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Summer 2010 Vol. 17 No. 6 Focus on Charter Schools

Charter boom – no end in sight

Photo: Harvey Finkle

At Independence Charter School in Center City, kindergarten students Geonni Gee (left) and Nyla Ringgold-Floyd and classroom assistant Joanne Leibowitz enjoy math and reading online games on a website that a teacher created.

By by Dale Mezzacappa

In 13 short years, the charter school movement in Philadelphia has grown from nothing to a network with 67 schools and more than 36,000 students, financed by $400 million in taxpayer dollars.

Counted together, they would be the second largest school district in Pennsylvania. 

But today, the work of many dedicated educators who eagerly seized the opportunity to create successful learning communities has been nearly overshadowed by revelations about profiteering, excessive CEO salaries, mismanagement, and nepotism at several charters.

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Showing students a world of opportunities

By by Sarah Burgess

Ericka Morris, better known to her 4th-graders as Teacher Ericka, knows how to engage her students. On this day at Independence Charter School, they stand in clusters outside the U formed by their desks. 

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