school choice pennsylvania

Excellent Education Isn’t for the Select Few

Originally published in The Philadelphia Citizen

Recent controversy over admission standards for Philadelphia’s selective schools made me think of my wife’s journey to attend Masterman when it was the city’s premier public middle school.

Zina, my wife, was a Black fourth grader attending Richard Wright Elementary School in North Philadelphia in the early 1970s. A straight-A student who had skipped a grade, she had every reason to believe she had a shot at the school, which now ranks among the top ten high school programs in the nation.

Imagine her shock when her principal said that no students in his school could qualify for Masterman.

Zina’s principal had not reviewed her test scores or report cards. His decision was based solely on a belief: Urban Philadelphia school districts that serve low-income, minority neighborhoods don’t prepare children for an elite education.

Read more in The Philadelphia Citizen