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How We Are Thinking Differently About Education in Philadelphia

After reflecting on our impact in the city, engaging with City leaders and school partners, and reviewing research-based proof points of school success, a resounding theme is emerging: We need to think differently about education more now than we did over the last decade plus.

We need to take advantage of this unique opportunity in our history, examine the lessons we’ve learned, and align our city around a vision for the future of Education. We should not be focused on getting back to the ‘old normal ways’ of teaching and learning. 

What could the future of education look like in Philadelphia?

  • Schools are designed as vivid and inspiring learning environments where students are engaged in learning everyday and build the skills to reach their fullest potential.
  • Students are growing academically, every year, and move with confidence from one educational milestone to next, on track to graduate.
  • Our communities are able to focus on the achievements and celebrations of school success, and not on the trauma of gun-violence, poverty and other mounting stressors. 
  • Graduates leave our schools ready to pursue their careers and meet the world demand for a modern workforce.

Our children are ready for us to provide them with a great education today that can withstand any barriers we face ahead, but we’re going to have to do it strategically, and collaboratively. 

In order to build our new strategy for the reimagined education system in our city, we must:

  • Understand how Philadelphia students learn best in this modern context, and what is required to train our educator workforce to adapt their teaching methods to engage the needs of a diverse set of students and circumstances. 
  • Adapt our policies, procedures, and funding to support this more agile and engaging service delivery system. 
  • Acknowledge upfront that there is no easy fix. The answer lies through working with our community of practitioners and learners.

An essential condition of our success is working in collaboration with others. That’s why Elevate 215 will align our efforts with key community members who are also working in service to schools. We are convening partners, philanthropists, school leaders, and other system leaders to share our collective vision of improving schools in Philadelphia.

We are focused on practice and not politics. We are also deeply curious about building solutions grounded in good replicable practices, and we are identifying schools where promising practices occur daily in all three sectors and highlighting these schools as examples of what works.

We believe that good things are already happening in schools to create a more responsive and modern learning experience for students. It is our job to find these practices, codify them, share successes far and wide, and expand on them. We must keep going until each and every child has access to an education that is worthy of them.

Will you join us?