PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Sandra Murray left Bok High School because she had to repeat 10th grade. She came to school late, cut classes or didn’t show at all. Her father was in prison and at 20, she had a baby.

Although many teen mothers drop out, Sandra saw an opportunity at the Philadelphia School District’s Re-engagement Center. She learned about accelerated schools—for dropouts or those at risk of dropping out, overage or regularly truant.

Fourteen accelerated schools in the District are run by seven different companies. They enrolled 2100 students last year, providing extra support, moving them quickly toward graduation with staff offering social services and career help. For Sandra, an accelerated school was on the mark.

While the concept is good and last year more of the students in accelerated schools graduated in five years and earned more credits than a comparable cohort in traditional schools, this year’s ratings were far less favorable. Of the group, only Camelot with 500 students at Excel Academy and Excel Academy South was ranked “exceptional.”

Read about these schools and their performance in The Philadelphia Public School Notebook.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

Watch & Listen LIVE