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Paul Socolar's picture

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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

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.

More on the Notebook/NewsWorks PSSA investigation

By Paul Socolar on Oct 31, 2014 04:05 PM

Notebook contributing editor Dale Mezzacappa will be on WHYY's NewsWorks Tonight, Friday at 6 p.m., discussing the Notebook/NewsWorks investigative report about the Pennsylvania Department of Education's delayed release of the 2014 PSSA results. (Listen to the show live at WHYY.org or by tuning into 90.9 FM. A recorded version will also be available at WHYY.org.)

The article, published Thursday evening, also discussed an across-the-board decline in statewide PSSA scores in reading and math in 2013 that had not previously been reported in the press.

Election near, but still no 2014 Pa. test scores; 2013 results showed a downward trend

By Dale Mezzacappa, Kevin McCorry, and Paul Socolar for the Notebook and NewsWorks on Oct 30, 2014 09:18 PM

Have standardized test scores declined for a third year in a row in Pennsylvania?

We’re not likely to find out before the gubernatorial election next week.

This year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has waited longer than usual to publicly release any data on test scores or school performance.

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