Originally published in The Philadelphia Inquirer
Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr. is right: For students within the Philadelphia School District, attendance is a life-and-death issue, particularly for students of color in some of the state’s lowest-performing schools.
It’s no secret that Philadelphia district schools are failing academically — 135 of the district’s 217 schools are “low achieving” and fall within the bottom 15% of the state’s schools based on statewide testing.
What isn’t well advertised are the other difficulties facing these low-performing schools. According to Pennsylvania Department of Education data, students in these schools are twice as likely to experience violence — including assaults, threats, weapon possession, theft, and fighting — than their peers at the top-performing 85% of schools.
Read more in The Philadelphia Inquirer