47 Philly schools among Pa.’s 92 ‘priority’ public schools to receive extra help

    For the first time, Pennsylvania is identifying poor-performing public schools that will receive extra help from the state to get up to speed on reading and math scores. Nearly 50 are located in Philadelphia.

     

    The names of the 92 “priority schools” were released Tuesday in an effort to comply with the commonwealth’s federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind education law.

    The state Department of Education’s list uesday includes 47 Philadelphia schools, 20 charter schools and five schools apiece in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, teh Associated Press reported. Four are in Chester-Upland, two apiece are in York and Lancaster and there’s one each in the Allentown, Duquesne, Easton Area, Greater Johnstown, Norristown Area, Upper Darby and William Penn school districts.

    Under the new requirements, as many as 10 state contractors called “academic recovery liaisons” will be hired to assist the priority schools.

    Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq says they’ll help tweak curricula, teaching materials, and classroom methods.

    “It is important because of all the schools, they are the ones that are the poorest-performing, so it’ll be important for the state to drive extra resources and extra help in to make sure that those students receive additional help,” she said.

    In the past, struggling schools didn’t receive the same kind of targeted attention to different components of instruction, Dumaresq said.

    Instead, they were asked to come up with an improvement plan that was too general to be effective.

    The agency has set aside about $800,000 in federal funding to pay for the liaisons.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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