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Stories tagged: activism

Opt-out movement reflects growing resistance to testing


Connie Langland

on Jan 27, 2015 01:38 PM

Last year, a handful of Philadelphia families balked at having their children sit for the high-stakes state standardized tests known as the PSSAs. This year, resistance to the tests is more widespread.

Youth groups participate in movement against violence


Shannon Nolan

on Jan 26, 2015 12:56 PM

The deaths of two unarmed African American men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and the non-indictments of the police officers who killed them have sparked protests throughout the country. In Philadelphia, members of youth advocacy groups Youth United for Change and Philadelphia Student Union have been among those raising their voices in protest of violence against young people of color and heightening the movement dubbed “Black Lives Matter.”

Youth United for Change finds new leader

By Marilyn Vaccaro on Aug 11, 2014 12:07 PM
Rapheal Randall was named executive director of Youth United for Change.

The application process was intensive, but Youth United for Change has selected Rapheal Randall as its new executive director.

Randall, 33, replaces longtime leader Andi Perez, who recently stepped down after 16 years with the organization. YUC made the announcement last week and plans to introduce the new leader to supporters and the broader community very soon.

Randall was chosen from more than 50 applicants by a search committee made up of YUC staff, board members, and alumni, according to a YUC news release.

YUC students walk out of school to protest budget cuts

By the Notebook on Jun 11, 2014 05:56 PM

Students from nine high schools walked out of school at noon Wednesday, converging on the School District, City Hall and Gov. Corbett's Philadelphia office to protest inadequate funding of their schools. 

As many as 200 students and supporters marched down Broad Street chanting and waving signs, escorted by police officers from Civil Affairs.

Muñoz-Marín parents vote decisively to keep school within the District

By Bill Hangley Jr. on Jun 6, 2014 09:56 AM
Updated | 3:50 p.m.: Superintendent William Hite announced that Muñoz-Marín will remain a traditional District school, saying, “Parents and guardians have chosen a path for their school and we are going to support their choice and quickly move forward with the very important work of improving outcomes for students at Muñoz Marín.”


A long, lively day of voting at Muñoz-Marín School in North Philadelphia ended with a decisive victory for the school’s current administration, with parents rejecting a proposed match with a charter provider, ASPIRA, and electing to remain under District management.

“It’s 223 for traditional public school and 70 for ASPIRA,” spokesperson Fernando Gallard announced at 7:45 Thursday night to a roar of delight from the school’s jubilant supporters and staff.

State groups make a push for early education funding


Dan Hampton

on Mar 28, 2014 10:11 AM

Ten advocacy groups across the state are making a push for more pre-K funding in Pennsylvania. This new coalition is seeking to use this year’s gubernatorial race as an opportunity to campaign for high-quality pre-K care for every family.

The coalition includes Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia (ELGP), Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

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.”

Education the lead issue at gubernatorial candidate forum

By the Notebook on Nov 26, 2013 03:00 PM

by Isaac Riddle

Five of the eight Democrats vying to challenge Gov. Corbett next year gathered in front of education and community groups at a candidate forum held at Temple University last Saturday.

The forum opened to chants of “whose children, our children” and “whose jobs, our jobs” by members of the audience.

Coalition launches new initiatives to push for school funding

By by Naveed Ahsan on Nov 25, 2013 03:49 PM

Since the District’s draconian budget cuts, there has been no shortage of protests in response to the funding crisis. Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools, a labor-community alliance, has called a series of actions know as Full Funding Fridays – weekly rallies every Friday morning at several schools currently suffering from the cuts.

Participants hand out leaflets and circulate petitions calling on legislators to increase education spending.

PCAPS has held Full Funding Friday rallies at over 50 District schools since starting the effort in September. At one protest in November, PCAPS members convened at the High School for Creative and Performing Arts, Grover Washington Jr. Middle School, and Decatur, Gideon, Gompers, Rowen, and Sheridan elementary schools.

The goal of the initiative, said PCAPS member Ron Whitehorne, is to build stronger partnerships with parents, students, and community members while forging public discussion around the issue of funding.

PCAPS: End property tax abatement program

By the Notebook on Oct 29, 2013 03:58 PM

by Naveed Ahsan

The Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools will launch a new campaign to end 10-year property tax abatements at a press conference today at 4:30 p.m. held at the luxury high-rise condos 10 Rittenhouse Square.

The city of Philadelphia now offers a 10-year tax abatement for building developers and owners, making them exempt from paying property taxes on new construction or renovations. PCAPS says these tax abatements will deprive the School District of Philadelphia of nearly $50 million in 2014. With that money, the group says, the District could have avoided the closure of 24 schools this past June and the layoffs of thousands of employees.

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