Elite Philly school is being 'dismantled' by lottery admissions, say parents
An influx of unprepared students, admitted by a new lottery system, is destroying Philadelphia's top-ranked school, charges a report by parents at Masterman, a middle and high school.
The selective school is being "systematically dismantled," charges the Masterman Home and School Association. “The long history of rigor and enriched curriculum is fading. The identity of the school and its purpose and mission are in disarray, leaving a fractured community.”
The new admissions system gives preferences to students from previously underrepresented zip codes, writes Kristen A. Graham in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Students coming from Masterman's very challenging middle school no longer are guaranteed admission to the high school.
Masterman lacks the staff and resources to support students entering at the "basic" and "below basic" level, the report states.
In practical terms, the report said, that means at least one classroom teacher has been reassigned to provide academic supports for struggling students, language offerings have been cut for middle school students, the pace of instruction has slowed in some classes, and some have new safety concerns resulting from the absence of behavior being factored into admissions criteria.
Student performance is down, based on mid-year test scores.
Whites (41 percent) and Asians (25 percent) are over-represented at Masterman, while Blacks (18 percent) and Latinos (8 percent) are under-represented compared with district demographics: 15 percent White, 10 percent Asian, 45 percent Black and 26 percent Latino.