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Question: So, what you are saying is that most of the good students have left the Philadelphia inner city schools. How can that be? Where do they go?

Yes, students have left the Philadelphia inner-city schools in large numbers. Five years ago, there were 200,000 students in the Philly schools. Today, about 113,000. What's going on? Parents who care about their children want them out of the Philadelphia schools. If they cannot move out of the city, they search for an alternative school. Such as:

 

Magnet Schools: Here's where the top students go. Students can transfer to the district's 39 magnet schools through test scores, letters of recommendation, writing samples, and oral presentations.​

 

Charter Schools: Philadelphia has over 100 charter schools, of which 34 are high schools. Charter schools are public schools managed privately. Because of the number of students wanting to attend a charter school, many charter schools have a lottery system for entrance. 

 

Catholic Schools: Philadelphia has 60 Catholic schools managed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Catholic schools have tuition ranging anywhere from $2,500 to $4,500 annually.

Here's the thing. The School District of Philadelphia has an opportunity to make a difference. The remaining students in the district need help with basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills. Instead of steering committees and listening seminars, the Superintendent's goal should be to teach basic skills and end truancy. He must find a way to prevent almost half of the students from quitting school. He needs to deal with the disruptive students in the school. If he can do that, then yes, he is a genius.

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