PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Early indications show last year’s worst performing Philadelphia schools are performing better this year.

The first predictive test results show the six overhauled district-run schools called “Promise Academies” appear to be improving. The schools (Ethel Allen, Dunbar, Potter-Thomas, Clemente, University City High and Vaux High) opened in September with revamped staff, extended days, and Saturday classes.

Dunbar Elementary, for example, is seeing double-digit improvements in reading scores. David Weiner, Chief Academic Officer of the School District of Philadelphia, said that even with the signs of promise, any enthusiasm needs to be tempered. “Although it went up about 17 points in reading, we still recognize that 44 percent of our students being at proficient and advanced is still unacceptable,” Weiner said. “We have a long way to go.”

However, Weiner adds that attendance is up and dropouts and violent incidents are down at the “Promise Academies.”

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio

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