by Michael Masch
I am struck by how many supposedly politically sophisticated public school advocates appear to be urging City Council to give the Philadelphia School District more money, independent of what the state does. If that happens, most of the horrible cuts now looming will still occur, since $60 million represents less than 20 percent of the District’s identified 2013-14 budget gap.
It seems to me that Council President Darrell Clarke has a point when he says that Council has already increased city funding for the District two years in a row, even as the Commonwealth was cutting and freezing its funding, and it's just not smart for the city to do that again.
by Dale Mezzacappa and Charlotte Pope
The seven principals honored Tuesday night with the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation's Distinguished Principal Award had strikingly similar explanations for their success -- and it had nothing to do with achieving high test scores, implementing the Common Core standards, or no-nonsense discipline.
In accepting their honors, most of them talked about love. Some described themselves as missionaries.
“Every day I pray and ask God to send angels to surround the building,” said Kensington CAPA principal Debora Carrera. “We are saving lives. … [Students] need to know there are adults in their lives who love them and accept them for who they are.”
Four months after William Hite took the helm of one of the most troubled big-city school districts in the nation, the new Philadelphia superintendent is set to release his blueprint for turning the system around on Monday.
Hite is facing a grim reality. He is already committed to closing 37 schools -- nearly one in six -- and needs to stave off what will turn into a $1 billion annual shortfall by 2018 if austerity measures aren’t taken now.
by Bill Hangley, Jr.
With the shadow of dozens of possible school closures looming in the background, a group of public school advocates has formally filed an ethics complaint challenging the legitimacy of the dramatic reform plan developed for the School District of Philadelphia by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the William Penn Foundation.
Superintendent William Hite has hired Matthew E. Stanski as chief financial officer for the School District. Stanski worked in that position in the Prince George's County school district when Hite was head of the schools there.
Este otoño los defensores de la educación trabajaron para asegurar que se tomara en cuenta la opinión de la comunidad en la discusión sobre el futuro de las escuelas de Filadelfia: la Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) llevó a cabo dos foros y circuló una encuesta dirigida a padres, educadores, estudiantes y otros que apoyan la educación pública.
Education advocates worked this fall to ensure a community voice in the discussion about the future of Philadelphia schools: The Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) sought input through two forums and a survey aimed at parents, educators, students, and other public education supporters.
Since coming to Philadelphia, Superintendent William Hite has emphasized the importance of community input and involving students in decision-making. This fall, Hite created the Office of Student Services to tackle student issues and ensure that their voices continue to be heard, and he brought in a former colleague to lead it.
“If you really want to focus on curriculum, instruction, and what’s happening in the classroom, it is critical to pull out the student services,” said new Chief of Student Services Karyn Lynch.
by Charlotte Pope
Many parents, teachers, and community members filled the Francis Myers Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia on Thursday for a second forum held by the Philadelphia Coalition for Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS).
The forums are part of an ongoing effort by PCAPS to get community input as it works to map out alternatives to the reform strategies suggested by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
If your organization is in the process of a change in leadership or is contemplating one and wants to know how to do it amid a changing public education landscape, then consider attending Need in Deed’s 3rd annual education forum.