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The Notebook's latest news posts.

UPenn report finds Pa. schools need an additional $3.5 billion

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 26, 2014 04:52 PM

A new report from the University of Pennsylvania finds that the state's school districts need an additional $3.5 billion to educate all students to meet academic proficiency standards.

Campaign for education funding draws broad support statewide

By Shannon Nolan on Nov 26, 2014 12:14 PM

More than 40 organizations joined forces in early October to launch a statewide campaign that calls for a fair school funding formula and access to quality education for all children, no matter where in Pennsylvania they live.

Known as the Campaign for Fair Education Funding, the coalition has a mission of ensuring that Pennsylvania adopts a K-12 public education funding system by 2016 that is “adequate and equitable,” with a focus on the importance of accuracy, stability for students and schools, shared responsibility, and strong accountability standards.

"Every child deserves a chance to succeed,” said campaign manager Kathy Manderino at the press conference announcing the effort. “We need a fair, sustainable and predictable method for funding public schools that recognizes the shared responsibility we all have – and the shared benefits we all receive – when every Pennsylvania child gets that opportunity."

Member organizations, including businesses and faith-based groups, educators, school district representatives and child advocates from across the state, agreed that sufficient resources are necessary so children can achieve success and that a collective effort is imperative, according to a campaign statement.

Constitution High students march to Liberty Bell to protest Ferguson

By Shannon Nolan and Dale Mezzacappa on Nov 25, 2014 03:07 PM

Cimani Cox was sitting in English class when teacher Rob Paul brought up what had happened the night before in Ferguson -- a grand jury's decision not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

She decided she had to do something about it. After all, this is Constitution High School.

Before long, she had the support of principal Tom Davidson and teachers for a protest march. 

Reader feedback invited: Teaching about Ferguson in Philadelphia

By Paul Socolar on Nov 25, 2014 01:03 PM

Many Philadelphia students have yesterday's news on their minds today -- of the non-indictment in last summer's police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. And some teachers and schools have changed their plans for the day to give students an opportunity to respond.

The Notebook would like to hear from teachers, parents, and others about how you are engaging with young people about that news. Please share your experiences and thoughts in our comments.

Addressing childhood trauma in schools: Expert views

By Paul Jablow on Nov 25, 2014 12:36 PM

William Hite had not even started his first day as superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia in August 2012 when he called for changes in climate in the system’s classrooms and corridors.

At a principals' summit that month, Hite said, “We can't arrest our way to higher student achievement. … We can't suspend our way to higher student achievement. We can't arrest or suspend our way to safer schools.

“Sometimes that angry look, that stare, that inappropriate response, is a cry for help more so than anything else.”

Researcher delves into Adverse Childhood Experiences

By Paul Jablow on Nov 21, 2014 02:20 PM

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.

Beers, bars and babies: Next generation of Philly school parents gets serious

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 21, 2014 12:59 PM

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.

SRC votes to close Imani Charter; school vows appeal

By Dale Mezzacappa on Nov 20, 2014 11:50 PM

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."

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