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Farewell Philly schools, 'I've loved every day'

By Eileen DiFranco on Feb 27, 2015 10:52 AM

I never thought about school nursing until a friend told me about an opening at Germantown Academy, the prestigious private school where she worked. With four children, working labor and delivery during the night and on weekends in a hospital had become a nightmare. As a school nurse, I would have the same schedule as my children. An added perk: They could attend the school tuition free. I was psyched.

I didn’t get the job. At first, I was disappointed. The specter of endless night shifts loomed again. But then another friend told me about public school nursing in Philadelphia. Since I lived in the city, I took the test in the fall of 1989 and began work the following January.

It was the best career choice I ever made. I've loved every day I spent as a school nurse.

Letters: Banning signs at an SRC meeting

By on Feb 26, 2015 03:48 PM

To the editor:

The actions of the School Reform Commission members at last week’s special meeting on new charter applications, particularly those of Chairman Bill Green, were shameful. They sanctioned the actions of police officers who harassed community members who came to be heard on a very important issue facing the School District.

To Gov. Wolf: Childhood trauma is the elephant in the classroom

By Daun Kauffman for NewsWorks on Feb 26, 2015 01:35 PM

Dear Gov. Wolf and Education Secretary-designee Pedro Rivera:

I write regarding injured, marginalized children in Pennsylvania schools, to ask that you include them explicitly in a broad, “Healthy PA” paradigm in your new administration.

I am an educator serving children in elementary and middle school classrooms in my own neighborhood in a major urban center for 14 years. I advocate today regarding an aspect of education rarely discussed, but clearly visible to experienced classroom educators.

Mayoral candidates seek teachers' endorsement at union meeting

By Katie Colaneri and Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Feb 26, 2015 09:54 AM

On Wednesday afternoon, six of the Democrats vying to be Philadelphia's next mayor pitched themselves to members of the city's teachers' union, hoping to score an endorsement.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers uses the forum to help decide who gets its support and its maximum allowable campaign contributions. Union president Jerry Jordan says members will vote, starting next week, and announce a formal endorsement by mid-March.

Each candidate was given five minutes to talk and 10 minutes for questions from the audience, ranging from how they would raise money for public schools, to the role of standardized tests, to their thoughts on resolving teacher contract negotiations that have dragged on for more than two years.

Conservative group sues PFT over 'egregious' contract provision

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Feb 25, 2015 08:43 PM

The Fairness Center, a conservative nonprofit with offices in King of Prussia and Harrisburg, has filed a lawsuit against the Philadelphia teachers' union.

The suit alleges that the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers pays "ghost teachers," using Philadelphia School District and state funds, to occupy roles in union leadership.

How to opt your child out of the PSSAs

By Jen Bradley for NewsWorks, Philly Parenting blog on Feb 25, 2015 11:19 AM

You may have heard the buzz around the growing "opt out" movement in Philadelphia and throughout the nation. In just one city school, Feltonville School of Arts & Sciences, parents of over 100 students have opted their children out of the state standardized tests this spring.

This movement is not by accident. It has been carefully orchestrated by activist educators and parents from organizations such as the Caucus for Working Educators and United Opt Out, and it is growing by the day. The opt-out movement is a response to both the standardization of the educational experience and the damage of high-stakes testing. 

Charter applicants denied by SRC get promises of help with appeals

By Bill Hangley Jr. for NewsWorks on Feb 24, 2015 08:29 PM

In the wake of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission's decision to reject dozens of proposed charter schools, charter school advocates are preparing to help applicants who were turned down make the most of their last chance.

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