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Field narrows as 14 charter hopefuls submit proposals to SRC

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 17, 2015 02:55 PM

Fourteen potential Philadelphia charter operators submitted applications for proposed new schools by the Nov. 15 deadline. That's about one-third as many as last year.

Twenty-two schools had submitted letters of intent by the Oct 15 deadline.

Ten of the 14 applications came from existing Philadelphia charter operators. Six came from entities that did not submit applications in the 2014-15 cycle.

Pa. school officials lobby to keep taxing abilities

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Nov 16, 2015 04:07 PM

Tiny preschoolers and K-12 school students took Monday off to join school board members and exasperated parents calling for an end to Pennsylvania's budget impasse, as Gov. Wolf signaled that a budget deal wouldn't be ready before December.

Members of the advocacy coalition known as Campaign for Fair Education Funding fanned out throughout the Capitol building to meet individually with their lawmakers and ask for a finalized state budget.

Caucus of WE reveals leadership slate and campaign platform

By Paul Jablow on Nov 16, 2015 02:12 PM

Amy Roat, a teacher at Feltonville School of Arts & Sciences, will head an insurgent slate of candidates to run against the established Philadelphia Federation of Teachers leadership in the union’s 2016 elections.

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

By Paul Socolar on Nov 13, 2015 11:09 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.

District to create task force on testing

By Dale Mezzacappa and Greg Windle on Nov 12, 2015 07:11 PM

The Philadelphia School District plans to convene an assessment task force to study the impact of all the tests administered to city students and make recommendations for changes.

Chris Schaffer, deputy chief for curriculum, instruction and assessment, said that the task force will include parents, teachers, community members, and perhaps students.

The goal is to have its members in place by the December break and start meeting in January to reconsider the District's approach to testing.

Opportunities and challenges of community schools

By Ron Whitehorne on Nov 12, 2015 04:13 PM

As Mayor Nutter prepares to depart City Hall in January, his legacy in education is facing some scrutiny. He gets good marks for his focus on raising graduation rates and support for more funding. But his agenda also included closing neighborhood public schools and the expansion of charter schools (and to a lesser extent, magnet schools), policies that drew strong opposition.

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney is on record as favoring an education agenda that includes community schools. Over the length of his term, he would like to create 25 of these schools, neighborhood public schools that build community partnerships and bring under one roof the social services and supports that students and their families need.

After a scare, more details emerge in tentative budget deal

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 11, 2015 05:48 PM

After a scare Tuesday, leaders in the Pennsylvania Capitol said that the framework of a state budget agreement is still intact.

The tentative agreement includes a $400 million increase to K-12 public education this year.

Parent advocate shares information to improve education

By Catherine Offord on Nov 11, 2015 03:48 PM

How often does Notebook member Robin Roberts read the publication?

“All the time,” she said.

An education advocate in Philadelphia and the mother of three children in District schools, Roberts became a Notebook member in 2013. She said that she relies on the publication for nearly all education news.

“The Notebook is where I get most of my information,” she said. 

“I love the way the Notebook will take an idea, they will research the information, and will come back with a balanced view of what is going on.”

Caucus of Working Educators unhappy about PFT election procedures

By Dale Mezzacappa on Nov 10, 2015 04:25 PM

The Caucus of Working Educators, which is trying to topple the long-dominant Collective Bargaining (CB) Team for leadership of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, is protesting the union's election procedures -- or the lack of them so far.  

WE, as it is known, also alleges that CB-loyal building representatives – the elected union leaders at each school – are improperly seeking to bar them from distributing flyers and holding meetings in school buildings.

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