[2nd paragraph updated]
With the election of Democrats Jim Kenney as mayor and Helen Gym to City Council on Tuesday, there is a new dynamic at City Hall regarding education policy.
Kenney has promised to work toward universal preschool, which was also a focus of the Nutter administration. But the mayor-elect has thrown his support behind community schools as the primary reform strategy for the District. That is a departure from Mayor Nutter's approach. Throughout his administration, Nutter supported the strategy that relied heavily on closing low-performing schools and expanding charters, with the goal of having "a great school" in every neighborhood.
As Pennsylvania enters its fifth month without a state budget, school districts across the commonwealth have been forced to borrow money in order to keep their doors open.
The Philadelphia School District has needed to borrow the most – authorizing more than $500 million in loans.
Notebook board chair Harold Jordan, senior policy analyst with the Pennsylvania ACLU, appeared on WHYY's Radio Times this morning with Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel to discuss the role of police officers in schools. The topic recently got renewed attention after video went viral showing a sheriff's deputy in South Carolina throwing to the floor and arresting a Black high school girl who would not leave her classroom.
The Philadelphia School District, which will accept applications for new charter schools through Nov. 15, already has received 22 letters of intent.
One of them is from James Baldwin Charter High School, which would stress lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion.
The Notebook sat down with Jenny Bogoni of the Free Library, READ! by 4th’s executive director. In the interview, she outlines the mission of the campaign, its strategies, and challenges.
What is the READ! by 4th campaign’s main goal?
Ensuring all children can read on grade level by the time they enter 4th grade.
Students nationwide showed a marked dip in math performance and a somewhat smaller decline in reading proficiency, according to 2015 results of the only standardized achievement test administered across the country by the federal government.
It was the first reversal of a steady upward trend that held for the more than two decades that U.S. students have been taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Philadelphia students continue to score below the national average for big cities, according to analysis of the scores from 21 urban areas. Both nationally and in the city, there are huge achievement gaps among racial and ethnic groups.
Here are some key facts on the NAEP and its significance.
Students who take classes over the Internet through online charter schools make dramatically less academic progress than their counterparts in traditional schools, according to a sweeping new series of reports released today.
How stark are the findings?
Updated, 5:40 p.m. with additional quotes and reaction
In a major education policy speech this morning, Mayor Nutter called for the dissolution of the School Reform Commission and the return of a local board of education.
"Of all the policy recommendations I make today, none will have a bigger impact on Philadelphia than a return to local control," he told an audience of invited guests at WHYY.
After 15 years, Nutter said, "it's time for the experiment to end."
With more than 1,000 middle and high school students completing WHYY’s Youth Documentary Workshops each year, the program has outgrown its home at WHYY headquarters.
To help increase student access to media arts production, the School District has teamed up with WHYY to bring Media Labs to 27 schools over the next three years. This expansion will provide video storytelling workshops and professional training to more than 700 students throughout the District.
The Obama administration, which spent its first six years in office arguably upping the ante on standardized tests by calling for them to be a part of teacher evaluations, has instead spent the last year encouraging states and districts to make sure that assessments are of high quality and don't take up too much instructional time.
The shift has come as many parents have decided to opt their children out of standardized assessments, states have sought to rein in testing time, and the Common Core State Standards have faced serious political pushback, in part because of concern about the tests that go along with them. (More on changes to the administration's testing rhetoric here.)