The clock is ticking.
By 2017, in order to graduate high school in Pennsylvania, students must pass three state standardized tests: algebra, literature, and biology.
Based on most recent student scores — especially in biology — if trends continue, Pennsylvania will soon see far fewer of its students walking down the aisle in cap and gown.
In order to preempt that scenario, State Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Dauphin) has introduced a bill that would repeal the state-mandated graduation requirement, leaving the decision to local school districts.
As part of a regular series leading up to Philadelphia's May 19 mayoral primaries, NewsWorks will pose a question of the declared candidates. Do you have a question? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The inaugural question comes from me ...
Question: My wife and I are currently in the process of determining where our 4-year-old son will go to kindergarten next school year.
Our catchment-zone school does not meet our expectations. We have entered several public (charter) school lotteries, but whether he will attend any of those is up to luck and chance.
Blocking better schools. Daily News
Education plays part in mayoral race debated. Daily Pennsylvanian
One of Pennsylvania's most powerful state lawmakers says the actions of Philadelphia's City Council may put additional funding in jeopardy for the cash-strapped city School District.
Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) criticized City Council's decision not to hold a hearing on Mayor Nutter's plan to sell the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works.
Nutter's proposed deal with UIL Holdings Corp. of Connecticut would have privatized the utility for $1.86 billion. A portion of those proceeds would have been used to reduce the city's unfunded pension liability.
"Grit" has in recent years captivated the imagination of educators and policymakers, leading many to embrace the idea that schools should seek to cultivate in their students a set of personality traits demonstrated by researchers to be closely tied to academic and personal success.
Increasingly, though, critics are offering a different take, arguing that grit is a racist construct and has harmed low-income students by crowding out a focus on providing children with the supports they deserve and the more-flexible educational approach enjoyed by many of their more affluent counterparts.
That view was on full display Saturday at EduCon 2.7, a progressive education-technology conference being held in Philadelphia.
Is 'Grit' Racist? EdWeek
Pa. tax shift plans inspire early opposition. NewsWorks
Note: Joseph Dworetzky served as a School Reform Commission member from 2010 to 2014. The opinions expressed here are his own and are not to be read as the views of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, the law firm where he is a shareholder, or of the SRC or the School District of Philadelphia.
Last week, I received an email from the Philadelphia School Partnership expressing outrage over a recent report by Public Citizens for Children and Youth that recommended the School Reform Commission should not approve any of the 40 pending charter school applications. The group said PCCY’s recommendation was deeply flawed.
Thirteen of the 40 applicants – representing 13,000 new charter seats -- deserve approval, PSP said. The reason? These 13 schools are being proposed by high-quality charter school operators, with many of their existing schools serving a similar cohort of low-income students as District-run schools but receiving better school ratings. According to PSP, to reject these applications wouldn’t just be mistaken, it would be "outrageous."
Friday marks the opening of EduCon 2.7, an unorthodox ed-tech conference that stands apart from other such gatherings because of its approach (a strident commitment to progressive, inquiry-driven teaching), its location (a high school, Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy), and especially for the way it is funded (no vendor sponsorships, product exhibition spaces, or sales pitches allowed, in stark contrast to other large events in the sector).
Court: SRC cannot impose terms on teachers. Daily News
Parents Call For SRC To Approve More Charters. CBS Philly
The Publics and the Catholics. Citizen
Everybody hates Pearson. Fortune
The Education of Jeb Bush. NY Times
Last week, Philadelphia providers of afterschool programs such as tutoring and college prep were shaken up when their budgets were cut without warning.
Logging onto internal invoicing and attendance software, providers saw that their "slot levels," or the number of students they serve through Philadelphia's Department of Human Services funding, had dropped.
A promise yet to be delivered in West Philadelphia. Al Jazeera America
Doug Oliver wants Philadelphians to face harsh facts and make tough choices when it comes to education spending.
Having just stepped down from his post as senior vice president of marketing and corporate communication for Philadelphia Gas Works to run for mayor, Oliver speaks like a man with nothing to lose.