Student Gains in Privately Managed Philadelphia Schools - Nearly Double Those in District Schools

State Tests Show Increases in Student Achievement at EdisonLearning Schools

in both Reading & Math


July 9, 2008 – School test scores recently released by the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment reveal that schools partnering with private education management organizations (EMO’s) – including EdisonLearning - showed greater gains in student achievement than the schools operated by the Philadelphia School District.


According to the 2008 PSSA test results, “In Philadelphia schools, all private providers, including EdisonLearning, improved student performance by nearly twice the amount as the schools operated by the school district,” said Dr. John Chubb, Managing Director of The EdisonLearning Institute and Senior Executive Vice President of New Product Development for EdisonLearning.


The number of students performing at grade level and above in reading at the EMO schools increased by 6.1%, and in the EdisonLearning schools by 6.5%, as compared to 3.3% in the District schools; and students performing at grade level and above in math at the EMO schools rose by 6.0%, and in the EdisonLearning schools by 4.6%, as compared to 3.1% in the District-managed schools.


“The state’s results clearly confirm that the outside providers are meeting and exceeding expectations in Philadelphia, and they validate the work and highlight the success of all the private providers in Philadelphia,” said Dr. Chubb, currently a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and formerly a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. “More importantly, this is a pure and objective measurement of student performance in the Philadelphia’s schools – the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment.”


According to Dr. Martin West of Brown University, “Student achievement in Philadelphia as a whole, after years of stagnation, has improved markedly since the implementation of the Diverse Provider Model.  Competition and expanded capacity created by having multiple providers operating in the district is playing a role in the district’s success.”


The PSSA scores also show that all four of the schools returning to District control showed 2007-08 gains in reading of 8.3%, and math gains of 5.7%, and reduced the number of students classified as below basic.


Reading proficiency at Gillespie Middle School doubled – from 15.7 to 31.6, and at Stetson Middle School reading scores more than doubled – 8.3 to 18.5. “To put it another way: 75 more children at Gillespie are now reading at grade level and above, and at Stetson, 85 more children – all in one year,” Dr. Chubb said.

When EdisonLearning began its partnership with Philadelphia in 2002, 860 students out of roughly 13,000 in the 20 schools they were assigned were performing at grade level in math. Today, there are nearly 3,500 performing at grade level and above. In reading, there were 1,400 students at grade level; today, more than 3,000.

In 2002, more than 10,000 students out of 13,000 were "below basic" in math in the EdisonLearning partnership schools. Now, that number has been reduced by more than half to 4,800. In 2002, nearly 9,000 students were below basic in reading; that number has been reduced to 5,800.


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EdisonLearning is the nation’s leading public school innovator and partner for school districts and charter schools serving over 350,000 children in 21 states and the United Kingdom.  We work with school administrators, teachers, and parents to provide learning solutions that drive achievement and improve educational outcomes. At EdisonLearning, we believe that every child can learn.



July 11th, 2008

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