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New Magnet School Opens For Students With Interest In Receiving Competent Education

Edison Magnet School is the first school in the region with a specific focus on providing an acceptable secondary education.
Edison Magnet School is the first school in the region with a specific focus on providing an acceptable secondary education.

PHILADELPHIA—Saying it would give local youths a wider range of academic options, Philadelphia public school officials expressed high hopes Thursday for the recently opened Edison Magnet School, a new pilot initiative that caters to students who are interested in an adequate education.

Though still in its earliest experimental stages, the specialized high school has reportedly attracted students from across the city who share a desire to receive the kind of competent instruction in math, reading, and science unavailable in more traditional American classrooms.

“A few years ago, we started to realize that many young people in our district really wanted to become proficient in core academic subjects, so we decided to develop a school that places a strong emphasis on learning,” said Denise Paulson, Edison’s principal. “While our approach may not be for every student, we feel obligated to provide this alternative to those kids who wish to acquire basic factual knowledge before they graduate.”

Several students told reporters they appreciate the new school’s highly original methodology, but conceded it may take a while to grow accustomed to the process of learning information and developing skills in a classroom setting.

“We’re offering them a unique opportunity, something they won’t find anywhere else,” she added.

In a radical departure from the norm, Paulson explained, teachers at the school have been carefully trained in the subjects they teach. Reports confirmed that these specialized educators are also required to prepare ahead of time and create lesson plans for their classes, with the chief objective being to ensure students gain at least a passing familiarity with a particular area of study, such as algebra, history, biology, or English composition.

According to district administrators, any student who aspires to read at grade level or possess a rudimentary facility with numbers can apply to the new competency-track program offered at Edison.

“I know it’s only been a week, but their method seems to be working—my daughter Lisa has already learned several new things,” said Edison parent Jeremy Lancaster, who noted that his daughter’s previous school didn’t even offer a single course for students interested in acquiring knowledge. “The philosophy at Edison is to teach students something new every day. There aren’t many schools like that around the country, so we’re very grateful.”

“Lisa has always showed an interest in knowing things, so her mother and I feel Edison’s focus on academics makes it a good match for her,” Lancaster added.

In alignment with the school’s unorthodox mission to ensure its graduates are reasonably well equipped to head out into the world, even the layout of the building and the provision of learning materials reflect what administrators are calling Edison’s “scholastic approach” to education. Officials confirmed the well-lit classrooms have been made large enough to tolerably accommodate the number of students assigned to the class, and in stark contrast to prevailing trends, each pupil is given his or her own relatively up-to-date textbook.

Several students told reporters they appreciate the new school’s highly original methodology, but conceded it may take a while to grow accustomed to the process of learning information and developing skills in a classroom setting.

“I’m used to regular-style classes, so it’s definitely been a big change to come here and have these coherently explained lessons day after day,” Edison sophomore Carly Gutierrez said. “It was kind of shocking that first day when I realized my teachers actually seemed to have a halfway decent handle on what they were talking about.”

“It’s just completely different from any other school I’ve ever been to before,” Gutierrez added.


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