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Stories tagged: school choice

District and Penn team up to study school turnarounds

By David Limm on Oct 2, 2014 05:30 PM

Philadelphia, distinct among large urban districts for its long history of pursuing school turnarounds using outside management organizations, has been a real-world laboratory of reform experiments for more than a decade.

By studying the successes and failures of the District's recent efforts to turn around academically underachieving schools, a team of researchers wants to create a body of knowledge that all schools can use to improve.

Bartram's troubles: Not about funds?

By Bill Hangley Jr. on Apr 16, 2014 05:36 PM

As news of violence and disarray at Bartram High School dominated Philadelphia headlines, national education researchers were downtown at the Convention Center, discussing the theory and practice of a “portfolio” school reform strategy that relies on management changes – converting low-performing schools to charters or closing them.

And although many have tied Bartram’s troubles to the budget cuts that sharply reduced staff levels at the school, Philadelphia School Partnership head Mark Gleason does not agree.

SRC meeting to address possibility of universal enrollment

By Bill Hangley Jr. on Jan 10, 2014 12:16 PM

When the School Reform Commission meets Monday for its monthly public strategy session, its goal will be to discuss the pros and cons of an unprecedented proposal: unifying the enrollment process for Philadelphia’s public, charter, and parochial schools.

But behind the scenes, a lengthy process involving a working group that included multiple stakeholders appears to have created little consensus over how this “universal enrollment” system might work, who should be in it, and even whether one should exist at all.

“There’s consensus that there’s a problem,” said David Lapp of the Education Law Center, a working group member. “We should improve on having over 80 different systems for how kids enroll in school.”

However, Lapp said, there has been no consensus on “the big [questions], who would run it and who would participate in it.”

Custom software helps cities manage school choice

By the Notebook on Dec 5, 2013 11:00 AM

by Benjamin Herold for Education Week

​With fewer available seats in good public schools than families who want them, many cities face a vexing challenge: How do you decide which children go where?

Enter Neil Dorosin.

"You have to allocate public school seats fairly, transparently, and efficiently, but it turns out that's not so easy to do," said Mr. Dorosin, the executive director of the Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice, based in New York City. "We help cities solve that problem."

Down to the wire on charter talks

By Connie Langland on Jun 13, 2013 02:59 PM

With their schools' mandates to operate running out in just a matter of days, leaders of 10 charters are deep into negotiations with District officials who are determined, at least for now, to defer plans by the schools to expand.

Citing the budget crisis, Superintendent William Hite last month announced he would not recommend any charter expansions in the coming year -- a setback to the publicized ambitions of 21 charter schools to add more than 15,000 students over the next five years. Such expansion would cost the District $500 million.

Develop a common application for all Philly schools, groups say

By by Kofi Biney on Mar 26, 2013 11:24 AM

The process of enrolling in a District or charter school can be complex and fraught with requirements that may discourage some parents and students. Advocacy groups like Education Voters Pennsylvania are pushing the District to simplify the process of how students are assigned to schools by implementing a common or universal enrollment system.

Dungee Glenn: The real issue is equity

By the Notebook on Mar 6, 2013 08:14 PM

Thursday's School Reform Commission vote on the recommended closure of nearly 30 schools will undoubtedly have a major impact on the future of the city's public school system. In advance of the vote, the Notebook asked prominent Philadelphians to offer their thoughts, using new data and maps on school attendance patterns in the city as a starting point.

Read the responses from: 
Mark Gleason and Mike Wang of the Philadelphia School Partnership
Helen Gym, a co-founder of Parents United for Public Education

by Sandra Dungee Glenn

At the heart of school closings and school choice in Philadelphia is the question of equity -- or lack of it. For the last three decades, parents have been migrating to what they perceive as better options for their children, largely as a result of the neglect of schools in neighborhoods of color.

In North Philly, keeping a high school open requires wooing neighbors back

By by Benjamin Herold, for NewsWorks, a Notebook news partner Graphics by Michelle Schmitt and Todd Vachon on Mar 5, 2013 05:23 PM

Click map for interactive version


For almost an hour, Frank Thorne stood in line, waiting to denounce Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite.

It was early January. Nearly a thousand angry people were packed into a school auditorium. Along one wall, looking unhappy, stood a handful of North Philadelphia politicians, including Darrell Clarke, the president of City Council.

A 1st grader, then a teacher, then a parade of parents and activists blasted Hite's unprecedented plan to close 37 city schools, including Strawberry Mansion, their neighborhood high school.

By the time Thorne got to the microphone, he could barely contain his anger.

Deadline for high school applications fast approaching

By the Notebook on Nov 28, 2012 04:31 PM

by Charlotte Pope

The deadline for applications to attend citywide admission or special admission high schools, or to transfer to District neighborhood schools is Friday, Nov. 30.

All students in grades 8 through 11, including English language learners and children with disabilities, may apply to neighborhood high schools outside their neighborhood attendance area and citywide and special admission high schools.

Story reveals an underlying conflict

By the Notebook on Nov 21, 2012 12:08 PM

Response to the October 2012 edition article “Painful choices” 

Read the latest print issue

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