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Council introduces framework of school funding strategy

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Jun 4, 2015 03:33 PM

Mayor Nutter's plan to raise $105 million in recurring revenue for Philadelphia schools by hiking property taxes nearly 10 percent has hit a brick wall in City Council.

Council members have spent much of the spring looking for an alternative to fill the School District's budget hole. 

Winners of the 2015 Philadelphia Student Journalism Awards

By Greg Windle on Jun 4, 2015 03:02 PM

The Notebook is proud to announce the winners of the 11th annual Philadelphia Student Journalism Awards for high school students, honoring exemplary work produced in the 2014-15 academic year. Nine schools and organizations entered student work to be considered for four cash prize awards and four special recognitions.

Council huddles on school funds; District provides spending breakdown

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jun 3, 2015 03:48 PM

City Council spent Wednesday in a closed-door session considering how to raise additional revenue for the schools.

Reports indicate that Council President Darrell Clarke is looking at a solution short of the $105 million the District has asked for, and Mayor Nutter's proposed 9 percent property tax increase is apparently not on the table.

Superintendent William Hite is asking for $200 million from the state and $105 million from the city, not only to restore some personnel and services slashed over the last several years, but also to embark on his reform plan.

Council budget talks continue with little support for property tax hike

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Jun 3, 2015 02:18 PM

Philadelphia City Council continues its struggle to find a way to provide more money for the city schools.

Mastery celebrates students' college and future plans

By Michaela Ward and Samantha Weiss on Jun 3, 2015 12:52 PM

The slogan could be seen throughout Temple University's Liacouras Center: "Excellence. No excuses."

Graduates echoed it in the stories of their high school careers, and speakers emphasized it in their advice to the class.

Mastery Charter Schools held its third annual college signing day Tuesday to honor the academic achievements of more than 550 graduates from five of the charter operator’s six Philadelphia high schools.

'First in Math' program adds up to good results

By Bill Hangley for NewsWorks on Jun 3, 2015 10:42 AM

Some of Philadelphia's best young math students were honored Tuesday by the organizers of an online program called "First in Math."

Among them was Daniel Wang -- a 4th grader at Fitzpatrick Elementary who loves numbers and monster trucks. A trip to the Path of Destruction truck rally with his father next week will be Daniel's reward for finishing second in the nation in an online competition.

What the election said about the kind of schools Philadelphians want

By Ron Whitehorne on Jun 3, 2015 09:48 AM

The primary election was, among other things, a referendum on what kinds of schools Philadelphians want and how they think they should be governed.

Taken together with polling data, the election results show that the forces for corporate education reform, headquartered locally in the Philadelphia School Partnership, are losing the fight for hearts and minds, despite a seemingly limitless amount of money, a well-oiled public relations machine, and many friends in high places, including the media.

Nutter, Kenney join education leaders to unveil early childhood learning plan

By Brian Hickey for NewsWorks on Jun 2, 2015 03:35 PM

In a Children's Village classroom packed with like-minded adults, Mayor Nutter, Eva Gladstein of the Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, and mayoral candidate Jim Kenney joined with early-education leaders to unveil the city's "A Running Start Philadelphia: For Every Child, Birth to Five" plan.

From discipline-and-punish to a culture of prevention

By Paul Jablow on Jun 2, 2015 12:56 PM

For Amy Williams, principal of the William Dick Elementary School in North Philadelphia, it had to rank among the strangest frantic parent calls she had ever received.

“He’s crying because I washed his pants,” the mother of a 4th-grade boy told her.

Unfortunately, the pants had contained the boy’s wad of “Cat Cash,” play money handed out by teachers at the school to reward good behavior by individual students and whole classes.

SRC answers questions about itself, its decisions in town hall-style meeting

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Jun 2, 2015 12:45 PM

Trying to get answers from a large bureaucracy can feel like banging your head against a wall.

Last night, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission tried to break down some of its own barriers to communication in a largely unprecedented meeting devoted entirely to questions from the public.

Ask the SRC your questions

By the Notebook on Jun 1, 2015 01:12 PM


The School Reform Commission, in a rare gesture of openness, will be holding a town hall-style meeting today between 6 and 8 p.m. WHYY's education reporter Kevin McCorry will moderate the Q&A session. Your questions for the commissioners can be sent to    

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