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    Schools chief releases reform plan, some are skeptical

    Philadelphia School District superintendent Arlene Ackerman has released more details on her plan to reform the city’s public schools. A large focus is on high schools. WHYY’s Susan Phillips reports.

    Philadelphia School District superintendent Arlene Ackerman has released more details on her plan to reform the city’s public schools. A large focus is on high schools. WHYY’s Susan Phillips reports.

    [audio: reports20090224schools.mp3]

    Transcript:
    Ackerman wants to get students planning for graduation as early as ninth grade by creating individual career plans, flexible schedules and SAT preparation. The superintendent also plans to close failing schools and re-open them as charters operated by organizations with proven success.

    Jolley Bruce Christman from Research for Action has studied how students perform in the city’s charter and public schools. She says Philadelphia doesn’t have enough organizations with successful experience running schools to keep up with Ackerman’s plans for more charters.

    Christman: “One of the concerns would be if you ask a charter management organization to essentially take over more schools are you pushing them beyond their capacity to scale up.”

    Residents will get to weigh in on the five year plan through a series of public hearings next month.

    The report is now available on the school district’s Web site.

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