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A look back at the first two weeks of classes

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 20, 2014 10:29 AM

The resource-starved Philadelphia School District has now finished its second full week of classes.

Pending deal on former Germantown High catches neighbors off guard

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Sep 19, 2014 05:07 PM

A grassroots group in Northwest Philadelphia says it will fight to bring education back to Germantown High School. But it may have to win over members of a Maryland-based development firm to do that.

From the archives: Focusing on reading, math, and science

By thenotebook on Sep 19, 2014 10:49 AM

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 Spring 2001 print edition:


by Ros Purnell and  Paul Socolar

In this issue, the Notebook speaks with current and former District leaders, principals, teachers, and parents about what lessons they would draw from the experience of "Children Achieving," the school reform plan that guided the District for six years.

SRC approves Germantown High School sale to Md. developers

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Sep 19, 2014 09:38 AM

The Concordia Group, a Maryland-based development firm, now has the opportunity to buy several Philadelphia School District properties, including the former homes of Germantown High School and nearby Robert Fulton Elementary.

On Thursday night, the School Reform Commission voted to allow Concordia and the District to begin the negotiation process for the sale of five shuttered school buildings.

An abrupt departure in a district plagued by instability

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 18, 2014 06:29 PM

On the first day of classes, principal Saliyah Cruz addressed the inaugural freshman class at one of the Philadelphia School District's three new innovative high schools, the LINC, or Learning in New Contexts.

Cruz was hired in January to start the school from scratch and build a model to re-imagine the high school experience and create more options for kids in North Philly lacking the grades for magnet schools.

City Council approves ballot question on returning schools to local control

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Sep 18, 2014 03:50 PM

Philadelphia voters could have a question on the fall ballot asking whether they want to dissolve the School Reform Commission and return oversight of the District to local control.

If approved, however, the referendum would not be binding.

SRC will vote on sale of 11 closed schools

By thenotebook on Sep 18, 2014 02:49 PM

The School Reform Commission is scheduled to vote tonight at its monthly action meeting on the District's proposed sale of 11 former school buildings for a sum of $14 million, according to a preliminary list of meeting resolutions. 

Pa. audit expanded to review former education secretary

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Sep 17, 2014 06:19 PM

An ongoing audit of Pennsylvania's Department of Education will now also look into certain employees, including Ron Tomalis, the former secretary and special adviser to the governor who resigned under a cloud of criticism in August.

Democratic Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, the state's top fiscal watchdog, said Wednesday that the in-progress audit would review special advisers, contractors, and short-term employees.

Penn donates computers to Robeson High

By Payne Schroeder on Sep 17, 2014 02:54 PM

Several students and faculty members from Paul Robeson High School traveled to the University of Pennsylvania on Wednesday to pick up a much-needed donation of computer equipment.

Penn donated about 90 computers to the West Philadelphia school, mostly Dells and a few Macs, as well as hard drives, monitors, and projectors. The new equipment will replace the school’s older fleet of computers, which are running outdated versions of operating systems, like Windows XP, Windows 2000, or open-source freeware. 

Philly mayoral candidate wants to abolish SRC

By Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks on Sep 17, 2014 02:33 PM

Standing outside the headquarters of the cash-strapped Philadelphia School District, former city solicitor Ken Trujillo announced Wednesday that he is running for mayor — and that he wants to ax the School Reform Commission.

"We must end the state takeover of education in Philadelphia," Trujillo said. "It's time for the SRC to go!"

Pa. House's 'clean' cigarette-tax bill retains controversial charter element

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 16, 2014 03:15 PM

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives stripped contentious provisions from the Philadelphia cigarette-tax authorization bill in a rules committee meeting Tuesday, paving the way for a full chamber vote.

House leadership says that could occur either Wednesday or Monday.

The Philadelphia School District is counting on revenue from the $2-per-pack, city-only cigarette tax to begin flowing in the next few weeks to prevent more than 1,000 layoffs.

New online resource center aims to fill STEM mentorship gap

By Elana Gordon for NewsWorks on Sep 16, 2014 11:58 AM

Leaders across Philadelphia's public and private sectors have been scratching their heads over how to bring more low-income, female and minority students into the STEM careers -- science, technology, engineering, and math.

Hoping to expand access to these careers through a citywide mentoring initiative, Mayor Nutter announced the launch of a new online resource center and declared Monday to be "STEM Mentoring Day."

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