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Notebook announces launch of search for a new publisher

By the Notebook on Oct 9, 2015 02:09 PM

The Notebook has launched its search for a new publisher – advertising the position, which it hopes to fill by the end of 2015.

Paul Socolar, Notebook co-founder in 1994 and editor/publisher since 1999, announced earlier this year that he will be stepping down to pursue other opportunities once a new organizational leader is hired and in place.

Read District and Council's pact for new openness

By the Notebook on Oct 9, 2015 11:50 AM

Earlier this week, City Council and the School District signed a pact that ushers in a new period of openness between the two entities, whose relationship has strained in the recent era of financial austerity.

The "intergovernmental cooperation agreement," which lasts through June 30, 2017, establishes four terms for increased cooperation, information-sharing, and regular input from Council, which feels it has stepped up to make up for state funding shortfalls without getting enough respect or information from the District.

Protesting classroom cuts, 100 students march to District headquarters

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 8, 2015 04:03 PM

More than 100 Philadelphia School District high school students cut classes Thursday morning to protest a lack of resources in their classrooms.

Students first took to the streets outside of their respective schools – mainly the city’s magnet options – in an attempt to convince classmates to join them.

A citizen's guide to choosing a school for your child

By Ken Hung on Oct 8, 2015 02:46 PM

As the father of a kindergartner now attending a Philadelphia school, I’ve been following the recent flap over Philadelphia magazine’s photo for its October cover story, “A City Parent’s Guide to Schools.” Although I agree it was insensitive for the editors to put a group of White children on the cover of an issue focusing on the education of all of Philadelphia’s children, I wonder whether critics of the blunder did not go far enough.

As I read through the issue, I was troubled that the guide, though well- intended, seemed to be written with the idea that a parent is first and foremost an investor, someone who shops around for the right school as if picking a stock. I find this to be a little simplistic. After all, choosing a school for your child is not the same thing as buying shares in a company that may yield dividends – like a spot in the best high school or college – further down the road.

District facing cash-flow problems without state funds

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Oct 8, 2015 12:04 PM

The School District of Philadelphia is anticipating a cash crunch in just a few weeks. 

The problem is the budget stalemate in Harrisburg.

School district, City Council reach deal on financial transparency

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Oct 7, 2015 05:38 PM
rnmental cooperation agreement. 

The pact, which guarantees financial transparency on the part of the District, means City Council will soon deliver promised dollars.

Parents at Cooke Elementary push back against charter conversion

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 7, 2015 04:57 PM

It began with a whimper, and ended with a bang.

On Tuesday evening, the Philadelphia School District hosted its first parent engagement meeting on its plan to convert Jay Cooke Elementary School in Logan into a neighborhood-based charter.

Parents react to news of Wister's planned charter conversion

By Connie Langland on Oct 6, 2015 05:18 PM

Parents from John Wister Elementary School have mixed opinions about the prospect of big changes at the school, but several who were interviewed agreed on a key point: Wister is a fixture in the Germantown neighborhood and should remain open.

On Thursday, Superintendent William Hite proposed closing some schools, creating others, and turning three elementary schools -- Wister, Jay Cooke in Logan and Samuel Huey in West Philadelphia -- over to charter management. Decisions about which operators will take over the schools, the District says, will be made after a lengthy process involving community meetings and extensive parental input.

Audit finds fault with Pa. education agencies

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Oct 6, 2015 04:43 PM

A new audit gives Pennsylvania's Department of Education poor marks for the way it deals with academically struggling schools and special employees.

The report, covering mid-2010 to mid-2015, finds that the agency failed to provide special help to most poor-performing schools unless it was expressly required by federal law.

Chester schools to seek special funding from Pa., cut charter payments

By Laura Benshoff for Newsworks on Oct 6, 2015 09:46 AM

In the midst of hearings to determine the fate of Chester Upland, arguably Pennsylvania's most financially distressed school district, representatives from the state and local charter schools held private negotiations on cutting charter school payments.

The fruits of those dealings are a compromise and a new financial recovery plan.

Wolf seeking bipartisan support ahead of Wednesday vote

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Oct 5, 2015 02:58 PM

Gov. Wolf is attempting to reframe Pennsylvania's budget debate in preparation for a tax vote planned for Wednesday in the House.

Calling it a "once-in-a-generation vote," Wolf said Monday that he continues to try to cobble together support for broad-based tax increases.

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