Charter Schools Band Together For Clout

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Philadelphia Charters for Excellence, a newly formed organization of high-performing Philadelphia Charter Schools PCE, taken together, represent the second-largest school district in Pennsylvania.

PCE aims to define the Philadelphia charter community in terms of academic progress and safety, among other categories, to provide a resource for parents and students interested in charters, and to clarify misperceptions and misinformation about charters.

“According to the Pew study released in June, 62% of parents said they have actively considered sending their child to a charter or non-District-run school, while 42% said they did not have enough information about school choice,” said Dr. Naomi Johnson Booker, president of PCE and CEO of Global Leadership Academy. “PCE is going to remedy this situation. We are here to demystify the process for parents who desperately want options for their children’s education.”

PCE members have all committed to creating a path toward academic and personal excellence for all students; innovation in teaching and learning practices; recognition of family, community and safety as priorities; and maintaining a rigorous and transparent leadership and decision-making process.

“Seventy-three percent of charters in Philadelphia are making ‘Adequate Yearly Progress’,” said Jurate Krokys, VP of PCE and CEO of Independence Charter School. “And as important, we have very high daily attendance, graduation and high-school matriculation rates. We are achieving real results through innovation in education. There are more students on waiting lists to attend Philadelphia charters – nearly 30,000 – than there are in the entire Pittsburgh public School District.”

Though Philadelphia charter schools sought expansion by 9,300 seats this year, only 1,024 were granted by the School Reform Commission. “That leaves many, many students on waiting lists for yet another year,” said Krokys.

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