Philadelphia Student Union

The Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) is a non-profit organization led by youth that builds power among Philadelphia high school students to demand a high quality education. The organization has existed since 1996 and aims to address problems of [http://www.thenotebook.org/newsflash/2003/june/budget.htm school funding] , [http://www.thenotebook.org/newsflash/2004/march/platform.htm teacher quality] , school climate, and other barriers to education that are experienced by Philadelphia students, taking the position that if the [http://www.phila.k12.pa.us public schools] are going to move forward, young people have to be active leaders in the process.

The Philadelphia Student Union was a leading force in the fight to prevent large scale [http://www.nsba.org/site/page.asp?TRACKID=&CID=477&DID=8760 privatization] of schools in the district following the [http://www.rand.org/publications/randreview/issues/spring2007/takeover.html state takeover] in 2001. [http://www.motherjones.com/news/hellraiser/2002/05/class_activist.html Youth organizers] staged protests, and engaged in civil disobedience to prevent the School District from handing over control of the central administration to [http://www.edisonschools.com/ Edison Corporation] , a for-profit educational management organization. [http://zmagsite.zmag.org/oct2002/hammon1002.htm Youth leaders] were ultimately successful in preventing a takeover of the central office, and also prevented the take-over of any high schools by for-profit companies. Some elementary and middle schools were privatized, however.

Among other organizing successes include designing and implementing Student Success Centers in 10 public high schools, which combine enhanced academic resources such as access to computers with social workers and other supports for students. There is a current campaign at West Philadelphia High School to secure a new building for the creation of a [http://www.thenotebook.org/editions/2006/winter/students.htm community-centered school] . Other school-based chapters are located at Overbrook High School, Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), Bodine High School for International Affairs, William L. Sayre High School and Julia R. Masterman High School

References

External links

* [http://www.phillystudentunion.org Philadelphia Student Union (PSU)]

* [http://www.myspace.com/psu4u Philadelphia Student Union Myspace page]


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