Study: Phila. Parents Want More School-Choice Options

Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer

Author: Martha Woodall


06/29/2010 - Despite the explosive growth of charter schools in Philadelphia in the last decade, city parents say they still do not have enough good choices when it comes to picking a school, Pew Charitable Trusts says in a study released Tuesday.

White parents whose children attend district schools give higher marks to the system and individual schools than do African American parents. Parents younger than 30 are among the district's "most dissatisfied customers." Nearly eight out of 10 district parents under 30 say they have considered transferring their children to Catholic, charter, or private schools.

Those are just some of the findings contained in an examination of kindergarten-through-12th-grade education in the city by Pew Trusts' Philadelphia Research Initiative.

The report, which features a poll of 802 city parents with school-age children, found that school safety was a major concern and accounts for the largest differences in how parents view their schools.

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"There's a dramatic difference between how parents in the three systems see their schools on safety," Larry Eichel, project director of the Pew's Philadelphia Research Initiative, said Monday.

In the foreword to "Philadelphia's Changing Schools and What Parents Want from Them," Eichel, a former Inquirer journalist, wrote that the report focuses on parents because they face the task of navigating an often-bewildering sea of choices.

Read the full article, Study: Phila. Parents Want More School-Choice Options on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.

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