When Learning is Real

West Philadelphia’s Sulzberger Middle School had a bad reputation. The principal struggled to recruit teachers, and students performed poorly on standardized tests. By 1998, The Mill Creek Project helped turn the school around, and Philadelphia’s School District named Sulzberger “School of the Month.” Teachers tell the story of that transformation and its abrupt end when the state took over the school district and turned over Sulzberger to Edison, Inc., a for profit company. (2014) Duration: 12 minutes.

From 1996-2002, WPLP embarked on The Mill Creek Project, an adventure with teachers and students at Sulzberger Middle School in West Philadelphia. “Together, we developed a curriculum for the millennium, drawing on the rich geography and diverse demographic past of West Philadelphia’s Mill Creek community,” wrote one teacher. “This dynamic study of Mill Creek was the catalyst which caused learning for my students to become ‘real.’”