Today is National Teacher Day, and this afternoon 59 Philadelphia teachers, one from each District high school, will receive the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
The honorees will join Superintendent William Hite, School Reform Commissioner Wendell Pritchett, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan, three trustees from the Lindback Foundation, and others for the celebration, which will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater.
by Charlotte Pope
Robin Bethune, a junior at Roxborough High School, is intrigued by forensics, and she is eager about a class she's taking as part of an afterschool program being piloted in the District.
“Last class, we did a lab where we had to figure out who was at a crime scene by looking at DNA fingerprinting,” Bethune said. “I am excited to see the results.”
Bethune is one of 25 District students who are participating in a new biotechnology program launched by Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) in partnership with the District's 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund. The program, called Quest, uses lectures and lab-based research to help students gain skills in science, technology, engineering, and math -- also known as the STEM fields.
A new Graduation Nation report shows that the country is on track to reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020. Pennsylvania, however, is one of 23 states not on track to reach that milestone -- largely due to lagging progress in graduating Black and Latino students.
Pennsylvania is one of 20 states in which the African American graduation rate is below 66 percent, and one of 16 states in which the Latino graduation rate is below 66 percent (both are 65 percent). The gap between White and Black graduation rates and White and Latino graduation rates is, in both cases, 23 percentage points. The White graduation rate in Pennsylvania now stands at 88 percent.
by Bill Hangley Jr.
Students, community advocates, and Philadelphia School District officials agree: Closing high schools this year will make getting into college even tougher than usual for next year’s seniors.
“I want to go to college, and I’d have to meet all new counselors, all new teachers,” said Keith Harmon, a junior at Germantown High. “I have to get my letters of recommendation, [and] I wouldn’t really know nobody. I wouldn’t know who to go to.”
Harmon’s classmate, Quinisa Powell, put it more simply. “It will be hard to start all over,” she said.
by Charlotte Pope
The School District has begun to roll out a new system for responding to poor classroom performance, bad behavior, and truancy in students.
The West Philadelphia Parent and Family Resource Center, in collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia’s Parent University, held the second of four parent workshops Thursday to introduce a new system called RtII, or Response to Instruction and Intervention.
by Bill Hangley, Jr.
With the shadow of dozens of possible school closures looming in the background, a group of public school advocates has formally filed an ethics complaint challenging the legitimacy of the dramatic reform plan developed for the School District of Philadelphia by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the William Penn Foundation.
by Charlotte Pope
The deadline for applications to attend citywide admission or special admission high schools, or to transfer to District neighborhood schools is Friday, Nov. 30.
All students in grades 8 through 11, including English language learners and children with disabilities, may apply to neighborhood high schools outside their neighborhood attendance area and citywide and special admission high schools.
Pennsylvania’s investigation of possible cheating on state tests in Philadelphia is entering its second year with no results announced and with little information about its scope and depth.
So far, no area educators or school officials have been publicly charged with wrongdoing. Both the School District of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s Department of Education (PDE) have vowed to take disciplinary action, but those actions can take place behind closed doors.
Heightened security measures are expected to again be in force throughout the School District of Philadelphia when state standardized tests are administered next spring. Changes are unlikely at least until current cheating investigations are brought to a close, according to Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) spokesman Tim Eller.
Este otoño los defensores de la educación trabajaron para asegurar que se tomara en cuenta la opinión de la comunidad en la discusión sobre el futuro de las escuelas de Filadelfia: la Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) llevó a cabo dos foros y circuló una encuesta dirigida a padres, educadores, estudiantes y otros que apoyan la educación pública.