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Wolf gets warm welcome from Philadelphia teachers

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 27, 2014 08:05 PM

Under a blazing August sun, Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf practiced the politics of friendly with red-shirted members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers at Solis-Cohen Elementary School.

Union members, hoping that a Wolf win would translate into more school resources, posed for pictures and shook hands Wednesday with the man who current polling says will overtake Gov. Corbett in November.

City controller calls on District to display locked-away art

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Aug 27, 2014 04:36 PM

Philadelphia's city controller is calling on the School District to display some long-hidden works of art. Valuable pieces have been sitting in storage for years.

Controller Alan Butkovitz says the District should put on display about 200 pieces of art now in storage. The collection includes paintings by Thomas Eakins and N.C. Wyeth. Altogether, Butkovitz says, they could be worth $4 million to $8 million.

Philly families get help in search for quality preschools

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 27, 2014 02:37 PM

Parents searching for high-quality pre-kindergarten options for their children can be overwhelmed as they try to find a school they can trust.

On Tuesday, a coalition of nonprofit education advocacy organizations announced it will give parents a huge helping hand.

With the lead of the Philadelphia School Partnership, a new website is allowing parents to easily search and compare high-quality pre-K options. It can be accessed through, an existing site that evaluates K-12 options.

Judge: Boarding school at Girard College stays

By Dave Davies for NewsWorks on Aug 27, 2014 01:23 PM

A Philadelphia judge has put the brakes on plans by Girard College to suspend its high school and boarding programs next year in order to restore the school's finances.

Girard College is a unique institution in Philadelphia. Established by 19th-century merchant Stephen Girard, it offers a free education from 1st through 12th grades for kids of single parents at its 43-acre campus in North Philadelphia.

New principals for Cook-Wissahickon, Lea, KCAPA, Kensington Business

By Dale Mezzacappa on Aug 26, 2014 05:04 PM

With more than 40 schools opening in a week with new principals, the District has filled vacancies at Lea and Cook-Wissahickon elementaries and at Kensington CAPA and Kensington Business.

Jennifer Duffy is the new principal at Lea. According to a bio posted on the school's site, she was born and went to college in South Africa and most recently worked in the District's Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs. She is also a member of the Philadelphia Writing Project.

More accountability for teachers? Why none for District leaders?

By Lisa Haver on Aug 26, 2014 04:35 PM

Lisa Haver is a retired teacher, a member of the advocacy group Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, and an inveterate presence at School Reform Commission meetings. During a recent meeting, the first of the school year, she used her allotted three minutes of public testimony time to speak on a proposed contract related to implementing the state's new accountability system tying teacher evaluations to student achievement, which the SRC later approved. Haver asked the SRC members, "Is accountability applicable only to those in the classrooms? Why do we not hold those in leadership positions accountable?"

Below is a copy of her written testimony.

We are beginning another school year in which teachers and other school professionals will not be provided with anything close to what they need to do their jobs. 

Schools again rely on first-time principals to overcome budget crisis

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 26, 2014 12:23 PM

"Why on earth would you want to work in the Philadelphia School District?"

It's the question the leader of city schools has been using to grill principal candidates all summer long.

The future of city schools rests with you fearless, bike-pedaling millennials

By Christine Carlson on Aug 26, 2014 10:00 AM

Frequent Inquirer contributor Clark DeLeon recently wrote that he “has given up on the Philadelphia public schools." He asks why any young person would want to send their kids to a public school here and wonders where the fearlessness of “the endless stream of young, hip parents biking their helmeted toddlers through Center City traffic or adjoining neighborhoods” goes when it comes time to choose a school.

I’m not a millennial (I was born at the tail end of the baby boom), but I can answer his question.

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