Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School ends first year with iPad on a high note

The first day of classes at the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School last fall was an exciting one.

“All 250 of the school’s sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders were gathered at its Broad and Oregon location. Each was presented with an iPad to use throughout the school year. ‘You could hear the shrieks for blocks,’ said Jason Corosanite,” Jonathan Takiff reports for The Philadelphia Daily News. “Clearly, it’s not every student who gets to start (as opposed to end) the school term with the chant ‘no more books.'”

“And there aren’t many schools that end the year — as PPAC is doing this week — with ‘tears in students’ eyes, because they don’t want to leave,’ said Corosanite, chief operating officer of the charter’s not-for-profit-umbrella organization, String Theory Schools,” Takiff reports. “Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter says it’s the first public middle school in the city to integrate iPads into education. More significantly, said Corosanite, is that the school was “one of the first, if not the very first middle school in the entire country” to entrust the tablets to students (albeit with a voucher signed by their parents) 24/ 7.”

Takiff reports, “The good news is that both the hardware and PPAC student body are ending the first pioneering school year with all A’s on their collective iPad report card… Come fall, the school will expand to another building across the street as it grows each grade from three sections to five. Also starting this fall, the String Theory School will also be taking over the underperforming Frankford-area H.R. Edmunds School. And it’s been given the mandate by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission to open a centrally located 1,400-student-capacity high school, building on PPAC’s Arts-plus-STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum model, in the fall of 2013.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JayinDC” for the heads up.]


  1. This story is refreshing because none of those students is likely to complain about the lack of desired features, the need to jailbreak the device, etc. etc.

    1. And the freedom to kick a problem student over to some other schools roster. There is undoubtedly a selection process for the school that allows them to exclude students (and families) that haven’t already proven themselves capable and committed in K-5. It is a publicly funded private school, with an open application policy. That’s different from free public education for all citizens.

      Still, good on the kids. They did well. Same for the iPad and Apple. The same (actually, slightly better) iPad 2 costs $100 less today.

  2. Kids in these types of curricula tend to be more focused than most, so it’s not a huge surprise. They routinely have responsibility for musical instruments more costly than an iPad and do pretty well. Still, it was good to hear they were successful caring for the iPads. Bodes well for iPads and kids both.

    Too bad we can’t put our money where our mouths are as a nation and compensate teachers at their proper level relative to their importance to the country. It would be interesting to evaluate the relative importance to the country of 500 well compensated teachers vs one Jamie Dimon, who is a crook and a charlatan, intent on defrauding the taxpayers and bringing down the economy.

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