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Temple joins growing list of schools making standardized tests optional

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 29, 2014 05:36 PM

Nervous test-takers, fear not. Temple University announced Tuesday it will join the growing list of colleges ditching the SAT as an entrance requirement.

The university calls it the "Temple Option," describing it as "an admissions path for talented students who show great potential for success but don't perform well on standardized tests."

Activist requests investigation into Pa. education adviser's work situation

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Jul 29, 2014 04:34 PM

A government reform activist is trying to get Pennsylvania's Ethics Commission to investigate a special adviser to Gov. Corbett.

The ethics complaint calls for an investigation into Ron Tomalis, an adviser on higher education and a former state education secretary.

Campaign ad returns Pa. focus to education spending

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Jul 29, 2014 04:06 PM

Education funding cuts are front and center once again in a tiff between Pennsylvania's candidates for governor.

A television attack ad that surfaced last week highlights the issue, which has dogged Republican incumbent Gov. Corbett in the polls for years.

Bonds of mentorship help student defy culture of low expectations

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 28, 2014 04:58 PM

According to the most recent longitudinal study of Philadelphia graduation rates, just 10 percent of students who begin 9th grade in Philadelphia public schools manage to persist all the way through to college graduation.

To raise achievement levels, the city and state have restructured public education in Philadelphia over the last 15 years, rapidly expanding both District and charter options – with mixed results.

Reading program hopes to help Philly kids give 'summer slide' the slip

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 28, 2014 09:58 AM

Education experts have long advocated for parents to keep their kids engaged in learning over the summer – when skills picked up during the school year can get rusty.

That "summer slide" can be especially tough on students from families who can't afford high-quality summer programs. To combat this loss, State Sen. Vincent Hughes has organized the Save Our Skills summer reading program – a free, four-week literacy program where students receive a free breakfast and lunch while sharpening their skills with certified teachers.

From the archives: School District implements daily weapons searches

By thenotebook on Jul 25, 2014 11:09 AM

The Notebook was launched in 1994 as a newspaper committed to ensuring quality and equity in Philadelphia public schools. We are celebrating 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.

From the Fall 1999 print edition:


by Paul Socolar

Philadelphia 's school safety problems took center stage this fall after the shooting of an assistant principal in a scuffle with a Bartram student and the murder of a King High School 10th grader outside school, both in October. 

Students find calm through mindfulness and guided meditation

By Stephanie Marudas for NewsWorks on Jul 24, 2014 04:51 PM

Mindfulness meditation might be the new yoga, but does it have a place in the classroom?

Skipping recess to meditate might not be what most kids would choose to do. But in the lunchroom at Isaac Sheppard Elementary School in North Philadelphia, a loud bunch of 3rd and 4th graders are about to get quiet. They gather around teacher Jamie Roberts. She's going to take them to her classroom for meditation club and gets their attention.

Common Core: What it is, what it isn't and why it's political

By Laura Waters for NewsWorks on Jul 24, 2014 03:39 PM

What a week for adversaries of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)! On July 22, Glenn Beck, the radio and TV personality, hosted "a live national night of action against the Common Core" called WE WILL NOT CONFORM and told Fox News' Sean Hannity that the Common Core was "creating millions of slaves."

Appeal hearing delayed in case of MLK student's football eligibility

By Brian Hickey for NewsWorks on Jul 23, 2014 11:59 AM

Wednesday's scheduled appeal hearing to determine the football eligibility of a student who transferred to Martin Luther King High School in March has been postponed until next month.

Robert A. Lombardi, executive director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), told NewsWorks on Tuesday that scheduling conflicts for the principals of MLK (William Wade) and George Washington High School (Gene Jones) led to the delay.

Roadblocks to child care snag Philadelphia's student parents

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 23, 2014 09:23 AM

A recent survey found that there are about 15,000 young Philadelphians lacking a high school diploma who are not currently enrolled in school or employed.

To better understand the "why" behind this number, the advocacy group Public Citizens for Children and Youth studied how access to child care for young parents affects high school completion rates.

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