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Stories tagged: WHYY/NewsWorks

Charter and District schools should not be at odds; my family relies on both

By Aja Beech for NewsWorks on Oct 30, 2014 04:52 PM

My education is, in part, a product of the best intentions of the School District of Philadelphia. In the early '90s, the elementary school I attended in my neighborhood, James Russell Lowell in Olney, could no longer accommodate students up to 8th grade, so at the age of 11, I began evaluations to attend a school outside of my neighborhood, something most Philadelphia public school students know about.

Of the hundreds of children having to transfer from Lowell that year, I think there were three or four of us chosen — all white — to attend Masterman magnet school in the Spring Garden neighborhood. Some of them I had never seen in Olney before. Some were from families who had come to live there to practice their religious convictions, my first experience with a kind of urban missionary. Others came from families who could afford to send their children to private schools.

Parents spar angrily with founder of closing charter high school

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 28, 2014 05:19 PM

Sparks flew at a meeting for parents on Monday night at Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter High School. The school's basement cafeteria became a battleground between the school's founder and a throng of incensed parents.

Many had learned only that morning that the high school program at the school's Tacony campus was permanently closing and that their children would have to find another school two months into the year.

"I'm frustrated with Walter Palmer. I'm frustrated with the District. I'm frustrated with everybody," said parent Courtney Dennis.

Germantown residents discuss plan to turn GHS property into a community charter school

By Daniel Pasquarello for NewsWorks on Oct 28, 2014 09:35 AM

More than 20 Germantown residents gathered Saturday at the Daniel E. Rumph II Recreation Center to learn more about the proposal to turn the now-empty Germantown High School site into a community charter school.

Julie Stapleton-Carroll, who would serve as Germantown Community Charter School principal should the idea gain Charter School Office approval, led the meeting.

Hundreds of students displaced as Walter Palmer Charter shuts its high school

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 27, 2014 02:30 PM

Two months into the school year, Walter Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter has shuttered its high school — displacing the 286 students who attended the Tacony campus in what the school's founder called a "human tragedy."

The scene on Harbison Avenue was the latest development in the charter's years-long scuffle with the Philadelphia School District regarding enrollment caps. Students arrived for classes Monday morning only to be told to head home.

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.

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.

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.

Journalists back Neshaminy student paper's refusal to print mascot name

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Oct 15, 2014 10:51 AM

The national spotlight is once again shining on the student editors of Neshaminy High School and, specifically, the word Redskins.

Some of the country's top journalism groups are rounding up support for the Bucks County teens who vowed last fall not to print the name of Neshaminy's decades-old mascot because they found it outdated and offensive.

Philly parents' complaints not about curriculum, argues Pa. education chief

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 14, 2014 06:02 PM

With resources stripped to bare-bones levels, parents in the Philadelphia School District filed more than 800 complaints last year with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The office has not investigated the claims, and last month the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court on behalf of seven parents and the advocacy group Parents United for Public Education in an attempt to compel action.

On Friday, acting Pennsylvania Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq petitioned the court to dismiss the case.

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