One Small Bit of Good News for Philly Schools

"Philadelphia is doing more than less."

The Inquirer reports on a new study today suggesting the Philadelphia school district performs well when A) considering the staggering size of its need and B) comparative lack of resources to meet those needs: Two Penn profs have found “the district actually does more with its resources than any of its high-poverty peers.”

Comparing the district with 23 other poor, academically struggling school systems statewide, the researchers found that Philadelphia has a much bigger “adequacy gap” – that is, the difference between how much it spends per student and the funding level required to educate students well enough to meet state proficiency standards.

Even given its $5,478-per-student adequacy gap, Philadelphia still produced slightly better state-test results than districts that spent more money.

That achievement is relative, though. Philadelphia performed better, but only about half its students read and do math on grade level.

In other words: The district may not look well, but it’s actually punching above its weight. The City Council’s education committee will receive the report today.