94% decline in librarians for Philadelphia's public schools


Let’s be fair . If you lived around Philadelphia you would know the school district of Philadelphia has some fine schools. Central High school, which is a public high school, has one of the finest if not the finest high school libraries in the country.

“The Barnwell library is now one of the most advanced public school libraries in the United States since the $12 million renovation that was completed in 2005.”

This is a magnet school that you do have to test into, but it is accessible to all Philadelphia students. Mastermen is another example of a nationally top rated school and it is in fact also a public school in Philadelphia.
Please leave the broad brush in the drawer.

I attended Central in 1979, and 35 years later my son graduated also, so you see why I take this as an insult. I know you did not mean it that way, but please try not to make broad statements. If you Google Central High Barnwell Library you will find many pictures of this public school library.


Can anyone who wants to attend this school do so?


One school for well to do folks who have lots of home support for education, time to read, full bellies, etc. and another for everyone else (aka minorities).


[quote=“enso, post:22, topic:92746”]

One school for well to do folks who have lots of home support for education, time to read, full bellies, etc. and another for everyone else (aka minorities).
[/quote]Again No:

This is an inner city school. I attached a ranking of the top Pennsylvania schools. Note Central’s free lunch number’s, and it’s student to teacher ratio. This is NOT a privileged school. The difference is the students want to be there. Most arrive by public transportation from all over the city with hour long commutes. The school is almost exactly 30 % Asian, 30 % AA, and 30% white.


So the students who can’t pass the test don’t want to be there?

Did you completely miss my point?

So, students who have an environment and the privilege necessary to pass an entrance exam can get a good education and everyone else gets…shit?

I have a suggestion: let’s make good schools for all children. How about that?


I also could not get into Philadelphia’s Creative and Performing Arts High School because I do not dance, act, or sing well. That school has wonderful things for those kids, with those talents.

You said “well to do” which implies money. When my son went for orientation, the President at the times said " At this school you will learn next to kids who live in mansions, and those who live in cars" These kids are just driven kids, who work their asses off. They are housed in an unairconditioned 1930s building that has seen better days. There is no special funding for this school except what the Alumni donate, including paper.

Oh and the one thing different about this public school is you can be asked to leave if you do not hold up your end.

Actual demographics


None of that actually addresses what I said.
I’m sure “lots” of kids who live in cars can pass an entrance exam, assuming they have food in their belly and a family that values education and supports them getting one.

I’m done. You’re ignoring my point and pretending it is great to have one wonderful school (for those that can get in) and that it outweighs the idea of making ALL the schools good.


I am done too. Remember I posted a response to someone who said Philadelphia’s schools are awful (all inclusive). I commented that not all are. I never intend to solve the the public school funding/ fairness problem that plagues inner city schools. I doubt I could, since no one else has either. Just stated that not all are awful.


Sure, but a cheaper way to achieve the same positive outcome is to simply re-define “success”. That way everybody wins! More students score “Advanced” and DeVos gets to pocket millions in unspent edu-dollars as a bonus for achieving such outstanding improvements! Win-win!


No, there are ones for special people selected to get a real education too.


Do you not see a problem here?


Your counter argument is that there is ONE school in a city of 1.5 million people that takes kids with a minimum 3.0 GPA, high enough standardized test scores to get into exclusive private schools, and a perfect attendance record, then puts them in a run-down building that requires donations from alumni for basics such as paper to write on, and if they do well the school looks good (and if they don’t, they are required to leave, so of course any kid who makes it all the way through is going to make the school look good).

Wow, you sure showed us that Philly public schools are the envy of the rest of the country!


Again No

I mentioned another school, Masterman, that also has educational opportunities for children who are capable of handling an advanced level of classes. I left out other good schools like Girl’s High which used to be Central’s sister school. Other Philadelphia’s high schools have sub schools inside them that allow students with the ability to take classes to advance them through to a chosen profession if they are willing to work for it. I submit the following.

Students from all parts of the School District of Philadelphia student population compete to attend the Northeast High School Medical, Engineering and Aerospace Magnet School. The Magnet School Program provides a rigorous college preparatory program which attracts students with strong science and math aptitudes. The goal of the magnet school is to provide the education and that will engage the students and encourage them to pursuing careers in the medical fields, engineering, and the aerospace sciences.

Project SPARC is the after-school activity of the Medical, Engineering and Aerospace Magnet School within the Northeast High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Magnet School provides a full time academic curriculum to over 600 highly motivated students from the city wide urban population of students of the School District of Philadelphia. The Magnet School is a competitive entry school that attracts students with an interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The Magnet School provides a full time college preparatory program of studies to students with strong science and math aptitudes who are interested in pursuing careers in medical fields, engineering and the aerospace sciences.

