Since the spring of 2013, Roy Wade has seen the impact of trauma on urban youth and adults in low-income neighborhoods from three vantage points.
One is from his Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia research office 13 floors above Market Street.
A second is from his pediatrics office in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia.
And the third is from his travels in the neighborhoods to such places as boys’ and girls’ clubs, YMCAs, community health centers, homeless shelters, primary care sites and behavioral health organizations.
Dark bars, craft beers, cooing babies and a basic philosophical belief in the power of public education: Meet the new generation of urban-professional parents who just may be crucial to the long-term success of the Philadelphia School District.
At two separate evening events in the city this week, throngs of young, civically minded parents gathered at bars to drink in the pros and cons of sending their not-yet-school-aged children to the District's oft-beleaguered neighborhood public schools.
For Tom Wyatt, an attorney by trade, that neighborhood school would be Andrew Jackson Elementary.
The School Reform Commission voted 4-1 Thursday night to close Imani Education Circle Charter School in Germantown, leading the school's board and CEO to promise a swift and strong appeal to the state.
"We will go through the appeal process and will be fine," said CEO Francine Fulton after the vote. "I have no fear the state will deny our charter."
Earlier this week, the School District released a list of 40 applications that it received from organizations wanting to open new charter schools next fall.
Now the District has posted the 40 full applications on its website.
Students at four Philadelphia-area high schools now have a greater chance of going to college, thanks to a $200,000 grant.
College Possible, a nonprofit that offers college preparedness services for low-income students, accepted the grant from AT&T during an event at Parkway Center City High School on Wednesday. The money will be split among its four partner high schools: George Washington, Parkway Center City, West Philadelphia, and Upper Darby High School in Delaware County.
In a sign that the movement to opt out of testing is gaining traction, the Philadelphia City Council Education Committee on Wednesday heard parents, teachers, and education advocates decry state and federal officials' emphasis on high-stakes standardized testing.
"Standardized tests negatively impact students living in poverty, English language learners, and children with special needs, of which Philadelphia has many," said Alison McDowell, a District parent who has led Philadelphia's opt-out movement and helped organize the hearing with Councilman Mark Squilla.
The challenge, posed to community members at a charette last week, was to devise, design, and present new uses for two shuttered school buildings within 24 hours.
The Community Design Collaborative, a nonprofit that provides free design services; the Deputy Mayor’s Office; and the American Institute of Architects hosted the charette, a term used in design circles to describe a collaborative planning session involving representatives from different disciplines.
Experts, advocates, and ordinary citizens from Philadelphia on Tuesday told legislators charged with revising Pennsylvania's education funding formula that city schools are reeling from the consequences of insufficient revenue and urged the panel to base state aid on real student need.
"Philadelphia schools are now a strong investment," said School Reform Commission Chair Bill Green to the members of the Basic Education Funding Commission, which has been holding hearings around the state. He said that several years ago, while on City Council, he didn't believe this, but that he is now confident in the leadership of Superintendent William Hite.
This past spring, a caucus formed within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers with the goal of energizing the union's ranks and re-engaging members in pressing issues of social justice in education.
On Nov. 8, the Caucus of Working Educators (WE) held its first annual convention at the Old First Reformed United Church of Christ in Philadelphia, where more than 125 teachers, counselors, and education advocates from Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey came to learn more about strategizing and organizing.
A new study by Research for Action has found that Pennsylvania's cyber-charter sector continues to yield subpar results on the state's standardized tests.
Using the state's recently released school performance profile data for 2013-14, RFA found the average School Performance Profile score for the cyber-charter sector was 48.9 – well below the averages for the state's brick-and-mortar charters and traditional public schools.