PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It’s been a real-world education for the two student members on the Philadelphia school board. As they complete their year of service, they’re making some suggestions for the future.
In addition to their schoolwork, Julia Frank and Alfredo Pratico have spent the last year visiting schools and attending hours and hours of public meetings. They weren’t allowed to vote, but board members say they provided a vital student perspective.
Pratico, a Masterman grad who’s heading to the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in a final report that Philadelphia’s education system was “broken.” But he says establishing a student voice has helped to address that.
“Just the fact that we’ve created now a framework and a template for students to come after us,” he said. “I think not only is the city less broken now that we’re leaving, but there’s a really easy path for students to come after us.”
Julia Frank leaves Northeast High School bound for the University of Pittsburgh.
“I didn’t really know that much about policymaking until I came into this position,” she said. “So one of the things that I learned is that I really gained so much respect for the board. They’re just really a phenomenal group of people.”
The student reps said the most common issue they heard, was that many students didn’t feel prepared for life after high school. They suggested a course that would help students write a resume or prepare for a job interview.