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Inquirer Letters Extra: Once and future city schools?

As fascinating as was Eileen McCafferty DiFranco's description of Northeast High School circa 1939, it does not require time travel to witness well-equipped high schools offering a rich array of extracurricular programs ("Playing 'chicken' against city's students," May 8).

Early this month, I traveled with Philadelphia public school students to compete in National History Day Pennsylvania at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg - a state-of-the-art facility complete with pool, planetarium, carpeted hallways, SmartBoard technology, two football fields, large library, and more.

Until schools no longer rely primarily on property taxes, city students will struggle to learn in rundown dungeons while suburban counterparts study in palaces.

As one student said quietly at Cumberland Valley, "This school is making me angry."

Amy Cohen, social studies teacher, Masterman School, Philadelphia,

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