Hi Lanette: I have spent a lot of time researching center city schools and neighborhoods for my own family. I have found that there was almost no information out there that was easily accessible and that gave me the info I needed. Were you thinking of center city or out closer to the suburbs Philadelphia?
In Center City, the best public schools are Meredith, McCall, and Greenfield. (Check them out here: http://www.centercityschools.com
) In University City, there is the Penn Alexander school which is a really great public school. There are also private schools and charter schools which are listed on the website.
If you are choosing one of the public schools, you have to consider the catchment areas. If you fall within a catchment area, you can attend that school. THere is a website where you can map out the catchment areas here: http://cml.upenn.edu/nbase/
(although it is a little tricky to generate the maps, I found it very helpful.) You have to be really careful, because the catchment areas are very specific and their borders often run down the center of the street.
Obviously, if you choose a private school or charter, you don't have to worry so much about this.
We love the following center city areas for safety and good schools: Queen's Village, Bella Vista, the Rittenhouse Area, FItler Square, Society Hill, and most parts of University City (which is not center city per se). Of course, there are others, but these are the ones we have researched. They also trend to be pretty expensive. I have no info on the outlying areas.
Hope this helps a little...