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CTE Success Stories: Friends who bake together, dream together

By Samantha Weiss on Sep 10, 2015 12:47 PM

It was at the Culinary Arts CTE program at Randolph Career Academy that Rahsheen Gorham and Nyia Greer first became friends.

Now, as 2015 graduates, the two friends, both 18, share similar goals. The first one is to attend culinary school in Philadelphia.


By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 10, 2015 09:57 AM

Part Three of a three-part series

Part One | Part Two |  Listen to the documentary 

At a raucous parent meeting I attended, one man sat silently in the back of the room.

I had hoped to talk with him after the meeting ended, but he slipped away before I had the chance to introduce myself.

The critic

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 9, 2015 10:15 AM

Part Two of a three-part series

Part One |  Listen to the documentary 

Blaine Elementary's turnaround attempt is one of two that were unveiled by the Philadelphia School District last year. Kelley Elementary School, just a few blocks away from Blaine in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city, was the other.

Notes from the news, Sept. 9

By the Notebook on Sep 9, 2015 08:45 AM

Optimism, theme of equity emphasized at first day of school ceremony. Notebook

Philly schools chief begins year with new emotion. Inquirer

Unresolved Pa. budget looms over start of Philly schools. Daily News

Waiver means no ratings for many Pa. schools this year. Notebook

Pa. schools get a pass on performance profiles. Inquirer

Kids and teachers back in Philly schools, but state dollars MIA. NewsWorks

Students gather for back-to-school tradition in Philadelphia. CBS Philly

Philly's top cop stresses safety as school gets back in session. CBS Philly

Gallery: It's 'Back to School' day in Philadelphia. Sun Times

Today, the first day of 10th grade. Tomorrow, Philly's manufacturing future. Next City

Le Bok Fin neighbors unfazed by Internet outrage: ‘Let ’em have fun on the roof’ Billy Penn

At Bok Technical, a beer garden and a promise of more to come. Inquirer

Ideas to help students get organized. Tribune

Tips for traveling to, from school. Tribune

Time for Hite, Clarke to settle differences. Tribune

Standardized testing is failing our students. Daily News

Obama trying to boost free community college plan. AP

Obama to Promote College Affordability Plan on Michigan Trip. NY Times

Teaching Martin Luther King Jr. in the Age of Freddie Gray. NY Times Magazine

News summary from Keystone State Education Coalition

Optimism, theme of equity emphasized at first day of school ceremony

By Dale Mezzacappa on Sep 8, 2015 07:04 PM

As the familiar yellow buses crisscrossed the city in an unmistakable sign that summer is over, Superintendent William Hite continued to sound a theme of optimism and hope Tuesday morning at the ceremonial bell-ringing to open the new school year.

Waiver means no ratings for many Pa. schools this year

By David Limm on Sep 8, 2015 05:15 PM

After steep statewide drops in test scores that resulted from overhauled PSSA exams, Pennsylvania has been granted a one-year break from giving all schools an annual performance grade. 

The big shakeup

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 8, 2015 12:58 PM

Part One of a three-part series

Part Two  |  Listen to the documentary 

Maureen Brower faced a choice.

It was March 2014.  She’d been teaching at Blaine Elementary School in North Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood for five years.

Philly educators cautious, optimistic as new year begins

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 8, 2015 09:51 AM

Philadelphia School District students will arrive for the first day of classes Tuesday morning.

Educators are cautiously optimistic about the new year, but worries remain as classrooms citywide continue to feel the effects of budget constraints in recent years.

Maybe this year: A teaching life revisited

By Marsha Rosenzweig Pincus on Sep 4, 2015 03:16 PM

Editor's note: Marsha Pincus retired several years ago after more than three decades of teaching in Philadelphia public schools. She wrote this as an entry on her blog, "On Her Own Terms," and it has resonated with teachers since. Almost everything bad that can happen to a teacher has happened to her, and yet she always dug deeper to tap into the common humanity she shared with her students, and, for that matter, with the higher-ups who were trying to hold difficult schools together. It is important reading in an era when good teaching is defined and judged mostly as helping students do well on tests. It is so much more complex than that. As the new school year approaches, we are reprinting it here, with the writer's permission.

Buried beneath the test scores, the rosters, the class lists, the attendance statistics, the roll sheets, the interim reports, the report cards, the serious incident testimonies, the counseling referrals, the truant officer’s legal briefs, the probation officer’s assessments, the lesson plans, the behavioral objectives and the specific learning outcomes, Bloom’s taxonomy of critical thinking skills, "directed reading activity," and the five-step writing process, the think-pair-share activity, the split-page notetaking method, the SATs, the APs, the PSSAs, the benchmark tests, and the core curriculum -- real people are gasping for breath.

CTE Success Stories: 'It prepares you for whatever comes'

By Michaela Ward on Sep 4, 2015 12:19 PM

For Jeremy Estes, taking career and technical education classes meant something more than what a syllabus or test score can capture. It made him feel good about going to class.

“It gave me more motivation to go to school," he said. "All my friends were in that class. It felt like family.”

Estes graduated in 2014 from George Washington High School. He was enrolled in the Sports Marketing & Management program, which provides instruction in entrepreneurship, business economics, human relations, and related fields.

Estes said that his reasons for joining the program in 10th grade were simple.

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