The process of enrolling in a District or charter school can be complex and fraught with requirements that may discourage some parents and students. Advocacy groups like Education Voters Pennsylvania are pushing the District to simplify the process of how students are assigned to schools by implementing a common or universal enrollment system.
Thursday's School Reform Commission vote on the recommended closure of nearly 30 schools will undoubtedly have a major impact on the future of the city's public school system. In advance of the vote, the Notebook asked prominent Philadelphians to offer their thoughts, using new data and maps on school attendance patterns in the city as a starting point.
by Sandra Dungee Glenn
At the heart of school closings and school choice in Philadelphia is the question of equity -- or lack of it. For the last three decades, parents have been migrating to what they perceive as better options for their children, largely as a result of the neglect of schools in neighborhoods of color.
by Benjamin Herold, for NewsWorks, a Notebook news partner
Graphics by Michelle Schmitt and Todd Vachon
For almost an hour, Frank Thorne stood in line, waiting to denounce Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite.
It was early January. Nearly a thousand angry people were packed into a school auditorium. Along one wall, looking unhappy, stood a handful of North Philadelphia politicians, including Darrell Clarke, the president of City Council.
A 1st grader, then a teacher, then a parade of parents and activists blasted Hite's unprecedented plan to close 37 city schools, including Strawberry Mansion, their neighborhood high school.
By the time Thorne got to the microphone, he could barely contain his anger.
by Charlotte Pope
The deadline for applications to attend citywide admission or special admission high schools, or to transfer to District neighborhood schools is Friday, Nov. 30.
All students in grades 8 through 11, including English language learners and children with disabilities, may apply to neighborhood high schools outside their neighborhood attendance area and citywide and special admission high schools.
Response to the October 2012 edition article “A new blend of public and private”
I think the decentralized approach to school management that is a component of the portfolio model is questionable due to the lack of actually decentralizing.
by Sharmain Matlock-Turner
For many years, I have witnessed how parents and caregivers in Philadelphia truly crave more information about our city’s schools. As evidence, in just two weeks, more than 10,000 Philadelphians have visited GreatPhillySchools, a new website for families to learn more about nearly all of our city’s K-12 schools. As part of our longtime commitment to empowering families, the Urban Affairs Coalition is proud to be a partner in this citywide effort with the Philadelphia School Partnership and many others.
by Helen Gym
Every once in a while, it becomes apparent just how differently parents view high-quality education than do the reformers out there who are defining it purportedly for our own good. The GreatPhillySchools website (GPS) is just one example of this difference in viewpoints.
With Philadelphia firmly committed to creating a "portfolio" of schools as a way to improve outcomes for all students, it seems worthwhile to take note of a study just released by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.
by Charlotte Pope
Parents looking for information to help them choose an elementary school for their children now have a new resource.
Center City Residents Association (CCRA), Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA), and South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA) have collaborated to produce their first annual school fair.