Jacob and Katie started this photoblog as an effort to pay our final respects to the public schools that are being euthanized this year. The Philadelphia School District closed 8 schools last year, will close 23 this year, and rumor has it they are going to propose 30 more closures next year. That the School Reform Commission (SRC) is closing 23 schools is considered by many to be a triumph because the SRC had originally proposed to close over 40 public schools.
We cannot help but feel the loss of this neighborhood feature. There is so much room for improvement and many of the buildings have been the cornerstones of their neighborhoods for nearly a century. This photo exhibit is meant to pay homage to all that these schools were and could have been- and to acknowledge what we are losing.
Katie Brinkley is a PhD student in Urban Planning at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jacob Rivkin is a visual artist in the Master of Fine Arts program.
Both Jacob and Katie are seasoned amateur photographers with an interest in food, but we did not let that get in the way of taking on the Philadelphia public school system.
If you would like to read more about why Philadelphia is closing so many of its public schools, we recommend reading the notebook, and in particular, Helen Gym‘s articles.
If this blog has stirred any concerns and you would like to contact the School Reform Council, they can be reached here.