$100,000 granted to improve Phila. education

PHILADELPHIA - December 20, 2011

Located at B and Allegheny streets, it became a charter school, last September and since then, student performance has improved dramatically.

"In 2011, 55 percent of the students scored proficient or advanced in math, which is up 22 percent over 2010," said Mayer Michael Nutter.

Mayor Nutter announced Tuesday that he and other city leaders have signed the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact to increase the number of high performing schools, like Stetson.

The goal of the compact, approved by the School Reform Commission last month is to replicate the city's highest performing school models, whether they are district, public or charter schools.

"We at the Gates Foundation share the goal that you should do what you love, earn what you need and be productive citizens to bring Philadelphia where we all want it to be," said Don Shalvey.

The Gates Foundation announced its plans for a $100,000 grant, to support the implementation of the compact.

Stetson's students and faculty are confident change can happen in other schools, because they've witnessed at their very own.

"When I was here in 5th grade there were a lot of fights, now you can walk around the school without a problem," said Rashawn Pittman.

"This is showing how much we've changed. Now they're going to say good things about our school and they will always say good things," said Kiara Morales.

The school's principal couldn't be more proud.

"The focus on education and instruction is beyond what it was and they're really seeing it," said Renato Lajara.

Philadelphia is now among 14 other cities that have signed District-Charter Collaboration Compacts with the support of the Gates Foundation.

It means that the City is now eligible to compete next year for a share of more than $40 million in Gates Foundation funding.

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