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SRC meeting dominated by charter conversion critics

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 16, 2015 05:15 AM

Philadelphia school leaders got an earful Thursday night.

Much of the four-and-a-half-hour School Reform Commission meeting was filled with contentious testimony.

Teachers, parents, and advocates decried the shortage of school nurses and took leaders to task for the so-far exceedingly underwhelming results of their decision to outsource substitute teaching placement services — leading some in the crowd to call for ousting Superintendent William Hite.

Mastery's CEO talks about expansion plan and Renaissance turnarounds

By Dale Mezzacappa on Oct 15, 2015 03:22 PM

Mastery Charter Schools CEO Scott Gordon said Thursday that a new $9.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education would be used to open new schools in the city and across the Delaware River.  

"We're expecting to open schools in Philadelphia and Camden," Gordon said in a telephone interview. "New schools or Renaissance schools. Our preference has always been Renaissance schools, because that is the quickest way to address kids who are trapped in struggling schools." 

SRC to hear from parents about charter conversion plans

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 15, 2015 02:31 PM

Expect a lively Thursday evening on North Broad Street.

Philadelphia parents, students, educators, and advocates will have their first chance to testify on the sweeping proposals unveiled by the Philadelphia School District two weeks ago.

Money for District overhaul should go to making buildings safer, healthier

By Jerry Roseman on Oct 15, 2015 12:59 PM

Philadelphia schools Superintendent William Hite has a plan to spend up to $20 million over several years on privatization, school closures, new schools, and other turnaround efforts aimed at getting 5,000 students “in better schools close to where they live.” My 30 years of experience in performing onsite evaluations of deficient school-building conditions leads me to propose something very different. Let’s spend that $20 million fixing the schools that our kids attend now.  

With $20 million, we can protect all school children and staff, while promoting achievement for many more than the 5,000 children in the limited number of schools that Hite hopes to impact. And we can do so without ignoring the universal positive impact of improving indoor air-quality conditions.

Mastery gets $9.6 million federal grant to expand

By Greg Windle on Oct 14, 2015 05:56 PM

Updated with information on Scott Gordon interview

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has awarded Mastery Charter Schools a $9.6 million federal grant with the goal of opening 12 new schools over the next five years as a part of the department’s Replication and Expansion for High-Quality Charter Schools program.

Looking for volunteers to help Notebook at High School Fair

By the Notebook on Oct 14, 2015 03:32 PM

The Notebook will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center this weekend when an estimated 8,000 parents and students will flood the venue for the annual High School Fair.

We will be handing out copies of our Fall Guide to High Schools, which contains profiles of 88 high schools, both District and charter. We’re looking for volunteers on Saturday to help us hand out the guides. 

If you can volunteer one or more hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, please contact Lauren Wiley by email or by phone at 215-839-0082 ext. 106. The Notebook could use your help!

Conference this week on "Education in Black and White"

By Dale Mezzacappa on Oct 13, 2015 07:43 PM

A series of events and panel discussions on the history of African Americans and schooling in Philadelphia are taking place this month, including a conference this Thursday through Saturday On "The Institute for Colored Youth and the Ongoing Struggle for Education."

The ICY, founded in Philadelphia in 1837, is now Cheyney University.

Judge approves charter cut, more funds for Chester schools. But can he do that?

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Oct 13, 2015 12:52 PM

After two months of negotiations and hearings, Delaware County Judge Chad Kenney has approved a drastic plan to rework the Chester Upland School District's finances.

The next question is, can he do that?

Education takes center stage in Philadelphia mayoral debate

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Oct 13, 2015 10:25 AM

More than 200 people packed a Center City auditorium Monday night for a tame, wide-ranging mayoral debate between Democrat Jim Kenney and Republican Melissa Murray Bailey.

As it has throughout this election season, education dominated the hourlong event at WHYY.

Teachers spent week in work-to-rule protest

By Dale Mezzacappa on Oct 10, 2015 11:30 AM

On a normal day, they’d be tutoring.

But Pamela Roy and her colleagues waved students away when the children tried to come into Room 202 during teacher lunchtime at Thomas Mifflin Elementary School in East Falls on Thursday.

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