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Which mayoral candidate would best improve city schools?

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Apr 16, 2015 04:54 PM

Philadelphia's future depends in large part on developing a public school system that can serve the city's large economically disadvantaged population while attracting middle-class families that will expand its tax base.

SRC preview: Closing Kensington Urban, Bok water damage, new playgrounds

By the Notebook on Apr 16, 2015 03:04 PM

An array of noteworthy resolutions have been slated for tonight's School Reform Commission meeting. The SRC will be deciding on proposals from the District that include a suspension of the school code, building sales, school improvements, grant acceptances, and a request to revise the school calendar.

In advance of the meeting, Youth United for Change will be protesting the District's plan to close Kensington Urban and merge it with another school in the same building. The student-led group successfully fought for the creation of the school and three other small high schools a decade ago.

What would proposed budget increases buy Philadelphia schools?

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Apr 16, 2015 01:21 PM

Four years after Pennsylvania state budget cuts reduced recurring funding for Philadelphia classrooms by $294 million, Mayor Nutter and Gov. Wolf propose to put nearly that much money back into the School District.

Former Atlanta educators sentenced to prison for roles in test-cheating case

By Corey Mitchell for Education Week on Apr 16, 2015 12:38 PM

A Fulton County, Ga., judge sentenced eight of the 11 former Atlanta schools employees convicted in a test-cheating scandal to prison Tuesday, reserving the harshest penalties for those who refused to reach sentencing agreements with the district attorney.

Almost all the defendants will spend time behind bars, a reality that hit home hard for some in the courtroom. Crying and sobbing could be heard as Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter handed down the first of the sentences.

Neighbors to oppose veterans center on vacant District property in Grays Ferry

By Jared Brey for PlanPhilly on Apr 16, 2015 09:41 AM

A group of residents living near 27th and Wharton Streets in Grays Ferry is planning to attend a hearing Friday morning in City Hall to oppose the sale of a vacant lot owned by the Philadelphia School District and slated for redevelopment as a health and services center for veterans.

Citing trouble finding fill-ins, District seeks to outsource substitute teachers

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Apr 15, 2015 07:18 PM

In what's become a more common strategy for public schools all over our region, the Philadelphia School District wants to outsource substitute teachers.

The District's main goal is not necessarily saving money, but ensuring that fewer schools are left scrambling to cover classes on a day-to-day basis.

That's welcome news to Maritza Hernandez, principal of Julia De Burgos Elementary School in North Philadelphia.

The case against closing Kensington Urban Education Academy

By Ron Whitehorne on Apr 15, 2015 05:39 PM

Once again the School District is moving ahead with a school closure plan that excludes the community and fails to look at other options.

This time it’s Kensington Urban Education Academy, which the District wants to close and merge with Kensington International Business, citing low enrollment and poor academic performance.  Both high schools are housed in the old Kensington High School building.

Campaigning for more benefits from Comcast ahead of next agreement

By Jared Brey for PlanPhilly on Apr 15, 2015 11:09 AM

Later this year, Philadelphia's City Council will begin a series of hearings on the city’s next 15-year franchise agreement with Comcast. The agreement, which expires this year, gives the company access to public streets and telephone poles, and in return, Comcast pays the city a “franchise fee” equal to 5 percent of its revenue from cable subscriptions.

Three Northwest Philly principals honored with Lindback Awards

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Apr 15, 2015 10:43 AM

In 2013, Dana Jenkins narrowly escaped the chopping block.

The Philadelphia School District's finances were in a sorry state, and nearly 4,000 layoff notices had been sent out to staffers. Some positions, including several assistant principal posts, were eliminated, including Jenkins' at Roxborough High School.

Nutter's team blasts candidates on school funding ideas, pushes tax hike

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Apr 14, 2015 05:55 PM

Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter has made headlines recently for blasting the field of candidates running to take his job.

Specifically, he says that all of their plans to meet the School District's funding needs are "bogus."

Lindback Foundation honors 7 Philadelphia principals

By Wendy Harris on Apr 14, 2015 02:15 PM

Seven principals will be honored this afternoon with the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation’s Distinguished Principal Award.

The annual award honors outstanding principals who have made great leadership and humanitarian contributions to their schools and communities. Each recipient will receive a $20,000 stipend to use in improving their school communities.

Lecture explores why racial literacy should begin in schools

By Samuel Reed III on Apr 14, 2015 12:39 PM

Earlier this month, Penn held its annual lecture named after Constance Clayton, Philadelphia's first Black superintendent. The title of the lecture was "Do Black and Brown Lives Matter? Reframing Public Media Racial Narratives for Urban Schooling." Addressing that issue was Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana studies and an associate professor of English at Lehigh University.

Peterson, a leading hip-hop scholar who regularly appears as a media contributor on MSNBC and other media networks, spoke about why the Black Lives Matter movement means so much for organizing and transforming classrooms and communities. Educational institutions, he said, should be at the forefront of unpacking the issues of systemic inequities found in schools, police departments, and other areas of civic life.

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