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More charter schools coming this fall

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Four new charter schools were conditionally approved to begin operating in the 2003-04 academic year at a School Reform Commission (SRC) meeting in April.

Philadelphia already has 46 charter schools in operation serving over 19,000 students. More than half of the state's charters are here.

The schools that are on track to open in the fall are:

  • Philip Jaisohn Academy Charter School, opening with 7th and 8th graders and focusing on language minority students,

  • KIPP Academy, part of a national charter school program, accepting 5th graders and expanding to serve grades 5-8,

  • Discovery Charter School, serving students in grades K-6 and emphasizing discovery outside of the classroom, and

  • Charter School for Public Service, a high school with a focus on policy and public service.

Three more charter schools were provisionally approved for opening in September 2004, but must still address areas of concern in their applications.

The SRC took a first step toward closing down two schools for poor performance when their charters expire this year - the Center for Economics and Law Charter School and the Renaissance Advantage Charter School. Issues at those schools will be addressed during public hearings in late May.

After recommending renewal or conditional renewal of nine other charters, Deputy Chief Academic Officer Ellen Savitz noted that her office's review of charter schools found that as a group they were producing no better academic results than traditional public schools in the same communities.

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