Solving Philly’s Dropout Riddle Is Riddle In Itself

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Mayor Michael A. Nutter is hoping to find an answer to the question: “What can the City of Philadelphia do to prevent the greatest number of students from dropping out of high school?” It’s a question many are asking.

That is the question being asked in this year’s Fall 2014 Philadelphia Public Policy Case Competition and Mayor Nutter hopes it can be answered by an undergraduate or graduate student in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Following the success of the first-ever Philadelphia Public Policy Case Competition last spring, the Fall 2014 competition asks local students to offer innovative and impactful proposals in response to the Mayor’s question:

 “The goal of the Public Policy Case Competition is to inspire our local higher education students to consider their role in the Philadelphia community beyond their school, and what they can do to make the city a better place to live, work and visit.

“This competition encourages students to be invested in Philadelphia and to develop creative solutions to our city’s greatest challenges. Participating in this competition is an opportunity for students to experience public policy making. I would advise students to think outside the box and to offer new and innovative ways to address the complex challenge of addressing our high school dropout rate. It is a tremendous opportunity for students to truly get involved in Philadelphia public policy.”

The deadline for proposals is Friday, Oct. 17 by 5 p.m. Requests for further information, including the prompt, submission guidelines and procedure can be directed to policy@phila.gov.

The Mayor’s Office of Policy Planning & Coordination and the Mayor’s Office of Education will select four finalists from the proposals. The four finalists will present their answers before a panel of judges in City Hall on Friday, Nov. 7, which will be followed by a reception.

The first-place team will be given the opportunity to present their proposal to Mayor Nutter, as well as tickets to a Philadelphia 76ersgame in the Mayor’s box. All four teams that advance to the final round will receive a Certificate of Completion signed by the Mayor.

MAYOR Michael A. Nutter plays a video game, "Running for Office," with its young designers on Aug. 20. Game features Mayor Nutter running through city jumping over black cats while trying to avoid green dinosaur chasing him. PHLCollective, a local game company, offered a five-week training program to teach students how to design a video game from concept to finish. Photo by Kait Privitera

MAYOR Michael A. Nutter plays a video game, “Running for Office,” with its young designers on Aug. 20. Game features Mayor Nutter running through city jumping over black cats while trying to avoid green dinosaur chasing him. PHLCollective, a local game company, offered a five-week training program to teach students how to design a video game from concept to finish. Photo by Kait Privitera

“As a member of the judging panel for this competition last spring, I was very impressed with the caliber of proposals we received from students last spring,” said Deborah Diamond, president of Campus Philly. “Campus Philly knows first-hand how creative and thoughtful the students on our local campuses are and we look forward to hearing their plans and recommendations for how to prevent students from dropping out of high school.”

 

Maia Jachimowicz, director of policy, Mayor’s Office of Policy, Planning & Coordination, stated, “Hosting the case competition serves the dual purpose of soliciting new and creative proposals that can positively impact our city, while also opening the doors of City Hall to engage local students who are committed to public service.”

The Judging Panel for the Fall 2014 Case Competition is: Dr. William Hite, superintendent, Philadelphia School District; Dr. Elliot Weinbaum, program director for education funding, William Penn Foundation; Simran Sidhu, executive director, YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School; Dr. Lori Shorr, chief education officer, Mayor’s Office of Education; Deborah Diamond, executive director, Campus Philly; and Jamal Johnson, a 2014 graduate of YouthBuild and current student at Peirce College.

The case competition is managed by the Mayor’s Office of Policy, Planning & Coordination and the Mayor’s Office of Education and is co-sponsored by Campus Philly.

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One Response to Solving Philly’s Dropout Riddle Is Riddle In Itself

  1. I’m not a college student, but here is one idea keeping students in high school:

    Make high school relevant to getting a decent job and being successful at it — starting with after-school and summer work, but able to grow later into skills, jobs, and careers that could actually support a family.

    High school already has algebra 1 and 2. It should also have jobs 1 and 2. Classes could teach what’s going on now in the job markets in Philadelphia, and elsewhere — based on what industry needs, as determined by a top-quality team of school staff and marketing experts. Graduates who got jobs with the help of the school could come back and speak to the classes. And there would be employment case management, mostly in groups but also confidentially one-on-one.

    The main obstacle may be laws and rules that compel teachers and administrators to teach to the stanardized tests — while it is not in the students’ interest to learn to those tests.

    John S. James
    September 26, 2014 at 8:54 am

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