A key author of a new report showing rising graduation rates in Philadelphia, especially among vulnerable student groups, warned that the impact of recent District budget cuts has not yet shown up in the data and could affect future classes.
Several school districts, parents, and groups have taken a lawsuit alleging Pennsylvania's school funding system to be unconstitutional to the state Supreme Court.
An appeal filed Wednesday by the plaintiffs seeks to force the state's highest court to hear a case dismissed last month by Commonwealth Court. In that decision, the court ruled, as it has in prior lawsuits, that the question of school funding and what level of it is constitutional is a matter for the state legislature to decide.
In the Multiple Choices podcast, Keystone Crossroads senior education writer Kevin McCorry joins with Paul Socolar, publisher and editor of the Public School Notebook, and Notebook contributing editor Dale Mezzacappa to explain and explore the history, complexities and controversies of public education funding in Pennsylvania.
What’s working? What’s not? Notebook
City Council newcomers oust incumbents. Inquirer
OK, ready for Kenney vs. Green? Daily News
The School Reform Commission plans to vote on a resolution Thursday that keeps open the academically struggling Young Scholars Frederick Douglass charter school in North Philadelphia on the condition that its management be taken over by Mastery Charter.
Douglass is one of the initial seven low-performing District schools given to a charter operator for academic turnaround in 2010 under the Renaissance schools initiative, and it is the first to be recommended for transfer from one charter operator to another.
Judge awards $318,520 to whistle-blower. Inquirer
A shuttered school is missed. Inquirer
The School District has reached a deal with the union that represents more than 1,600 noontime aides and cafeteria workers, who have traded some seniority prerogatives and District payments into a benefit fund for higher wages.
The members of UNITE HERE! Local 634 on Saturday ratified a contract that runs through September 2017 and will gradually bring all members up to the 21st Century Living Wage set by the city, estimated to be $12.67 an hour by 2017. Most employees, who are part-time, now earn $10.88 an hour and have average annual salaries of $8,000.
The on-time school-level graduation rates shown in the chart below are from the 2013-14 School Progress Reports (SPR) published by the School District of Philadelphia. Rates shown are the percentage of students in the first-time 9th-grade cohort of 2010 who graduate within four years (excluding those who transfer out of the District).
These rates are based on the District’s new methodology, which attributes students to the last school they attended. This year’s School Progress Reports include three-quarters of all eligible charter schools; 62 of the 84 eligible Philadelphia charter schools that were in operation in the 2013-2014 school year participated.
Weingarten stumps for Helen Gym. Inquirer
To fight for education, vote for Helen Gym. Daily News
The Philadelphians most affected by the city's school funding crisis are without a doubt the nearly 200,000 District and charter school students. We talk about the students all the time, but how often do we talk to the students?
Phil Goldsmith has worn many hats in Philadelphia. He has worked in law, journalism, banking, and government. But it was Goldsmith’s position as interim CEO of the School District from 2000 to 2001 that started his relationship with the Notebook.
“I remember [Notebook editor] Paul Socolar coming to interview me. They did some short pieces on me, and that’s how I really got to see the Notebook,” Goldsmith said.
His leadership of the District took place during challenging times. He tried to counter privatization of the District, fighting Harrisburg on the plan to have Edison Schools Inc. take over schools. The District was in financial crisis, and he and others negotiated with state legislators to receive more school funding in exchange for giving the state more control and creating the School Reform Commission. Tragedy also struck under his watch when a kindergartner died as the result of a collapsed lunch table.
Multiple choices: The ins and outs of school funding in Pennsylvania. Keystone Crossroads/Notebook
Overhaul Pa.'s failing education model. Inquirer
Letters: 'Fully fund my education because' Daily News
City rolls out web app showing how tax hike would help Philly schools. Technically Philly
Vare-Washington offers a full spectrum of support. South Philly Review
Every College Student Should Try This. HuffPost
At Kensington Creative & Performing Arts High School, junior Gina Rodriguez said, she has found a place where she can be creative, express herself, and confide in teachers when she feels overwhelmed.
The principal, Lisette Agosto-Cintron, said the school is so small that everybody knows everybody.