Local/State

Report: 10 Phila. schools rank persistently dangerous

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Philadelphia School District received a bit of good news upon learning that only ten schools remain on the Pennsylvania Department of Education list of persistently dangerous schools.

Of particular note, Overbrook High School, which was on that list every year since it was compiled nine years ago, was for the first time not on that list.

Chief Inspector Myron Patterson who was borrowed from the Philadelphia police to help address the violence says everybody working together is making the difference.

"It's not just one entity that is making a difference in these schools, and a lot of credit goes to the kids, the students, we cannot forget them because they're doing a great job," Patterson said.

Last year, there were 19 schools on the list and the year before 25.

But among the 10 schools on the list this year are Kensington Business High School and Northeast High School.

Despite a major effort to reduce violence there last year, South Philadelphia High School also remains on the list of persistently dangerous schools:

"We weren't successful in bringing them under control, to use that adjective, right now, But that's a work in progress and we will be diligently addressing those issues," Patterson said.

Some parents and grandparents agree that more has to be done to eradicate the violence at schools.

"My children have been directly affected by violence in their high schools and my daughter just got into an altercation at Shaw [Middle School]," Joy Herbert of Southwest Philadelphia said.

"As a grandparent I feel there needs to be more security in the schools. There's been a drop, but I think there needs to be a little bit more work," Francine Henry of Southwest Philadelphia said.

State Senator Tony Williams wonders if the state's data is consistent with students' perceptions of how things are going.

"There may be a difference from what adult interpreters said and student interpreters are saying, but if we're making progress that's great, I think there's a lot more that can be done," Williams said.

Officials at Northeast High are upset because even though their number of violent incidents is down, they made the list. This is because the Department of Education says if the school has 20 or more arrests with an enrollment of over 1,000 students, it's going make the list.

The schools that made the 2011-2012 list are:
  • Edison High School
  • Fels High School
  • Frankford High School
  • Kensington Business High School
  • Lincoln High School
  • Northeast High School
  • Sayre High School
  • Shaw Middle School
  • South Philadelphia High School
  • Strawberry Mansion High School

    The schools removed from the Persistently Dangerous Schools list are:
  • Roberto Clemente Middle School
  • Stephen Douglas High School
  • Thomas Fitzsimons High School
  • Horace Furness High School
  • Simon Gratz High School
  • Olney East High School
  • Olney West High School
  • Overbrook High School
  • Roxborough High School
  • Edwin Vare Middle School
  • Roberts Vaux Middle School

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