- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
The Problem With Philadelphia Public Schools
Just as important to city politics as the ever-growing crime rate in our city, something needs to be done to address the problems facing our public schools. I read one blog on this site that said that the solution to the problem is to expand the schools that have long had success. Make them bigger, allow them to accept more students. The one thing that I DEFINATELY can say is that the way to fix all of the problems is NOT by expanding the schools that are excelling. Why brake what is working?
A lot of people are quick to say that the city's magnet schools (ie. Masterman, Central, Girls High, E&S, etc.) need to be expanded in order to allow more people to attend without looking at the reason WHY they are successful in the first place.
1)Masterman, which I have called "home" for six years, is by far the best school in the city (if not state). I do not in any way want to come off as conceited or arrogant, but this is fact. Masterman has always been (and probably always will be) the best, simply because it offers a learning environment unparalled by any other school - a SMALL population of hard-working, intelligent students. It's size and family-like structure are what make it unique. THERE ARE REASONS WHY 100% OF ITS HIGH SCHOOL'S STUDENTS GRADUATE!!
Nothing bothers me more than to hear of parents whose children were just not good enough to get in to Masterman calling the school board and protesting. This is the reason why a couple years ago Paul Vallas tried to expand the middle school into the Stoddard building down the street (which in the end failed miserably). The joint force of Masterman middle and high schools allows younger students to always have the benefit of mentorship by older students. If you remove the element of the close-knit community, the ideals of Masterman fall apart.
Sure, open the flood gates to Masterman. That way, the one of two nationally ranked high schools in the city just turns into an Olney or King - OOOOOO, maybe even Strawberry Mansion! Maybe people think that it is Masterman TEACHERS that are the reason for our success. I have one response...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Masterman students are brilliant BEFORE they come. Dont get me wrong, there are a number of amazing educators that have taught me things that I will remember for the rest of my life. However, logic and overall intelligence cannot be taught. Masterman was made for the district's academically elite - if your child isnt good enough, get over it. Masterman is FINE JUST THE WAY IT IS, THANKYOU.
2) Central, although our consistent rival, is yet another great school. However, when it comes to size, Central is huge. People who came from Masterman middle school to Central have told me on numerous occasions that they see someone new every day. AND YOU WANT TO MAKE IT BIGGER?
Then again, Central is huge. Im sure that there are a number of kids who slack off and dont care about school (just like neighborhood schools), but Central is so big already that a concentrated group of nerds can bulk up their ratings on paper enough to classify them as a great school. Not just for central, but all schools, what looks good on paper is not necessarily good in reality.
And Question - Why do some of the best schools in the city have the most run down, beat up facilities? E&S for example is a multi-sport powerhouse. Have you seen their gym? Two people cant stand in there without their toes touching. Now explain why Gratz was the recipient of a multi-million dollar sports STADIUM, one of many other super-sites being put up around the city. Why is it that the schools where the children are exceeding expectations are the last to recieve such nice things? I know that at Masterman most of our sports teams have to practice off-site - spending more time commuting to playing fields than actually playing their sports.
A few class mates and I were discussing this - how we had championship volleyball, tennis, swimming, and soccer teams but each of these sports (with the exception of volleyball) is forced to practice at various locations around the city (Tennis @ 33rd & Dauphin, Swimming @ WILLIAM PENN, and Soccer @ 42nd & Parkside). Then we hear about schools where college is not even an option for some, and yet they are the ones receiving the stadiums and newly refurbished pools and tennis courts. One person brought up, "I wonder if they give them these material things as an incentive to come to school. Masterman kids will come to school anyway (laugh)." And I agree with that thought. Why else? And yes, Masterman kids will come to school anyway. I wouldnt be able to say that if just any-old-body were accepted ;)). But its still not fair.
I'll have more on this later, I just felt like venting after I read that ignorant person's article.