The Philadelphia Student Union has been running a multimedia workshop series called Yearbook PHL, which uses student narratives to compile snapshots of how teens are experiencing the public school system.
“People have a certain idea of what schools are like, but the only people who actually know what it’s like in school are the people that go to school,” said Mahala Papadopoulos, a Masterman 10th grader.
Which school districts in Pennsylvania receive the most state funding as a share of their total revenue?
If you guessed Philadelphia, you'd be dead wrong.
Which Pa. school districts get the highest percentage of aid from the state? NewsWorks/Notebook
With the District often chided for making information public at the 11th hour, SRC Chair Marjorie Neff recently promised more transparency for School Reform Commission meetings – or at least better service.
And after Neff's announcement that voting items for monthly SRC meetings would be available three weeks ahead of time, the District posted the draft of upcoming meeting resolutions on May 1, 20 days in advance of the May 21 meeting. This change gives more opportunity for the public to comment to the SRC in advance.
When an increasing number of parents in school districts as different as Philadelphia and Lower Merion opt their children out of standardized testing, it's clearly time for state and federal education agencies to rethink whether testing, as it has been practiced, drives better instruction or undermines fundamental educational values.
Unlike many who are philosophically opposed to standardized testing, I believe that we need objective measures beyond grades from teachers to assess student growth. I also believe that the punitive use of standardized testing results has led to the crippling of creativity in the classroom, the elimination of art and music and sports and recess, the departure of good teachers from the profession, the discouragement of talented young people from entering the profession, and the temptation to cheat.