So, the public education situation in Pennsylvania is pretty dire. Not like we needed to tell you that. But when Jim Buckheit of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators says that the gap between rich and poor schools had "exploded" in the last few years,
it's hard to ignore that lump in your throat — that "abandon all hope ye who enter here" kind of feeling when deciding to put down roots and consider sending a child to a Philly public school in the near future.
Apparently, closing the gap between the rich and the poor districts could require an additional $1.5 billion for schools in the bottom half of income. "So who do I take it away from?" Corbett shrugged.
Now we set our sights on the young-involved-now-with-children crowd, who are determined to give a quality education to their offspring, and who have launched myriad grassroots efforts to improve the oft-beleaguered schools in their districts.
[PHOTO via NEWSWORKS]
What can we learn from these endeavors, and from groups such as PhillyCORE Leaders, who strive to harness the optimism of Philly's entrepreneurial community to "create transformational change for Philadelphia's schools?"
That perhaps there is hope after all: incumbent Tom Wolf, who takes office January 20th, has taken a pledge to dramatically increase the state's contribution to schools (don't knock him until he's tried), and maybe (please, soon) state government and grassroots efforts will manage to meet somewhere in the middle.
· Gap between rich, poor schools doubled in 4 years [Philly.com]
· How to Destroy a Public-School System [The Nation]
· Beers, bars and babies: The next generation of Philly school parents gets serious [Newsworks]
- Megan Ritchie Jooste