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Public Education in Philadelphia: The Crucial Need for Civic Capacity in a Privatized Environment

This article explores the role of public engagement in Philadelphia public schools, answering the question of whether the form of private sector involvement now being pursued by the School District of Philadelphia is an adequate basis for a policy agenda and is a sustainable form of civic capacity that will address the critical issues of urban public education. An examination of the current environment marked by participation through contracting reveals that the nature of these relationships may inhibit the type of engagement needed to develop sustained momentum in support of public education.