In 2014, we invested $88,000 to support early stage incubation work lead by the North Philadelphia Education Compact. The grant supported the development of a comprehensive education strategy to improve student outcomes in a defined geographic area in North Philadelphia.
The North Philadelphia Education Compact (NPEC) proposes to develop a comprehensive, geographically-based education achievement zone in North Philadelphia to add of more seats in high-quality schools among a network of school partners. The initiative is a collaboration among Aspira of PA, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Nueva Esperanza, Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, and the School District of Philadelphia. The group is evaluating strengths and needs within the zone and developing strategies to increase access to high-quality education, such as redefining feeder patterns, identifying growth opportunities, and increasing collaboration among schools.
Three anchor institutions in the North Philadelphia Latino community – Aspira of PA, Congreso de Latinos Unidos and Nueva Esperanza – are leading the work of NPEC. Together these organizations operate eight schools (including two turnaround schools) serving over 5,300 students, of whom 74 percent are Hispanic, 22 percent are Black, and 81 percent are economically disadvantaged.
The school operators involved in NPEC run high-performing schools in the neighborhood, but their impact is limited in the absence of aligned feeder patterns and quality instruction across all schools in the area. The average performance of schools in this geographic zone (E-W: Frankford Ave to Broad St; N-S: Roosevelt Blvd to Girard Ave.) is lower than the overall District average in math and reading, high school graduation, and college matriculation. The committee has engaged an experienced consultant and will use the funds to establish the scope and model of the network.