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Survey: Residents want improvements in school climate, literacy, and investment in the arts

More than 3,000 people filled out a citywide questionnaire about Philadelphia schools.

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File photo by Darryl Murphy

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

The Mayor’s Office of Education published the results of a citywide survey about Philadelphia schools on Tuesday.

Filled out by more than 3,000 people, it was designed to gather input from Philadelphians about the improvements they would like to see in schools and to identify the most important individual and group attributes for the incoming Board of Education, according to city officials.

The results will be shared with the nominating panel that is tasked with recommending 27 applicants for the Board of Education to Mayor Kenney, a press release stated.

“The results from the community survey on education will be very helpful in the educational nominating panel’s deliberations,” said panel chair Wendell Pritchett in the release. “We have received many compelling applications for the board and will refer to this feedback from the public as we narrow down our recommendations for the mayor. We thank the thousands of individuals who took the time to share their views through the survey.”

Between Dec. 12, 2017, and Feb. 7, 2018, more than 3,000 respondents representing all residential Philadelphia zip codes completed the survey. As a whole, respondents identified improved school climate, investing in music and arts curriculum, and increasing literacy levels by 4th grade as their top school-improvement priorities. Respondents prioritized strong ethics and integrity, past experience as an educator, and parents of students as important attributes in individual school board members. They wanted the overall school board’s formation to reflect members committed to public education, qualifications and background of members, and representation of various neighborhoods.

Click here to read the full report.

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