By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fixing Philadelphia’s schools is a top priority among city residents surveyed recently by a local nonprofit organization.

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Larry Eichel, project director for the Philadelphia research inititative of the Pew Charitable Trusts, says some 1,600 residents around the city were surveyed on a variety of issues.  And he says opinions were strong about the state of public education in Philadelphia.

“They have an extremely low opinion of the performance of the public school system, and … they favor replacement of the School Reform Commission with an elected school board,” Eichel tells KYW Newsradio.

And he says that while many agreed that charter schools are a positive contributor to education, most agreed they would prefer fixing the current public K-12 system.

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“A majority back the idea of spending more money on the traditional public schools rather than creating additional charters and other new options,” Eichel noted.

He says Pew hopes the results start a broader community discussion on public education and solutions to meet the needs of children.


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