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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

Hearings start Dec. 8 for 40 new charter school applicants

By Kevin McCorry and Paul Socolar for NewsWorks and the Notebook on Nov 26, 2014 06:55 PM

For the first time in years, the Philadelphia School District is accepting applications to open new charter schools.

Many of the applicants, which are listed below, are already familiar names. KIPP proposes three new schools, String Theory seeks four, and Mastery wants two, as do American Paradigm and MaST.

There are also some interesting newcomers making pitches.

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.

District posts charter school applications on its website

By Paul Socolar on Nov 20, 2014 08:24 PM

Earlier this week, the School District released a list of 40 applications that it received from organizations wanting to open new charter schools next fall.

Now the District has posted the 40 full applications on its website.

SRC violated Pa. Sunshine Act, court complaint alleges

By Paul Socolar on Nov 20, 2014 01:06 PM

Advocates have filed a complaint in Philadelphia court charging that the School Reform Commission violated the state Sunshine Act when it met Oct. 6 and voted to cancel the contract of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

The suit was filed by the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools in the Court of Common Pleas. In a statement, Lisa Haver of APPS, a plaintiff in the case, said, "The public should expect that the SRC would give adequate advance notice of such a major action, not take pains to shut the public out."

The School District has not offered a response and generally declines to comment on pending litigation.

Pa. sued for failing to provide fair, 'thorough and efficient' school system

By Paul Socolar on Nov 10, 2014 10:11 AM

[Updated 11/16 with complete, final version of complaint]

A long-anticipated lawsuit was filed today, charging state officials with failing to provide an adequate education system as required by the Pennsylvania constitution.

Suing the state are six school districts, parents from five districts (including Philadelphia), the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS), and the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference. They are represented by attorneys from the Education Law Center and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.

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