For years, Elaine Wells’ sons were trapped in a “horrible” neighborhood School where there “fights after school every day,” she tells John Stossel. She applied to charter schools, but lost out in the lotteries. “It’s heartbreaking,” Wells says.
“In Philadelphia, thanks to government limits, only 7,000 kids get into charters; 29,000 apply,” says Stossel.
Finally, her boys got into a nearly all-black charter middle and high school, Boys’ Latin, founded by David Hardy. It worked for them, says Wells.
“Before Boys Latin I would come home and say, ‘OK, I need you to read for an hour—read a book.’ And their response would be, ‘Why? What did we do?’ Like reading was a punishment! [After] Boys’ Latin…I would find books in the bathroom on the floor!”
Latin is required for all students, because it’s “hard,” Hardy tells Stossel. “Because life is hard—to be prepared you have to work hard. We wanted to get that into the psyche of our students.”
His proposal to start a Girls’ Latin school has been rejected.
I met Hardy, when he was working to get the school approved, and I was in Philadelphia promoting my book, Our School, about a start-up charter school in San Jose. I wished him luck. So I take credit for the school.
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