threatens their jobs. Many teachers claim they are being unfairly targeted when the core problem of the issues is the lack of availability of resources to implement No Child Left Behind regulations.  School authorities say that while the intentions to implement NCLB provisions has not been lacking, there hasn’t been enough support to back these in intentions.  Teachers at Philadelphia schools have been constantly demanding more textbooks and supplies for their students but their pleas have been in vain. 
 
Many officials also believe that poverty has cast its ugly spell on education forcing more students to fail NCLB standards. They feel these issues are not being addressed by those in power.  School district officials and community leaders say they strongly oppose any plans to hand more schools over to companies because past experience shows that schools under their control actually fare worse than schools whose management is entrusted to school boards. 
 
Whatever the issues in the lowest performing Philadelphia schools, one hopes that these will quickly be smoothed out. There’s an entire section of students- many underprivileged- whose prospects of a sound education and good career are hanging in the balance.  For their sake alone, school authorities and education officials must find a solution to the crisis, and fast.

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