School is a Successful Model of Education Reform

PHILADELPHIA, November 30, 2011 -State Sens. Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) and Christine Tartaglione toured Stetson Middle School today to get a first-hand look at the school’s remarkable turnaround.

“It is an honor to be here today to meet with the faculty, students, and parents of this promising school.  Stetson Middle School is a successful model of education reform,” Hughes said.  “After years of underachievement, Stetson is now a school with a promising academic future for all students.”

Stetson Middle School, which has a largely Hispanic student body, was one of Philadelphia’s lowest performing schools, until it was taken over by Aspira of Pennsylvania, a Hispanic advocacy group. Since the takeover, the school has produced academic gains, while reducing violence and disruptive behavior.

“In a changing world economy, education becomes more valuable every day,” Tartaglione said. “The success at Stetson proves that with parents, teachers, and administrators working together to help students the future can be bright for any student who wants to achieve.”

Hughes was instrumental, along with Success Schools COO Robert Lysek, in securing 50 iPads for Stetson students and 10 for teachers and administrators. The students use the iPads for remedial math and writing support. Teachers use them to support and facilitate the lessons.

During the tour, Hughes and Tartaglione were updated by student leaders on how Stetson was turned around through targeted education reforms.  Many once-disruptive students are now classroom leaders, excelling both academically and socially.  The school has seen gains in PSSA scores as well.

The Parent and President School Advisory Council also spoke with the senators about what a great learning environment the school has become.

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