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First Name
Paul
Last Name
Socolar
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Bio

Editor and director of the Notebook since 1999, Paul was one of the Notebook’s founders in 1994. He came to the Notebook as a public school parent with a long history of involvement in public education and other social justice issues. His children both graduated from Philadelphia public schools. He has been an active Home & School Association member and served as a parent representative on a School Council. Prior to becoming editor, he worked on education issues for the National Coalition of Education Activists and the American Friends Service Committee.

Recent Blog Entries

More by Paul Socolar

Pa. budget talks focus on schools and pensions

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Aug 14, 2015 10:05 AM

There are glimmers of progress, but no specific examples of agreement after two straight days of budget meetings between Gov. Wolf and Pennsylvania's legislative leaders.

The latest round of discussions has focused on education funding and proposed changes to state and school pension benefits.

"These are the two issues that we've been focused on in the last two days, and we will continue to work through them until we have an agreement and can get to the other items," said Republican House Majority Leader Dave Reed.

'Glen's Village' to be shown at four film festivals, starting this month

By Greg Windle on Aug 13, 2015 03:19 PM

Glen’s Village, a documentary film produced by the Notebook this year in partnership with 5th Borough Films, has been accepted to four film festivals – from New York to Arizona. The Notebook has launched a crowdfunding campaign to use this film to create awareness of childhood trauma.

Sharp climb in number of students opting out of state standardized tests

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 12, 2015 07:51 PM

In a sign that the opt-out movement continues to grow, the number of elementary school students who refused to take Pennsylvania's state standardized tests rose dramatically over the last two years.

From 2013-14 to 2014-15, opt-outs on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment math test more than tripled – from 1,017 students to 3,270. That's a 220 percent jump.

In the same years, PSSA English language arts opt-outs jumped 139 percent – from 1,355 to 3,245.

Opt-outs on the science test jumped 263 percent – from 309 to 1,123.

Sharp climb in number of students opting out of state standardized tests

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 12, 2015 07:49 PM

In a sign that the opt-out movement continues to grow, the number of elementary school students who refused to take Pennsylvania's state standardized tests rose dramatically over the past two years.

Between 2013-14 and 2014-15, opt-outs on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment math test more than tripled – from 1,017 students to 3,270. That's a 220 percent jump.

In the same years, PSSA English language arts opt-outs jumped 139 percent – from 1,355 to 3,245.

Opt-outs on the science test jumped 263 percent – from 309 to 1,123.

Top Pa. court to decide if SRC can cancel teachers' contract

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 12, 2015 06:29 PM

A battle between the Philadelphia School Reform Commission and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is heading to  the state's highest court.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will decide whether the SRC has the authority to unilaterally cancel the teachers' contract.

In October, the SRC voted to cancel the teachers' contract and impose health care concessions on teachers in order to achieve $200 million in savings.

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