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The Legislative Commission on Restructuring Pennsylvania's Urban Schools recommended that the state:

  • Expand preschool and full-day kindergarten programs in urban districts, and limit K-3 class sizes there to 20 students. Also expand health and social services, especially in high-poverty schools.
  • Adopt mandatory statewide academic standards and an assessment system tied to them.
  • Develop a statewide accountability system for students, teachers, principals, and schools. Create a school-by-school "report card."
  • Establish steps for intervening in troubled districts and expand the state's existing powers to intervene in financially troubled districts.
  • Restructure the Chester-Upland district outside Philadelphia by merging it with surrounding districts, closing it, or contracting with private managers.
  • Break up the Philadelphia schools into 22 districts with their own elected boards. Appoint a transition commission to work out the details.
  • Permit districts to require uniforms and hire superintendents without backgrounds in education.
  • Draft a definition of an urban district. Revise the school funding formula to take into account urban districts' needs.
  • Expand alternative education for disruptive students and create residential schools for students from bad homes in poor neighborhoods.
  • Improve instruction through staff development, increased learning time, programs to reduce student transience, and enhanced technology.
  • Create a pilot program providing tuition vouchers for 3,000 low-income students. Funds could be used at public or private schools.

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