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From armed robbery to criminology

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 30, 2014 05:14 PM

When he was 35, Quaris Carter arrived in North Philadelphia as a stranger to the East Coast, carrying two garbage bags of clothes and barely a dime.

After more than three decades in Texas, he was just grateful for the chance to redefine his life.

"I actually sort of saw myself change," he said. "I started feeling free, like, I'm going somewhere new. It's a new start."

Hill-Freedman a national 'Blue Ribbon' school for second time

By Shannon Nolan on Sep 30, 2014 05:04 PM

The Hill-Freedman World Academy in Northwest Philadelphia was honored Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School.

This is the second time the selective-admission middle school has been awarded a Blue Ribbon, with the first being in 2006. It is the only District school to receive the award this year.

Coalition, parents win bill to improve academics for dyslexic children


Diane Reott and Nancy Scharff

on Sep 30, 2014 01:38 PM

Progress continues on efforts to advocate for children with dyslexia. On June 26, the Dyslexia and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program was signed into law by Gov. Corbett. Through this pilot, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will be able to analyze how early screening and high-quality, evidence-based instruction can improve reading performance for all students and reduce special education referrals, particularly for dyslexic students.

The passage of House Bill 198 represents a year of hard work by then-State Rep. Ed Neilson and the Pennsylvania Dyslexia Literacy Coalition, formerly Pennsylvania Dyslexia Legislative Coalition. The coalition includes parents of dyslexic students who were not identified in early elementary school, did not receive evidence-based instruction, and felt stupid for not being able to read.

Walter Palmer tells parents he has plan to save embattled charter

By Bill Hangley Jr. on Sep 30, 2014 10:47 AM

With legal and financial options dwindling for Walter Palmer's charter school, Palmer says he’s prepared to give up the school to save it.

“If I have been an impediment, I will step down. If I have been the problem, I will resign,” said the founder of the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School yesterday, during a community meeting at the school. “I will not get in the way of us educating our children.”

Pa. districts and community groups get $23 million to support at-risk youth

By David Limm on Sep 29, 2014 06:13 PM

The Pennsylvania recipients of a major federal grant program aimed at supporting at-risk youth were announced today by Gov. Corbett and his wife, Susan.

Sixty-four school districts and community-based organizations across the state will receive $23 million in three-year 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants. The grants will help support out-of-school time programs that give academic support to students from underperfoming schools and high-poverty areas, who are at risk of dropping out or disengaging from school. 

More than a third of that money will go to 23 grantees based in Philadelphia, a mix of community organizations and charter schools. (See the list of Philadelphia grantees below.)

Tonight's School Reform Commission meeting canceled

By the Notebook on Sep 29, 2014 02:51 PM

Tonight’s regularly scheduled School Reform Commission meeting has been canceled.

When asked, the District did not immediately give a reason for the cancellation of its monthly "strategies, policy and priorities" meeting. The next scheduled SRC meeting, an action meeting, will take place on Oct. 16.

Update: A spokesperson for the District said that the meeting was canceled because the format for the meetings is being revamped. 

Editorial - Wanted: Action from city

By the Notebook on Sep 29, 2014 01:27 PM

Philadelphians have been stepping up in many ways to address the huge resource gaps in schools. Teachers are digging deeper into their own pockets. Parents are volunteering in offices and classrooms. We’ve seen a school supplies fund, a restaurant fundraiser, a “Last Waltz” benefit concert, and lately a #StackThatPaper campaign. All this activity shows widespread understanding of how dire the situation is.

Editorial: Pa.'s flipped priorities

By the Notebook on Sep 29, 2014 11:28 AM

It’s hard to overstate the deplorable conditions facing Philadelphia school children again this fall: another year of bare-bones education, overcrowded classrooms, and gaps in essential services like counseling and nursing.

But Philadelphia is by no means the only Pennsylvania district to see budgets slashed and the jobs of teachers, librarians, nurses, and counselors eliminated. Districts across the state are reeling from four years of austerity. Here’s how some were responding this summer:

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