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Stories tagged: NewsWorks

Students, educators frustrated by many days off early in the year

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Sep 23, 2015 05:02 PM

It's been a bumpy start to classroom instruction in the Philadelphia School District.

Between holidays and days off during the papal visit, by the end of September, kids will have had only 11 days of classes.

With Columbus Day sailing on the horizon, the city's District schools have only three full five-day weeks before Thanksgiving.

Principals fired in test cheating win back jobs through arbitration

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 25, 2015 07:16 PM

Two principals fired by the Philadelphia School District in the wake of the statewide standardized-test cheating scandal have won favorable rulings through arbitration that could return them to school leadership.

Special ed funding at heart of Chester Upland fight

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Aug 25, 2015 09:24 AM

Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge Chad Kenney is hearing arguments on a state-led plan to fix the Chester Upland School District's long-standing budget woes.

Without the plan, according to Gov. Wolf and other proponents, the district will not have enough money to operate for full school year and may not open on Sept. 2.

10 years after Katrina, New Orleans offers lessons about childhood trauma

By Laine Kaplan-Levenson for NewsWorks on Aug 21, 2015 11:45 AM

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, much of the physical damage the storm caused in the city of New Orleans has been repaired. Neighborhoods and communities have been rebuilt. Schools, hospitals, businesses, and restaurants have re-opened.

But a deeper, invisible wound brought by the storm remains. Thousands of residents, and especially children, were traumatized by the storm and the displacement and struggle that followed.

Lower PSSA scores spur some school districts to call for less testing

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Aug 19, 2015 09:28 PM

Last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Education shared preliminary test data for its new, Common Core-aligned tests -- and the results weren't pretty.

As a result, some area school districts are lobbying Harrisburg to dial back the number and consequences of standardized tests, sooner rather than later.

Concerns and 'nuanced' case for merging two low-performing schools

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Jul 24, 2015 10:03 AM

In the old Kensington High School building, two distinct schools have their own budgets, principals and classes. There's even a physical barrier, a kind of wall between the two spaces.

Essence Whiting, a rising sophomore at one of the schools, Kensington Urban Education Academy, said there are doors in the wall, but students stay on their own sides. She said she prefers Kensington Urban -- which has just over 300 students -- and relationships she has there over her old middle school, where the grades were three times as large.

Ethics Board fines teachers' union over contribution

By Dave Davies for NewsWorks on Jul 21, 2015 11:26 AM

The Philadelphia Board of Ethics has fined the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers $1,500 for contributions to City Council candidate Helen Gym in violation of the city's campaign finance law.

Political committees are permitted to give candidates for municipal office no more than $11,500 per year. The board found (and the PFT admitted) that the union's political committee gave Gym's campaign twice that, routing a second contribution through the committee of the American Federation of Teachers' Pennsylvania chapter.

Hints of a stop-gap budget in Pa., but no big breakthrough

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Jul 14, 2015 09:34 AM

A top Republican lawmaker suggested Monday that Pennsylvania may need a short-term budget as a compromise on a full spending plan proves elusive.

"The Senate Republicans [and] the House Republicans don't want to see services for the most vulnerable in the commonwealth ... held up," said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) as he emerged from a private meeting with Gov. Wolf, a Democrat.

Wolf cagey on pension position as Pa. impasse drags on

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Jul 10, 2015 01:27 PM

Democratic Gov. Wolf of Pennsylvania isn't ruling out a switch to 401(k)-style retirement plans for future state and school employees.

Contemplating Philly's portfolio school model after a year of closures, openings

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jun 25, 2015 03:35 PM

Philadelphia's public education strategy rests heavily on offering a wide variety of schools and school operators from which families can choose. At first glance, having these rich options seems like a no-brainer.

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