Last March I wrote a post about the proposed contract for Philadephia schools. One
sentence paragraph from that post read:
What is even sadder is that I doubt these policies, if implemented, will be implemented across the board. Check back a year from now and see if Masterman High School still has a librarian, textbooks, and desks for teachers. I'd bet the farm that it will, even if other schools don't.
I was wrong. Masterman's library is closed. "Budget crisis shutters libraries at 2 top schools," by Susan Snyder appeared in the 9/13 Inquirer. Granted they may be able to re-open it, but the fact that a school like Masterman could lose it's library and its librarian is unthinkable. Most of the smart people I know in Philadelphia have their kids in Masterman. It didnt' really matter what the rest of the Philly schools were like because people could figure out a way to get their children into one of the top magnet schools, mini-Princetons and mini-UPenns [see update below]. But a school without a school library can't offer the kind of educational assistance that a school with a library can. Colleges and universities, especially the kind of schools Masterman students go to, know that too.
This is a disaster.
update: Well, that was a poorly worded sentence wasn't it? This is what happens when I blog late at night. I did not mean to say that it didn't matter what the rest of the public schools were like. What I meant to say was that as long as the city could point to some top magnet schools the city could attract and keep families with school age children. If those schools lose their status the overall image of the school system will undoubtedly slip to that of the worse common denominator, and that is not going to bring or keep people here. Apologies for the previous poor wording. It is a wonder what a night's sleep and breakfast can do for one's clarity.