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National Union Leader Gets First-Hand Look At How Community Schools Concept May Play Out In Philadelphia

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A national union leader got a first-hand look this week at how the "community schools" concept may play out in Philadelphia.

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten toured South Philadelphia High School, visiting the early childhood education, graphics, and culinary arts programs.  But Weingarten also asked about social and health programs here similar to those at full-service schools -- so-called "community schools" -- that city officials visited in Cincinnati.

"What we're seeing here is a lot of the instructional engagement strategy.  What we saw in Cincinnati and what Philly wants to bring in now, is to wrap those services around."

South Philadelphia High School principal Otis Hackney is mayor-elect Kenney's choice for his administration's chief education officer.

Kenney has stated his goal is to align city and neighborhood services to create 25 "community schools" over the next four years.

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