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Campaign for education funding draws broad support statewide

By Shannon Nolan on Nov 26, 2014 12:14 PM

More than 40 organizations joined forces in early October to launch a statewide campaign that calls for a fair school funding formula and access to quality education for every child no matter where in Pennsylvania they live.

Known as the Campaign for Fair Education Funding, the coalition has a mission of ensuring that by 2016 Pennsylvania adopts a K-12 public education funding system that is “adequate and equitable,” with a focus on the importance of accuracy, stability for students and schools, shared responsibility, and strong accountability standards.

"Every child deserves a chance to succeed,” said campaign manager Kathy Manderino at the press conference announcing the effort. “We need a fair, sustainable and predictable method for funding public schools that recognizes the shared responsibility we all have – and the shared benefits we all receive – when every Pennsylvania child gets that opportunity."

Member organizations, including businesses and faith-based groups, educators, school district representatives and child advocates from across the state, agreed that sufficient resources are necessary so children can achieve success, and that a collective effort is imperative, according to a campaign statement.

Reader feedback invited: Teaching about Ferguson in Philadelphia

By Paul Socolar on Nov 25, 2014 01:03 PM

Many Philadelphia students have yesterday's news on their minds today -- of the non-indictment in last summer's police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. And some teachers and schools have changed their plans for the day to give students an opportunity to respond.

The Notebook would like to hear from teachers, parents, and others about how you are engaging with young people about that news. Please share your experiences and thoughts in our comments.

Addressing childhood trauma in schools: Expert views

By Paul Jablow on Nov 25, 2014 12:36 PM

William Hite had not even started his first day as superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia in August 2012 when he called for changes in climate in the system’s classrooms and corridors.

At a principals' summit that month, Hite said, “We can't arrest our way to higher student achievement. … We can't suspend our way to higher student achievement. We can't arrest or suspend our way to safer schools.

“Sometimes that angry look, that stare, that inappropriate response, is a cry for help more so than anything else.”

Researcher delves into Adverse Childhood Experiences

By Paul Jablow on Nov 21, 2014 02:20 PM

Since the spring of 2013, Roy Wade has seen the impact of trauma on urban youth and adults in low-income neighborhoods from three vantage points.

One is from his Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia research office 13 floors above Market Street.

A second is from his pediatrics office in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia.

And the third is from his travels in the neighborhoods to such places as boys’ and girls’ clubs, YMCAs, community health centers, homeless shelters, primary care sites and behavioral health organizations.

Beers, bars and babies: Next generation of Philly school parents gets serious

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 21, 2014 12:59 PM

Dark bars, craft beers, cooing babies and a basic philosophical belief in the power of public education: Meet the new generation of urban-professional parents who just may be crucial to the long-term success of the Philadelphia School District.

At two separate evening events in the city this week, throngs of young, civically minded parents gathered at bars to drink in the pros and cons of sending their not-yet-school-aged children to the District's oft-beleaguered neighborhood public schools.

For Tom Wyatt, an attorney by trade, that neighborhood school would be Andrew Jackson Elementary.

Four Philadelphia-area high schools get $200K for college prep

By Shannon Nolan on Nov 20, 2014 12:18 PM

Students at four Philadelphia-area high schools now have a greater chance of going to college, thanks to a $200,000 grant.

College Possible, a nonprofit that offers college preparedness services for low-income students, accepted the grant from AT&T during an event at Parkway Center City High School on Wednesday. The money will be split among its four partner high schools: George Washington, Parkway Center City, West Philadelphia, and Upper Darby High School in Delaware County.

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