About this site

Evaluating the success of America’s public schools has become a national focus. Elected officials, business leaders, wealthy philanthropists, and a host of educational entrepreneurs are typically the individuals who have been most active in characterizing the performance of public schools for the American media. These non-educators generally do not speak well of the effectiveness of our public schools and systems.

The purpose of City School is to tell the story of urban public education in America from the perspectives of the principals and teachers who daily work and live in city school communities. These are the people who best know what is taking place in any particular school. Yet they are seldom offered the opportunity to describe or explain their work to the general public.

During the 2010 school year, Confessions of an Urban Principal, the story of one urban principal, will be posted on this site. It will appear in two weekly installments, on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the school year. The post will describe the daily events of an urban elementary school as seen from the perspective of the school’s principal. The story told in Confessions of an Urban Principal highlights the 2004-2005 school year at Meade Elementary School in Philadelphia.

On other days during the week, various topical commentary posts will be published under the Categories tab in the menu. These are listed below.

Notes from the Field addresses current education news and events.

Reflections: Then and Now looks at events and circumstances described during the time period in the book and contrasts these with current times.

Reflections of an Author provides short commentaries that expand on an idea or event related within a particular book installment.

Readers are invited to share their stories concerning their own classrooms and schools. This can be accomplished either by making comments on posts or by submitting a post for consideration to

We daily accomplish our mission of educating the youth of our society and we need to let the world know of our successes. Your comments and personal stories will help to tell the general public of our challenges and rewards as urban educators. Most importantly, by creating a forum to collectively tell our own stories we say that we will not continue to be passive victims of ill-conceived school reform strategies. We instead insist on being recognized and treated as the knowledgeable professional educators that we are.

  1. Reactions to Dissolution of Phila School District « The Philadelphia Exposure Project

    April 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    […] Philadelphia principal Frank Murphy savages the notion that critics of the dissolution should just “grow up and deal with […]