How Drexel’s public school experiment could change West Philadelphia

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Penn Alexander students celebrate after learning their school was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

Penn Alexander students celebrate after learning their school was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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Drexel University’s plan to build a new public school building on the edge of its campus is giving some West Philadelphia residents Déjà vu. Almost 20 years ago, nearby University of Pennsylvania also created a public school, Penn Alexander, that transformed the surrounding neighborhood in the process. WHYY education reporter Avi Wolfman-Arent explains why universities create public schools and what that can mean for local communities.

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