This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
M.H. Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia and Hill-Freedman Middle School in Germantown won national recognition for their student achievement gains earlier this school year.
M.H. Stanton was one of only five nationally selected for the Education Trust’s “Dispelling the Myth” award, given to schools showing exceptional success with low-income students and students of color.
A school with an 86 percent poverty rate, Stanton has two-thirds of its students scoring proficient or better in reading, and more than three-fourths in math. Stanton’s accomplishments earned the school a visit from U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings in January.
Hill-Freedman Middle School won designation as a 2006 “No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School,” which recognizes academic superiority or significant gains in disadvantaged students’ reading and math scores. It was the first Philadelphia school to achieve that distinction under the federal legislation. The selective admission school serves 250 students in grades six to eight. Proficiency rates in reading and math on state tests at the school have climbed to about 90 percent.