May 24, 2005

No, this post has nothing to do with an upcoming school board meeting, nor will it detail lunch menus in nearby schools (a scary thought on its own to anyone who has seen “Super Size Me,”), but instead to point readers to two interesting items about Philadelphia schools in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

In “High School for International Studies Proposed,” by Susan Snyder we read [Note: Hyperlinks added.]:

The University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia School District plan to create a high school in the university’s West Philadelphia neighborhood that will focus on international studies.

The school, which would open in September 2006 at a location that has not been determined, is slated to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of a new network of international high schools, officials said yesterday.

Students will study world languages, take an international curriculum integrated across subjects, be connected to schools worldwide via technology, and be immersed in community service for groups with worldwide links -- which could even include international internships. […]

Paul Vallas, Philadelphia schools chief, hailed the project as yet another potential jewel in the district’s efforts to create smaller high schools. The district also plans to open new high schools in 2006 in partnership with Microsoft Corp. and the Franklin Institute.

Many details for the new international-study high school have yet to be worked out. It could be as small as 400 students. Whether it would serve solely as a neighborhood high school or draw some students from around the city also has not been decided.

And “Thinking Big, Acting Boldly at Central High,” by Martha Woodall reports the alumni of academically rigorous and prestigious Central High School, the nation’s second-oldest public school, raised $4.5 million to create what might be the best secondary-school library in the country.

You see? The news about public schools needn’t be all bad.


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