By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter is heading to Denver later this week, on a factfinding trip to improve Philadelphia schools.

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Nutter and members of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission are heading to Denver on Thursday for a one-day trip to compare notes on cooperation between district and charter schools.

Mayor Nutter says he wants to look at how Denver’s schools are working together.

“They have a year under their belt,” the mayor notes, “so, I mean, there are some lessons to be learned.  And if we’re going to embark on what we’re going to embark on, I think we do ourselves some bit of justice by at least checking out what someone else is doing.”

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(Mayor Nutter greets students at the Dunbar Promise Academy School in North Philadelphia, before talking with reporters today. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

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Nutter says Philadelphia is working on a plan to eliminate 50,000 seats at low-performing schools over the next five years and replace them with seats in high-performing schools.  He says Denver’s model could provide information to help in that transition.

The Denver trip was arranged by the Philadelphia School Partnership, and it’s being paid for by the William Penn Foundation.

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