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Mayoral candidates talk education, movies, and weed with Central students

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Mar 31, 2015 06:18 PM

Plenty of tough, wonky, policy-driven questions were lobbed at the Philadelphia mayoral candidates at a forum hosted by students at Central High School on Tuesday.

Among them were carefully worded queries about the city's unfunded pension liability, City Hall's perceived pay-to-play political culture, and – especially relevant to the social sciences students who organized the event – the future of Philadelphia public education.

District receives $1.5 million grant for innovations in early literacy

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 31, 2015 06:27 PM

The Philadelphia School District and the Free Library have received a $1.5 million federal grant for a program called "Building Bridges with Books" that will benefit students from 10 elementary schools.

The program is designed to "build bridges" between families and schools through early literacy activities, including monthly parent training sessions on the importance of reading and talking to children and regular visits to the library.

Mayor releases city's plan for helping young men of color succeed

By David Limm on Mar 31, 2015 06:05 PM

Mayor Nutter today presented the steps the city is taking to unstack the deck for young men of color by expanding educational opportunities.

A new report, released by the Mayor's Office, lays out how the city of Philadelphia plans to take on the challenge set forth by My Brother's Keeper, a national campaign launched by the White House last fall and focused on breaking down barriers for Black and Hispanic youth.

City Council candidates' views on education: Wilson Goode Jr.

By the Notebook on Mar 31, 2015 02:45 PM

On May 19, Philadelphians will hit the polls to winnow the field of City Council at-large candidates. Out of 28 declared candidates, only seven will be elected in November (including at least two from a minority party). Each party can run five candidates in the general election. The Notebook reached out to the candidates, asking their opinions on the election's most gripping issue: education.

Where do candidates stand on the School Reform Commission's decision to approve five new charter school applications? Whose job is it to find more money for public schools, the city's or the District's? Absent an agreement with the teachers' union, do they think the SRC is right to pursue concessions through the courts? And finally, what ideas do they have for how the District can fix its financial problems?

City budget struggles begin today

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Mar 31, 2015 09:39 AM

As Philadelphia City Council begins budget hearings today, it appears that at least part of the spending blueprint proposed by Mayor Nutter is in trouble.

A number of City Council members, including Councilman Ed Neilson, see the mayor's request for a more than 9 percent property tax hike as being "dead on arrival" in Council.

Kenney releases plan to raise $105M for schools, bolster pre-K offerings citywide

By Brian Hickey and audio by Katie Colaneri for NewsWorks on Mar 30, 2015 04:58 PM

With a retired teacher at his side Monday in a University City pre-K, mayoral candidate Jim Kenney released an education-policy paper that aims to raise $105 million and fully fund early childhood education "for 3- and 4-year-old Philadelphians in need."

Teachers' union canvasses for Kenney

By John Corrigan for NewsWorks on Mar 30, 2015 11:43 AM

The chants echoed outside the Philadelphia High School for Girls as about 50 teachers, students, and local community organizers rallied on a chilly Saturday morning in support of mayoral candidate Jim Kenney.

City Council candidates' views on education: Paul Steinke

By the Notebook on Mar 30, 2015 10:58 AM

On May 19, Philadelphians will hit the polls to winnow the field of City Council at-large candidates. Out of 28 declared candidates, only seven will be elected in November (including at least two from a minority party). Each party can run five candidates in the general election. The Notebook reached out to the candidates, asking their opinions on the election's most gripping issue: education.

Where do candidates stand on the School Reform Commission's decision to approve five new charter school applications? Whose job is it to find more money for public schools, the city's or the District's? Absent an agreement with the teachers' union, do they think the SRC is right to pursue concessions through the courts? And finally, what ideas do they have for how the District can fix its financial problems?

Wolf has a vision for ending SRC, not a blueprint

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Mar 30, 2015 09:55 AM

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission is here to stay, at least for a little while longer.

Gov. Wolf campaigned on the idea that he'd like to replace the SRC with a locally elected body, but proponents of that plan shouldn't hold their breath.

District makes testing opt-out information more prominent

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 27, 2015 05:43 PM

School officials have responded to demands that they be more explicit in letting parents know that they have a right to opt out their children from taking standardized tests.

The steps are small, yet opt-out activists say that they are significant.

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