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Steel parents face daunting decision: Go charter or stay with District?

Submitted by thenotebook on Thu, 04/24/2014 - 15:36 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

by Bill Hangley Jr.

Parents of the Edward T. Steel School face a choice: Stay with the District or become a charter?

For Lamaine Robinson, a Steel graduate and now a high school sophomore at Mastery’s Gratz campus, the answer is clear: The District shouldn’t mess with what he considers success.

Watch: SRC meeting on charter school policies and renewals

Submitted by thenotebook on Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:27 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

At tonight's School Reform Commission meeting, the members will vote on adopting a new, more rigorous, more transparent charter school policy, which would make it easier to support high-quality charters and hold low-quality ones more accountable. Deputy Superintendent Paul Kihn will be making the presentation on the proposed policy. 

The SRC will also vote on the District's proposal to close Walter D. Palmer charter school and revoke its charter at the end of the school year.

'We Could Be King' documentary draws standing ovation and $250K donation

Submitted by thenotebook on Thu, 04/24/2014 - 10:01 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

by Brian Hickey for NewsWorks

The Flatbush Pictures crew whittled 500 hours of footage down to an 80-minute documentary. And, on Wednesday night, their efforts were rewarded with a standing ovation inside New York City's Sunshine Cinema during the Tribeca Film Festival.

The story they told was, in part, about the funding crisis that the School District of Philadelphia faced last year and continues to face today.

Lower court sides with charters and against School District in enrollment cap dispute

Submitted by Dale Mezzacappa on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 17:23 | Permalink

The School Reform Commission suffered another legal setback Monday in its effort to impose enrollment caps on charter schools and take other actions that run counter to the Pennsylvania School Code.  

In a ruling involving cases brought by five charter schools and later consolidated, Judge Gary S. Glazer of the Court of Common Pleas ruled that the SRC did not have the power to unilaterally suspend some sections of the school code involving charter schools.

Lawyers to call on City Council for more school funding

Submitted by thenotebook on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:27 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

by Jeseamy Muentes

The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and Education Law Center will host the “Lawyers Day of Action for Education,” a call to action by local attorneys to persuade City Council members to provide more money for the School District.

Leading lawyers will take part in a press conference and meeting with Council members from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday in the Council Caucus room at City Hall.  

Poll finds strong Pa. support for increased education funding

Submitted by thenotebook on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 11:41 | Permalink

by Mary Wilson for NewsWorks

Education groups are touting a poll that they say shows voters are more concerned than ever before about adequate funding for Pennsylvania public schools.

Pollster Terry Madonna, who designed the study, said it did not stack education against other items competing for limited state revenue. But the responses still indicated that education is a top priority for voters this year, he said.

Reimagining the 21st-century teacher by connecting with other teachers

Submitted by thenotebook on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 10:01 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks

Try to find the constant in most schools, and you'll most likely end up in the classroom of a veteran teacher. Students come and go – as do principals, superintendents and, with them, technology fads and ever-shifting educational philosophies.

But through massive budget cuts, a record number of school closings, and widespread staff layoffs, many Philadelphia teachers believe their voices have been lost in the shuffle.

Teachers' union, supporters seek fall ballot question on abolishing SRC

Submitted by Dale Mezzacappa on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 16:34 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools are seeking a resolution from City Council and a non-binding referendum on the November ballot calling for the School Reform Commission to be disbanded and the District returned to local control.

The PFT and PCAPS held a press conference Tuesday to announce the results of an informal survey of about 3,000 parents and residents that found overwhelming support for replacing the SRC with a local school board that is either elected or appointed by the mayor.

District wants to close down Walter Palmer charter school as of July

Submitted by thenotebook on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 13:53 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

by Dale Mezzacappa for the Notebook and Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks

The charter school office of the School District is recommending that Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School be shut down after the end of this school year. A six-page District memo cites problems including declining test scores, a $3 million general fund deficit, and failure of its associated foundation to maintain its nonprofit status.

Seven principals to receive Lindback award

Submitted by thenotebook on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 13:03 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

Seven Philadelphia School District principals will be honored Tuesday as outstanding leaders by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, and each will receive $20,000 to use in improving their schools and communities.

These school leaders, nominated by their schools and chosen by Lindback Foundation trustees, will be recognized during tonight's awards presentation from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Walnut Theatre. 

Will prosecuting parents help improve students' chronic truancy?

Submitted by thenotebook on Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:02 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks

What's the No. 1 thing that people who are arrested in Philadelphia have in common?

According to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, it's that they did not complete high school.

In an effort to keep students on the path to graduation, Williams said last week during a City Council budget hearing that he'd like to get tougher on the parents of elementary school students who are chronically truant.

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