First day of school inspires fears and hopes. NewsWorks
Call Widens For More School Nurses. CBS Philly
As Philadelphia students returned to school Monday, children's advocates rallied outside Gov. Corbett's Center City office to rebuke him for not spending more on education.
The city's public schools are opening with a scarcity of guidance counselors, nurses, and funding for supplies.
Back in the summer of 2012, I was between schools, having left after five years the first school that I worked in. I wrote every day, along with the 19 other teachers who took part in the Philadelphia Writing Project's summer institute. The experience changed my life.
I spent a lot of time with my colleagues, examining my practice and planning the kind of classroom that I wanted to teach in. After talking about what it means to have a student-centered class, I wrote a letter to my future students.
This year, I plan on using the letter again. This year, it seems much more important. When classes resume, kids will undoubtedly know that their school almost didn’t open on time because adults can’t figure out how to give them what they need and deserve. They will also be wondering about who in America does and doesn't value their lives.
When students showed up in school Monday, Saliyah Cruz and Neil Geyette embarked on the most important phase of an ambitious effort to reinvent the high school experience for many students in Philadelphia.
The two educators have designed and are running two brand new, non-selective high schools in North Philadelphia. Geyette is principal of the U School and Cruz is leading the LINC, which stands for Learning in New Contexts.
Here we go again.
The Philadelphia School District opens its doors today, and, for the second year in a row, district leaders admit that resource levels are nowhere near sufficient. Children, they say, will not get the thorough and efficient education they're promised by the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Schools this year will, in fact, have less.
Mayor Nutter’s annual Education Week, marking the opening days of school in Philadelphia, will have a couple of new twists this year.
The mayor’s activities will continue into a second week, city officials said, as Nutter plans to be in Harrisburg starting on Sept. 15 in an effort to ensure that the state legislature promptly approves the proposed Philadelphia-only cigarette tax increase upon its return from summer recess. The District is counting on $49 million from the tax this school year in order to avert further layoffs.
In another addition to the usual back-to-school activities, the mayor will go to a charter school board meeting on Sept. 10 to encourage other members of the public to do the same.
The Notebook was launched in 1994 as a newspaper committed to ensuring quality and equity in Philadelphia public schools. We celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first publication this spring. We are featuring an article from our archives each week, shedding light on both the dramatic changes that have taken place in public education and the persistent issues facing Philadelphia's school system.
This piece is from the Fall 2000 print edition:
by Jeanette Kaplan
Joe Pomales, proud parent of two Moffet graduates and one student in the 5th grade, does it all. With his desk by the front door, his is usually the first face that greets incoming visitors.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a commentary piece in which I argued that the School District and its supporters should focus attention on how to provide quality schooling with available resources and not concentrate solely on additional funding. The article generated many critical responses. Readers contended that I had given up on the fight for adequate funding for District students and was willing to settle for less than what students need – in terms of nurses, counselors and libraries, for example.
I regret that I was unclear. I absolutely do not think that District schools should passively accept less. My intent had been to suggest a strategy for providing quality education given the current circumstances and political climate. But that message clearly got overwhelmed by some of the recommendations I made.
This experience prompted me to think further about what parents, advocates, students, their teachers, and the community want and how politicians could respond.
So, here, I attempt to provide background for the long-running efforts to improve Philadelphia public schools and suggest options for action.
Better examples. Inquirer
First, respect city's teachers. Inquirer
Our schools are far from nonviolent. Philadelphia Student Union
Grading Teachers, With Data From Class. NY Times
For students in the Philadelphia School District, there is such a thing as a free lunch.
Starting this fall, the School District of Philadelphia will serve free breakfasts and lunches to all students, waiving the need for parents to submit a paper application proving their income is low enough to qualify.
The District's division of food services has transitioned to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Community Eligibility Provision — which allows districts that serve predominantly low-income students to discard the paper application.
Senator requests records on Tomalis. Post-Gazette
For the first time since the designation has been in place, zero Philadelphia School District schools have been deemed "persistently dangerous" by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The label has been used since the creation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
In each of the last four years, reported violent incidents in the District have been on the decline.