Response to the Sept. 16 blog post called “Philadelphia Education Fund receives $3 million grant to support college readiness,” by Darryl Murphy.
Students at Kensington CAPA (one of the five District high schools that will benefit from the grant) are capable of college preparatory instruction, but the administration has to care about instruction. Having students apply to college is great, but if they aren't prepared for the thinking, reading, writing, and other demands of college, they are being set up to fail. There has to be a change in culture that says Kensington students are supposed to do more than come to school. This is true of many Philly neighborhood high schools. Either there is a select group of students who are rostered into college preparatory courses or there are few college preparatory courses. If the administration cares about instruction, they will support teachers who are attempting to challenge students while providing supports to prepare them for college. The current administration (and past administrations) are mostly interested in a "feel good" atmosphere.
The writer is a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia.