The morning sky is just beginning to lighten, but Corey White is anxiously checking the time. His school day won’t start for two hours, but he has a first period algebra test, and he’s eager to get a head start on today’s tutoring.
Every day, Corey, a ninth grader at Academy at Palumbo, is out the door before 6 a.m. His 40-minute trip takes him from the dense row homes of Southwest Philadelphia to this new special admission school in South Philadelphia.
There are some intriguing proposals in the District’s strategic plan, but these may get lost in the hubbub as the District stubbornly continues to pursue one bad idea that it should simply lay to rest – that by hiring school managers, it can hand off the problems of its lowest-performing schools.
Stemming the massive tide of dropouts will require a Herculean effort that no one person, organization, or city agency can shoulder alone. When Mayor Michael Nutter last year promised to cut the city’s dropout rate in half by 2014, he called for a new level of cooperation between the city and the District to help with prevention strategies.