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Stories tagged: NewsWorks

Mayoral candidates seek teachers' endorsement at union meeting

By Katie Colaneri and Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Feb 26, 2015 09:54 AM

On Wednesday afternoon, six of the Democrats vying to be Philadelphia's next mayor pitched themselves to members of the city's teachers' union, hoping to score an endorsement.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers uses the forum to help decide who gets its support and its maximum allowable campaign contributions. Union president Jerry Jordan says members will vote, starting next week, and announce a formal endorsement by mid-March.

Each candidate was given five minutes to talk and 10 minutes for questions from the audience, ranging from how they would raise money for public schools, to the role of standardized tests, to their thoughts on resolving teacher contract negotiations that have dragged on for more than two years.

Hill-Freedman student hopes proceeds from her book will help buy art supplies

By Neema Roshania for NewsWorks on Feb 23, 2015 11:52 AM

Hill-Freedman 8th grader Maya Anderson has created a world full of crustaceans, supernatural humans and other creatures.

She's deft at explaining the scenes and intertwining plots that take place in "Philadae" — the post-apocalyptic world where her stories unfold. Maya's recently published book outlines 45 characters that she's created and illustrated herself.

Turned-down charter providers can make case before state appeals board

By Bill Hangley Jr. for NewsWorks on Feb 20, 2015 08:40 AM

Marc Mannella is a veteran of the Philadelphia education reform movement, but his education in the finer points of charter law may have only just begun.

"One way to look at tonight was that it was a night only lawyers could love," said Mannella on Wednesday, after the School Reform Commission shot down two of his three proposed new charter schools.

As the head of KIPP Philadelphia, Mannella must now decide whether to turn those lawyers loose.

At first forum of mayoral candidates, education is hot topic

By Katie Colaneri on Feb 19, 2015 04:56 PM

The six Democrats vying to be the next mayor of Philadelphia met Thursday morning for their first forum.

They were brought together by the Business Association of West Parkside to talk, well, business, but the conversation rarely strayed from education.

Teachers' group to 'grade' city election candidates

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Feb 16, 2015 07:27 PM

Fresh off a trial run grading candidates for governor of Pennsylvania, a group of Philadelphia teachers is getting ready to evaluate the positions of candidates for mayor and City Council.

Last year, the Teacher Action Group, or TAG Philly, awarded Tom Wolf an A for fair funding. Tom Corbett got an F.

'Icon' of independent journalism on Philly schools prepares to step down

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Feb 13, 2015 05:32 PM

A titan of Philadelphia's independent journalism scene is stepping down. Paul Socolar, editor, publisher and co-founder of the Philadelphia Public School Notebook will leave the influential publication in late 2015.

A former public school parent, Socolar helped launch the outlet as a free, independent quarterly newspaper in 1994. At the time, he was just shy of 40 years old, with two young daughters, 9 and 6.

Kenney's attack on Williams belies a nuanced position on charters

By Shai Ben-Yaacov for NewsWorks on Feb 12, 2015 10:58 AM

Philadelphia mayoral candidate Jim Kenney called out State Sen. Anthony Williams for cautiously praising a proposed $25 million from the Philadelphia Schools Partnership to the School District of Philadelphia.

Wolf's gas severance tax proposal may be first step in elaborate political dance

By NewsWorks Staff on Feb 12, 2015 09:58 AM

Gov. Wolf of Pennsylvania made good on a campaign promise Wednesday, proposing a 5 percent tax on natural gas drilling to go into effect in 2016 and generate $1 billion in its first year. The announcement may represent the first step in an elaborate political dance.

Speaking in a classroom at Caln Elementary School in Thorndale, Chester County, Wolf told reporters that the bulk of the revenue would go to funding education.

District official runs PAC once associated with Williams

By Dave Davies for NewsWorks on Feb 9, 2015 02:04 PM

How weird is this? The political committee formed early in 2013 to support the exploratory effort of mayoral candidate State Sen. Anthony Williams is now headed by a full-time employee of the Philadelphia School District.

The Philadelphia Daily News' Solomon Leach reported Saturday that the Believe Again PAC is headed by the District's government affairs director, Rodney Oglesby.

By listening, Delco legislator helps blue and red Pa. hear each other

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Feb 4, 2015 09:40 AM

State Rep. William Adolph, a Republican from Delaware County, has become a go-to guy for Pennsylvania lawmakers pursuing compromise, whether on school funding or other thorny issues.

In Pennsylvania – a state diverse in geography, wealth, ideology, and priority – the gears of the legislature often turn only when lawmakers engender confidence across party and parochial lines.

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