This is in Northeast High that people may remember as the school Tony Danza taught at for a reality based TV show. If you saw the show you woiuld realize this is not a suburban wonderland of privilidge.

Again I did not intend this to be a discussion of the Philadelphia’s Public school system, but it is turning into that, so here goes. In Philadelphia, you do not have to attend your neighborhood high school. You are free to chose which ever High school you want. There are various entire school’s for special education. Central, Masterman, and Girl’s high are all schools for kids who want to commit to a extremely rigorous standards. There is a school I mentioned for the Creative and performing arts (think Fame). Like i posted other schools have smaller programs that range from the SPARCs program above, to Washington’s high IB program. There are also stand alone Vocational schools, like Dobbins.

Each year all the incoming Freshman are invited to Temple university, for a high school fair. Each school has a table that presents it’s special offerings.there are things like HVAC programs. The children then apply to whichever schools they like regardless of thier location. We have a robust public transportation system. All Middle and High School students receive free bus/subway passes regardless of financial need. There are no yellow school buses. This allows any child, with the desire to attend any school in Philadelphia to do so.

Now as to funding. We had a republican governor who visciously slashed Philadelphia’s school funding. The schools were begging parents to help supply paper and other essentials. One advantage to this magnet driven program is even schools located in poorer areas have some students with resources above the neighborhood norm. Any way, my son’s school, Central, had just won a major award, and Tom Corbett decide to go to the school to present the award in person, showing the Republican dream, that schools could still perform with less was achievable. That morning he found out the students were outside en mass to protest his arrival. He decided not to show up. He then went down to the main school building instead,and about a 1000 students jumped on the subway and chased the governor across the city. Not one of Tom’s prouder moments. He ducked out the back and never met with them.

Philadelphia’s public schools have their problems, like any big city. they do not have the funding and with inner city problems do not have the ability to save every child. A child who has had a bad home life, and whose family does not value education, may fail no matter how much funding you throw at them. All I know is I came from Kennsington (Think Rocky) and the school district told me if I work hard, and keep out of trouble they will provide a way for me to flourish. I will be taught by excellent teachers. I will be required to ride a bus and a subway to a far flung school rather than my local school, but I will be given the opportunity to learn German, advanced physics, and other subjects that could not be provide at every school. So whether you do not think Philadelphia’s magnet system is fair, you have to at least agree it is a plan, rather than warehousing kids in one school where some are board and some are lost because of the pace and scope.

If you read this far Thanks. I am passionate about this because they did serve me and my family and I will always be indebted to the teachers who pushed me as far as I could go. I hope you don’t think it would have been better if I failed just because they couldn’t possibly save everyone.


This is a travesty.

Up in my neck of the woods, budget shortfalls happen from time to time, and in the process, sometimes school librarians get cut. It’s awful. But: schools (and, in some cases districts) risk losing accreditation if the libraries don’t have full-time licensed librarians, so when those ill-advised cuts happen, it typically isn’t for too long.

Why people want to consistently short children on their education completely baffles me.


I did read the whole thing, and am very glad I provoked you into responding more fully.

Look at it from the point of view of those of us who have been around here for a while: there’s a piece about a 94% decline in librarians for Philly’s public schools, and some guy we don’t know shows up and claims that his family knows of one public school there that despite the significant lack of funding manages to take the highest scoring kids and do well. Big friggin’ whoop.

And even the argument that there are a couple of such magnet schools that require “only” getting a very high score on standardized tests, and also others that are specifically geared to particular subjects, including vocational ones. Again, big whoop. All big cities in the U.S. have this to a greater or lesser degree.

But then, you tell us there is something unique about how Philly does public schools: all students are allowed to apply to all schools, are given a mechanism other than the specific knowledge and skills of their particular parents to learn about all those choices so that they can make an informed decision, and are given free public transportation – whether or not they need it to get to their school – opening up access to the entire city of museums, libraries, etc.

THAT is different. That is a useful model for other cities to emulate. That would be interesting to learn more about: how it came to be, how it’s working, etc.


Well, you DO know why: this election has been an excellent example of the fruits of their labors.

If everyone is inherently equal – even, horrors, the gayz and “urban” types – the only way to ensure your own kids will always be at the top of the heap is to sacrifice the futures of as many other children as possible.


I just get tired of people buying into the zero-sum way of thinking. The “get ahead” and “on top” and all that are tiring for me.
Ahead of what? On top of what?
Why would I want to stand “on top” of anybody? That sounds terrible for them.


Not to mention that racist whites don’t want brown or black children (or any other minority) doing better or having “white” tax dollars paying for them.


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