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The Notebook's latest news posts.

Election 2014: A look at Corbett and Wolf on education

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 21, 2014 05:12 PM

OK, let's get right to the looming question: Did Gov. Corbett cut a billion dollars from public, K-12 education?

That question can be answered in different ways. It all depends on what you count, and how you count it.

If you say yes, Corbett did cut the money, here's how your logic goes, as put together by Democrat Tom Wolf.

National expert instructs parents and District staff on bullying prevention

By Paul Jablow on Oct 21, 2014 04:53 PM

As psychologist Stephen Leff tells it, solutions to bullying in schools start at home.

Leff, co-director of the Violence Prevention Initiative at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, spoke during an anti-bullying workshop at District headquarters Monday. The workshop provided parents with practical tips and information on how to recognize bullying, support children who have been bullied, and work with schools in dealing with this issue.

“If you take one thing away from here today, it’s communicating with your kids," said Leff, also an associate professor of clinical psychology in pediatrics at CHOP. "The most important thing is to know what really happened [in school].”

Philadelphia Futures celebrates 25 years of publishing college guide

By Shannon Nolan on Oct 21, 2014 02:10 PM

Philadelphia Futures has reached a milestone in its mission to prepare students for college. This year marks the 25th anniversary edition of Step Up to College: Philadelphia’s Guide to the College Preparation, Application, Admissions & Financial Aid Processes.

Since 1989 Philadelphia Futures has annually published this resource, providing it free of charge to thousands of students throughout the city in efforts to help remove any barriers to postsecondary success.

After a surge of new students, school stumbles, then thrives

By Payne Schroeder on Oct 21, 2014 10:30 AM

Gregory Bonaparte Jr. loved his 5th-grade class at Tanner Duckrey Elementary School.

“Every time it was Friday, I wanted to go back to school,” said the 12-year-old. “That’s where my friends were.”

His disposition changed when he came back for 6th grade. Suddenly, Duckrey had hundreds of new students and practically doubled in size.

Judge blocks SRC-ordered health care changes for teachers' union

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 20, 2014 06:15 PM

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers won a favorable ruling Monday in city Common Pleas Court in its fight with the School Reform Commission.

On Oct. 6, the SRC unilaterally terminated the PFT contract and imposed health care changes that it said would provide schools more than $50 million in additional resources this year.

On Friday, the PFT filed several legal rebuttals, including a request that the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas grant a temporary injunction in the case.

Philadelphia High School Fair starts today

By Payne Schroeder on Oct 17, 2014 12:15 PM

The annual Philadelphia High School Fair starts today at the Armory at Drexel University on North 33rd Street, between Market and Cuthbert Streets.

Thousands of students and their parents are expected to visit the expo, which is presented by Great Philly Schools, in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia. The fair is designed for 7th and 8th graders, as well as high school students looking to transfer schools.

PFT files legal response to SRC's contract cancellation

By the Notebook on Oct 17, 2014 11:22 AM

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has filed a multi-pronged response to the School Reform Commission's move to cancel its contract.

Primarily, the union is challenging the District's gambit of going directly to Commonwealth Court with its action, bypassing the traditional labor relations process for settling contract disputes. The PFT is responding with motions to Commonwealth Court, the local Court of Common Pleas, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, and the American Arbitration Association.

SRC listens to anger for hours, after thousands protest contract cancellaton

By Dale Mezzacappa on Oct 16, 2014 11:37 PM

For nearly three hours Thursday night, the School Reform Commission listened to harsh and bitter criticism of its move last week to cancel its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and unliaterally change health benefits for the union's 11,500 members. 

Eagles player promises ice-cream party if West Oak Lane students read regularly

By Brian Hickey for NewsWorks on Oct 16, 2014 10:04 PM

Holding a brand-new book and poster freshly autographed by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin, young Kazir got to talking Wednesday morning about why he loves reading.

Among two dozen students in the Prince Hall Elementary School library for the "READ! By 4th Campaign" literacy event, the youngster said that good books often offer quality life lessons.

"Dictionaries. Other large books," he mentioned of things he's read. "One book taught me how to drive a car."

That's when Kazir's second-grade friend Jeremiah had heard enough.

After Palmer loses court case, 600 students will have to leave charter

By Bill Hangley Jr. for WHYY on Oct 16, 2014 08:15 PM

Usually, charter schools hold lotteries to decide who will attend. But one school is scheduled to hold a lottery Thursday night to find out who will have to leave.

A forced enrollment cut is just one of many problems faced by the Walter D. Palmer Charter School in Philadelphia's Northern Liberties neighborhood.

A pioneer of the local school choice movement, Walter Palmer has for years overenrolled his charter school, hoping to force the Philadelphia School District to eventually pay for the extra students.

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