Some teachers fear coming school “Renaissance”

    Schools across Philadelphia are abuzz this week after it was announced on March 30 that 14 schools would undergo significant reforms. Advocates say designating poorly performing schools as “Renaissance Schools,” will help them improve. But teachers say some are already getting better.

    Schools across Philadelphia are abuzz this week after it was announced on March 30 that 14 schools would undergo significant reforms. Advocates say designating poorly performing schools as “Renaissance Schools,” will help them improve. But teachers say some are already getting better.

    West Philadelphia High School is one of nine schools that will be turned into a contract or charter school.  The private companies or nonprofits that take over could hire an entirely new staff.

    Teacher Neil Geyette says that, in the four years he’s been there, West Philadelphia High has improved.  He says it has gone from a school plagued by fires and assaults to one with a new principal, new talented young teachers, and students who are more excited about learning because of new extra-curricular activities. 

    GEYETTE: “Our students… you know, they don’t work well with people they don’t know. And it’s taken years for some people to develop productive relationships with children. And a lot of our students’ motivation comes from the role models or teachers in their lives.”

    Five others schools have been dubbed “Promise Academies,” meaning the school district will still run them, but with no more than half the same faculty.

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