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Fall Guide 2009 Vol. 17 No. 1 Spotlight on High Schools

Selecting a high school: Not a level playing field

Photo: Harvey Finkle

Checking out the new Abraham Lincoln High School in Mayfair.

By by Dale Mezzacappa

With the recent creation of many new, themed high schools and the continuing growth of the charter school movement, students in Philadelphia have more public high school options than ever.

But more options haven’t meant that most students are getting into the schools they prefer, or that the available choices meet students’ needs.

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A note from the editor

By by Paul Socolar

Welcome to the Notebook’s first fall guide to Philadelphia schools! We’re hoping that each September we’ll be able to provide you with vital information that you may want to hold onto – about the new school year and Philadelphia public schools, both District and charter.

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What's new in the District?

By by Wendy Harris

Back to school, always an exciting time for students and parents, also comes with new challenges and changes.

The School District enters the year buoyed by good news. It is implementing new initiatives, and was able to make good on promises to hire many more teachers and counselors in time for the opening of school. Standardized test scores improved for the seventh year in a row, with proficiency rates exceeding 60 percent in some grades for the first time. Violent offenses at schools are down by 15 percent.

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