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Literacy campaign stresses importance of teacher training at schools of ed

By Fabiola Cineas on Oct 9, 2015 03:19 PM

Education scholars continue to churn out best practices for literacy instruction, but these practices slowly, if ever, make their way to the hands of educators in the classroom.

This grim circumstance is connected to the 56 percent of Philadelphia 4th graders who scored below basic in reading on the 2013 National Assessment for Educational Progress. Sixty percent of these students were African American.  

Read the District-Council pact for new openness

By the Notebook on Oct 9, 2015 11:50 AM

Earlier this week, City Council and the School District signed a pact that ushers in a new period of openness between the two entities, whose relationship has strained in the recent era of financial austerity.

The "intergovernmental cooperation agreement," which lasts through June 30, 2017, establishes four terms for increased cooperation, information-sharing, and regular input from Council, which feels it has stepped up to make up for state funding shortfalls without getting enough respect or information from the District.

Protesting classroom cuts, 100 students march to District headquarters

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 8, 2015 04:03 PM

More than 100 Philadelphia School District high school students cut classes Thursday morning to protest a lack of resources in their classrooms.

Students first took to the streets outside of their respective schools – mainly the city’s magnet options – in an attempt to convince classmates to join them.

A citizen's guide to choosing a school for your child

By Ken Hung on Oct 8, 2015 02:46 PM

As the father of a kindergartner now attending a Philadelphia school, I’ve been following the recent flap over Philadelphia magazine’s photo for its October cover story, “A City Parent’s Guide to Schools.” Although I agree it was insensitive for the editors to put a group of White children on the cover of an issue focusing on the education of all of Philadelphia’s children, I wonder whether critics of the blunder did not go far enough.

As I read through the issue, I was troubled that the guide, though well- intended, seemed to be written with the idea that a parent is first and foremost an investor, someone who shops around for the right school as if picking a stock. I find this to be a little simplistic. After all, choosing a school for your child is not the same thing as buying shares in a company that may yield dividends – like a spot in the best high school or college – further down the road.

District facing cash-flow problems without state funds

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Oct 8, 2015 12:04 PM

The School District of Philadelphia is anticipating a cash crunch in just a few weeks. 

The problem is the budget stalemate in Harrisburg.

A daunting journey, but profoundly rewarding


Bill Hangley Jr.

on Oct 8, 2015 11:10 AM

Parents of struggling readers come from all walks of life, but they all have one thing in common.

That moment when they realized that something wasn’t quite right.

“He just wasn’t getting it – and I couldn’t figure out why,” said Erica Fields, a mental health caseworker from West Philadelphia.

All in – to support young readers


Dale Mezzacappa

on Oct 8, 2015 11:08 AM

Philadelphia has embarked on an ambitious campaign, called READ! by 4th, to ensure that all city students are able to read by the time they enter 4th grade, which numerous studies have shown is a make-or-break point for future success.

Students who reach this benchmark are more likely to do well in school and graduate. Students who don’t are more likely to tune out and drop out.

In this edition, we look at teaching reading in schools and at home and highlight where families can find resources.

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