Focus Point - Philadelphia Schools Going PrivateCommentary by Pete du Pont
November 27, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Today, good news from Philadelphia, where the public schools are so awful Governor Mark Schweiker has ordered them privatized.
How awful? Fifty-seven percent of city's students failed state reading and math tests. Just thirteen percent of high school juniors can read the newspaper with basic comprehension. Schools have a fifty percent drop out rate.
So, the worst administrators will be sacked, and replaced with managers from a private firm. Meanwhile, principals and teachers in schools that perform well will be rewarded with bonuses if they improve student scores.
The schools they have spent $10 billion over the past decade with no accountability for results -- in no small part because much of the money has gone for non-academic expenses. The new plan should save up to $700 million over the next five years, and turn out better educated kids.
Other than the teachers' unions and the educrats, who could be against that?
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. Visit the NCPA web-site at www.ncpa.org. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the best last word.