A coalition comprised of an array of political, religious and civic leaders on Monday reiterated its call that the School District to impose a one-year moratorium on closing schools, presenting an analysis showing that the proposal to shutter 37 buildings disproportionately affects Black and Latino students and those with disabilities.
At the same time, they announced that the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education will investigate its complaint that last year's closings of eight schools schools was similarly discriminatory.
Philadelphia’s current restructuring plan is based on the “portfolio school district” model, where there is an array of public, charter, and other schools operated by independent organizations. Parents have choices among a “menu” of schools, including schools that are not operated by the District. District administration manages the portfolio of schools based on performance, closing poor-performing schools, expanding capacity in those that are doing better, and opening new ones designed to meet community needs.
A national report released Wednesday showed that far fewer dollars are spent per student in schools with predominantly Black and Latino enrollments, and that staffing those schools with less experienced teachers accounts for much of the spending disparity.
For more than four decades, Harold Jordan has seen the fight to improve public education take many forms, so he knows a vital tool when he sees one.
He's felt that way about the Notebook since he first saw it in the mid-1990s.
Jordan recalls spotting the newspaper for the first time while walking the halls of Powel Elementary School. An active parent of two children attending the school at that time, Jordan was frequently on site, and one day he saw the Notebook stacked against the wall.
Two studies from Brown University look at segregation in housing and schools, and find that Philadelphia is one of the most unequal regions in the country.
Daniel Denvir wrote about the study for the City Paper and highlighted some key points including:
The statistics paint a bleak picture. In Philadelphia public schools, 51 percent of Latino and 46 percent of African American males do not graduate. The School Reform Commission's African American and Latino Male Task Force commissioned a study to understand what factors contribute to the low achievement and dropout problems for young men of color.
The provocative January 25 panel Shifting the Numbers: Men of Color and Education, sponsored by Makuu Black Cultural Center and Teach for America, was not without its controversy. Any time you discuss issues of race, class, and education you are bound to ruffle a few feathers. The discourse is likely to get heated if you focus on central questions like: How to better educate young males of color? How to increase the number high-quality men of color standing in front of students of color?
Updated at 4:20 p.m
Both the DREAM Act and the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" in the military will have to wait for their respective turns in the Senate after midterm elections. This is due to the Republican-led blockade that did not allow the defense bill to even be debated on Tuesday.
I'm supposing none of y'all know what the title to this post means. I'll put it this way: that's proper Chicano English, a southwestern US of A dialect of Spanglish, for "aw yeah, crazy dudes!"
What worries me is that still, today, there are people who think that English is the only language that should be spoken in this land. But I take relief when amigos gabachos stand in defense of the many tongues spelling out life in the today's United States. So, gracias to attorney and blogger Len Rieser for his post in response to a Christopher Paslay's op-ed piece that appeared in The Inquirer earlier this week.
The Effective Teaching for All Campaign has stepped up its efforts to rally public support for key changes in the new contract as talks between the School District and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) proceed amidst a money crunch.
The campaign, a joint project of the Education First Compact and Cross City Campaign for School Reform, has set as its top priority getting a contract that promotes equitable distribution among schools of experienced and effective teachers.
At a special meeting on July 8, the School Reform Commission unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the District to sign a consent agreement bringing an end to a long-standing lawsuit on racial inequity. The case dates back October, 1970, when the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission filed a complaint that the Philadelphia School District was "unlawfully segregated by race."
The agreement uses Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's Imagine 2014 strategic plan as a framework for continuing steps to address racial inequities in the District. The PHRC will retain the ability to go back to court if the agreement’s goals and objectives are not met.