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Dale Mezzacappa has reported on education since 1986, most of that time with The Philadelphia Inquirer. Prior to taking over the education beat, she was in the Trenton and Washington bureaus covering politics and government. Her work has won many local and national journalism awards, including for a series spanning 13 years that followed 112 inner city sixth graders promised a free college education by a wealthy philanthropist. She is currently contributing editor at The Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a quarterly independent and non-profit publication. A graduate of Vassar and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, she teaches a journalism course at Swarthmore College and sits on the board of the Education Writers Association.
 

Recent Blog Entries

More by Dale Mezzacappa

District makes testing opt-out information more prominent

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 27, 2015 05:43 PM

School officials have responded to demands that they be more explicit in letting parents know that they have a right to opt out their children from taking standardized tests.

The steps are small, yet opt-out activists say that they are significant.

District budget, if funded, would add $130 million directly to schools

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 26, 2015 04:07 PM

The SRC adopted a "lump sum" budget Thursday that assumes that more than $264 million in new revenue from the city and state will be delivered. The funding has been proposed by Gov. Wolf and Mayor Nutter, but is by no means guaranteed.

The District needs to use $85 million of that just to keep services at current levels, according to Chief Financial Officer Matthew Stanski. It plans to use the rest to restore money to schools and embark on some of Superintendent William Hite's new initiatives.

SRC adopts nearly $2.9B 'lump sum' budget for 2015-16

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 26, 2015 03:01 PM

The School Reform Commission met Thursday afternoon to vote on a $2.86 billion "lump sum" budget for next school year that includes nearly $265 million in new revenue, based on proposals from Gov. Wolf and Mayor Nutter that would funnel more money to the District.

The budget shows that the District expects to end this fiscal year on June 30 with a $6.9 million surplus, which it plans to spend down next year.

Arise Academy charter will close in June

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 19, 2015 10:09 PM

Arise Academy, a charter school founded to educate children in the foster care system, will close its doors in June after six years of struggling to serve its difficult population and meet the requirements set out as a condition of its continued operation.

Education top issue for city, poll finds

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 16, 2015 05:25 PM

A poll from the Pew Charitable Trusts has found that residents rank education as the top issue facing Philadelphia, outpacing crime and the economy.

Opinion on the quality of the public schools has sunk over the past several years, the poll showed, but views on charter schools were mixed. 

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