February 13 — 12:32 pm, 2009

In case you missed it – stories from the week

Check out these truly shocking stories about two judges in Wilkes-Barre who, in return for kickbacks, sentenced students who committed minor infractions to privately-run juvenile detention centers. Kudos to John Sullivan of the Inky for following this story. It also made the front page of the New York Times.

One is tempted to point out the dangers of seeking profit through such public institutions as juvenile detention centers, prisons, and schools. But I won’t.

Here is another story from the New York Times about the ongoing battle between the United Federation of Teachers in New York and a KIPP charter school over organizing the faculty. The Times also wrote about a deal between Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Bishop of Brooklyn to convert four Catholic schools slated for closing into charters.

The School Reform Commission on Feb. 11 signaled that it is prepared to release seven provisionally approved charter schools from limbo so six of them can open in September. Here is the Daily News story. 

Mensah Dean of the DN has also been keeping after the district for not doing more to prevent costly break-ins in schools due to non-working security cameras and the failure to turn on alarms. Read his latest story here.

Kristin Graham of the Inky, meanwhile, is all over the parent protests of Gov. Rendell’s proposal to close the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children, a boarding school in Franklin County that gets 70 percent of its students from Philadelphia. The paper even sent her up there to check it out.

Not much coverage, meanwhile, of Gov. Rendell’s politically dicey suggestion that Pennsylvania consolidate its 500 school districts into no more than 100. Here’s a reaction story from the upstate Daily Review.

The Philadelphia Gay News reports on a public school teacher suing the district, alleging that it discontinued his medical benefits because he has AIDS.

Finally, the Baltimore Sun ran a fascinating three-part series on its superintendent, Andres Alonso, an Ivy-educated Cuban immigrant who took a Harvard law degree into the classroom and — taking no prisoners along the way — is making some headway in reforming that troubled district.  

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