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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

South Philadelphia principal Hackney to be chief education officer, Kenney says

By Paul Socolar on Nov 13, 2015 10:09 AM

[Updated, 3:20 pm with Hite statement]

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney has named Otis Hackney, the principal at South Philadelphia High School since 2010, to be his chief education officer. 

Hackney is widely acclaimed for turning around the high school, which had been plagued by racial tension and by violent attacks on Asian students.

Help the Notebook as we examine standardized testing in Pa.

By Paul Socolar on Nov 6, 2015 05:16 PM

The debate about standardized testing has taken center stage in recent weeks, with the Obama administration acknowledging that its policies have contributed to a climate of overtesting in schools.

Clearing the record on Source4Teachers pay rates

By Paul Socolar on Nov 2, 2015 06:07 PM

The embattled substitute teacher supplier, Source4Teachers, announced a boost in some of its pay rates last week. There's been confusion and inaccuracy in past press reports, including our own, about how much the company is paying to whom. So we held up our story on that news to make sure we're getting the details correct.

It has been a slow process, but the Notebook has finally gotten answers that may clear up some confusion.

Why Philadelphia needs a 'Citizens' Commission for Education'

By Susan Gobreski on Oct 30, 2015 03:00 PM

We need a better mechanism for authentic public participation in the governance of the state-controlled School District of Philadelphia.

Education Voters has launched a new effort calling for the creation of a “Citizens’ Commission for Education” in Philadelphia.

Our current structure is inadequate. “We the people” really don’t have a way to ask questions about what is going on with schools. We can go to School Reform Commission meetings and make comments or ask questions, but that is all – speakers have no certainty of a response.

Nutter to sum up 8-year effort to boost education outcomes in Tuesday speech

By Kevin McCorry for WHYY/NewsWorks on Oct 26, 2015 06:28 PM

Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter set an ambitious agenda for schools in his 2008 inauguration speech, promising to cut in half the number of dropouts while doubling the number of Philadelphians who hold college degrees — both by 2015.

"I'm asking you to join me in the greatest American city turnaround that anyone has seen in the last 50 years. Ladies and gentlemen, I've laid out for you: This is the new Philadelphia," said Nutter during that speech.


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