According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which compares educational performance across all 50 states and major cities, Philadelphia public schools compare poorly, even to other large urban school systems.
Less than 20 percent of fourth and eighth-grade students in Philadelphia public schools are proficient in reading or math on the NAEP—far worse than other large city schools as well as to the national average.
Out of the 18 large cities, Philadelphia fourth grade students ranked 16th in reading and 13th in math; eighth grade students ranked 13th in reading and 9th in math.
Likewise, Philly schools performed poorly on Pennsylvania’s statewide proficiency test. Seventy-three of Philadelphia’s public schools scored among the 144 worst performing in the state. In these Philadelphia schools, students experienced more than 3,876 violent incidents, including 438 thefts and seven rapes in the 2008-09 school year alone.
Our kids can’t afford to spend another school day where the three R’s have turned into robberies, riots and rapes. While some Pennsylvania schools are doing a great job educating students, the children left behind in Philadelphia and other failing schools across the state need a lifeline.