Please Join Today!
view counter

Changes to substitute teacher plan to be unveiled at SRC meeting

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Nov 19, 2015 09:38 AM

Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William Hite intends to present a new plan for covering teacher vacancies after months of dissatisfaction with a New Jersey contractor hired to supply substitutes.

Source4Teachers of Cherry Hill was awarded the District contract to provide 75 percent of the teachers needed by the District on any given day. In September, its fill rate was only 11 percent. That's increased, but only slightly.

What happens when a magnet school suddenly drops admission criteria?

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 18, 2015 06:39 PM

For many Philadelphia families, the city's special admissions magnet schools are key resources that keep them from moving out of town.

But what would happen if one of these schools was suddenly required to drop its acceptance requirements and begin enrolling students performing at far lower academic standards?

One Northwest Philadelphia public school – Hill-Freedman World Academy – is on track to find out.

Source4Teachers is the right partner for the District

By Kendley Davenport on Nov 18, 2015 03:44 PM

For a number of years, the School District of Philadelphia has been challenged to recruit and place enough substitute teachers to cover its teacher absences. The percentage of classrooms covered by a substitute when a teacher was absent, commonly referred to as “fill rate,” hovered between 50 and 60 percent. 

The District is not alone. Many districts throughout the country have been struggling to develop a large enough pool of substitutes to cover absences. Large urban districts, where teacher absences are noticeably more frequent, tend to be the most challenged. It’s an operational problem that requires considerable effort and resources, and most districts will readily admit they are ill-equipped to tackle the problem without outside help.

Understanding the PSSA exams

By Paul Jablow on Nov 18, 2015 12:37 PM

The Notebook is examining standardized testing this month. The topic is the focus of our upcoming December-January edition.

What are the PSSAs?

The Pennsylvania Department of Education launched the PSSAs (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) in 1992. They are standardized tests administered annually and are based on state standards for what students should know and be able to do at various grade levels.

Keystone exams: Questions and answers

By Dan Hardy on Nov 17, 2015 02:40 PM

The Notebook is examining standardized testing this month. The topic is the focus of our upcoming December-January edition.

What are the Keystone exams?

In 2009, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education voted to establish statewide end-of-course exams in order to set uniform benchmarks for key academic subjects. The tests began in 2011. The tested subjects are Algebra 1, Biology, and Literature.

Field narrows as 14 charter hopefuls submit proposals to SRC

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 17, 2015 01:55 PM

Fourteen potential Philadelphia charter operators submitted applications for proposed new schools by the Nov. 15 deadline. That's about one-third as many as last year.

Twenty-two schools had submitted letters of intent by the Oct 15 deadline.

Ten of the 14 applications came from existing Philadelphia charter operators. Six came from entities that did not submit applications in the 2014-15 cycle.

Pa. school officials lobby to keep taxing abilities

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Nov 16, 2015 03:07 PM

Tiny preschoolers and K-12 school students took Monday off to join school board members and exasperated parents calling for an end to Pennsylvania's budget impasse, as Gov. Wolf signaled that a budget deal wouldn't be ready before December.

Members of the advocacy coalition known as Campaign for Fair Education Funding fanned out throughout the Capitol building to meet individually with their lawmakers and ask for a finalized state budget.

Caucus of WE reveals leadership slate and campaign platform

By Paul Jablow on Nov 16, 2015 01:12 PM

Amy Roat, a teacher at Feltonville School of Arts & Sciences, will head an insurgent slate of candidates to run against the established Philadelphia Federation of Teachers leadership in the union’s 2016 elections.

South Philadelphia principal Hackney to be chief education officer, Kenney says

By Paul Socolar on Nov 13, 2015 10:09 AM

[Updated, 3:20 pm with Hite statement]

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney has named Otis Hackney, the principal at South Philadelphia High School since 2010, to be his chief education officer. 

Hackney is widely acclaimed for turning around the high school, which had been plagued by racial tension and by violent attacks on Asian students.

District to create task force on testing

By Dale Mezzacappa and Greg Windle on Nov 12, 2015 06:11 PM

The Philadelphia School District plans to convene an assessment task force to study the impact of all the tests administered to city students and make recommendations for changes.

Chris Schaffer, deputy chief for curriculum, instruction and assessment, said that the task force will include parents, teachers, community members, and perhaps students.

The goal is to have its members in place by the December break and start meeting in January to reconsider the District's approach to testing.

Follow Us On

Read the latest print issue

Philly Ed Feed

Recent Comments


Public School Notebook

699 Ranstead St.
Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 839-0082
Fax: (215) 238-2300

© Copyright 2013 The Philadelphia Public School Notebook. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy