A report by a national nonprofit studying Philadelphia has concluded that the District does a poor job of hiring and assigning teachers, fails to effectively evaluate or support them, and overrelies on seniority to govern placement and layoffs.
The report, from the National Council on Teacher Quality, also said that Philadelphia pays salaries competitive with surrounding districts and most charter schools for the first 10 years, but then rapidly falls behind -- largely because the only way to get a raise after that, besides a negotiated percentage increase, is for a teacher to accumulate more graduate credits.
On a day that saw the closing of 49 schools in Chicago, it seems sadly fitting that Philadelphia is kicking off three days as the host city of the U.S. Conference of Mayors' national meeting on innovation.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors embraces controversial education reform trends that are spreading across the nation's cities: mayoral control of schools, parent trigger laws, charter co-location, and mass school closings. As head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Nutter has supported the organization's call to bring a number of those reforms, particularly mass charter expansion and mass school closings, to Philadelphia.
Although the theme for this meeting is innovation, Philadelphia has been anything but innovative when it comes to education reform.
Former interim superintendent Phil Goldsmith warned members of City Council last week against taking the silver-bullet approach to fixing public schools. He also offered some of his own thoughts on what additional sources of revenue could be tapped to help the cash-poor School District.
by Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks
Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter wants to raise money for the cash-strapped School District, mostly through tax increases on alcohol and cigarettes. But he needs Harrisburg to pass legislation to make that a reality.
See also: Report urges an end to automatic teacher tenure. CBS Philly
Roxborough community rallies against proposed school cuts. Notebook/NewsWorks
See also: Roxborough community rallies against school budget cuts. Montgomery News
Mastery charter graduates revel in their college choices. Notebook/NewsWorks
Here's professional development that actually makes sense. Making the Grade
Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra know the vital role music can play in a young person's development. At the School Reform Commission meeting on May 15, Don Liuzzi, speaking on behalf of the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he is a timpanist, submitted a petition imploring the SRC not to let budget cuts deprive schools of the music and art programs that are essential to the development of students' self-expression and creativity as well as the future of the city's musical community.
by Matthew Grady for NewsWorks
Standing before hundreds of parents and students gathered in the Roxborough High School auditorium, Timothy Boyle, a math teacher at AMY Northwest, asked the audience about the basic tasks of school personnel.
"Who is going to meet with students to review their high school options for next year?" he asked.
"Counselors," the audience replied, also responding to questions regarding secretarial duties, lunch monitoring, and in-school discipline.
by Aaron Moselle and Zack Seward for NewsWorks
Cheering fans, cheerleaders, and mascots filled Temple University's Liacouras Center on Monday afternoon.
None of them was there for a game.
Instead, thousands of students, staff members and parents traveled to the North Philadelphia arena for Mastery Charter Schools' first-ever College Signing Day, an event patterned after National Signing Day for high school athletes.
A new kind of college 'signing day.' Inquirer
Could budget cuts hurt Public League sports? Daily News
How Michelle Rhee misled education reform. New Republic
What’s wrong with school ‘choice’? Here’s what. Answer Sheet