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Blog posts from School District of Philadelphia parents.

Parents loud and clear at Council budget hearing

By Deborah Russell... on May 26, 2011 01:50 AM

You could hear the crowd all the way in North Jersey from yesterday’s City Council hearing on the District’s 2011-12 budget.

Hundreds of people and about 130 speakers - among them many parents - packed into Council chambers asking the mayor and councilmembers to figure out a way to put back $600 million dollars set to disappear in part, due to Harrisburg’s state budget cuts.

Charter School Invade and Retreat; Another Helps a Turkish Personality While A Teacher Talks Trash

By Deborah Russell... on Mar 22, 2011 09:42 PM

Parents have a lot to think about this week as it relates to charters.

Georgia Charter-School Operator Nixes Martin Luther King; Sticks w/Birney

The company - Mosiac Turnaround Partners - were awareded two schools to turn charter by the SRC, MLK high school and Birney Elementary. On the day of the announcement the company abruptly dropped its plans to work with MLK and instead said it would only work on the elementary level.

ACTION United meets with top District staff

By Deborah Russell... on Feb 23, 2011 05:46 PM

Who was it that said the joke about pit bulls and hockey moms?

Oh, right.

Well, how about asking what's the difference between pit bulls and Philly parents? On Feb. 4 you would have had to say "nothing."

Philly parents' long-anticipated date with Ackerman approaching

By Deborah Russell... on Jan 24, 2011 01:22 PM

Arlene Ackerman has agreed to a February 4 date for a public forum/meeting with interested parents and community members sponsored by ACTION United.

No more Ms. Nice Mom

By Deborah Russell... on Jan 18, 2011 01:53 PM

So back to the issue of parenting – from the standpoint of a “guest teacher,” the 21st century term for a substitute teacher.

Last week I had my first day working for the District at a high school in North Philly, and it was quite an adventure. I subbed for a Biology teacher and assumed that a science class would yield eager, attentive kids seeking to untangle the wonders of the life sciences.

During the first period that notion was dispelled quickly.

A New Year, a new blogger

By Deborah Russell... on Jan 6, 2011 03:55 PM

For the last year few years I’ve had the pleasure of working with parents from ACTION United (the organization formerly known as ACORN) on issues pertaining to our neighborhood schools. In 2011 I am joining the Notebook blog to share parent voices and the success and challenges of citywide parent activist groups.  As we start the spring semester, here are two interesting stories.

Mastery Charter summer school dilemma

By Samuel Reed III on Aug 3, 2010 12:41 PM

If you have followed my posts about charter schools you may surmise that I am both a supporter and detractor of charter schools. Now, I have a personal dilemma with Mastery Charter Schools' summer school program and I am asking my readers for some advice.

Notes from the news, Oct. 20

By Anonymous on Oct 20, 2009 09:13 AM

Pa. expediting education and welfare payments following budget deal Philadelphia Business Journal
Gov. Rendell said, “We were able to make all priority payments within four business days after the budget passed." Among them, funds for education, child care, and pre-K Counts.

Report says stimulus preserved education jobs The Washington Post
Nationwide 250,000 jobs have been created or saved. Locally, the AFT released a statement yesterday indicating that stimulus dollars helped Philly stave off lay-offs and pay for 200 counselors. 

African American woman first to head school WHYY
Girard College, a private boarding school for low-income children being raised in single-parent households, just welcomed a new president.

Parents: Schools need your vote today!

By Helen Gym on May 19, 2009 07:08 AM

Today is election day.

Some studies show that almost 85% of Philadelphia voters will stay home and give up their right to vote. But if you care about where the money goes in the Philadelphia public schools, here's hoping you won't be one of those people staying at home.

That's because today is the election for the City Controller, one of the most important offices for school parents. The City Controller is an independent auditing agency which is responsible for auditing a host of institutions and that includes the School District of Philadelphia.

Election Day is not a School Holiday

By Helen Gym on Apr 27, 2009 08:41 AM

As a parent, I’ve never been a fan of the policy to close school on election days – a ridiculous practice that has been going on since the Vallas administration. But the latest news that the city is forcing schools to add two extra days to the school calendar because they want to close schools for the May 19th election has me particularly irritated.

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