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The Notebook's latest news posts.

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.

Literacy campaign stresses importance of teacher training at schools of ed

By Fabiola Cineas on Oct 9, 2015 03:19 PM

Education scholars continue to churn out best practices for literacy instruction, but these practices slowly, if ever, make their way to the hands of educators in the classroom.

This grim circumstance is connected to the 56 percent of Philadelphia 4th graders who scored below basic in reading on the 2013 National Assessment for Educational Progress. Sixty percent of these students were African American.  

Read the District-Council pact for new openness

By the Notebook on Oct 9, 2015 11:50 AM

Earlier this week, City Council and the School District signed a pact that ushers in a new period of openness between the two entities, whose relationship has strained in the recent era of financial austerity.

The "intergovernmental cooperation agreement," which lasts through June 30, 2017, establishes four terms for increased cooperation, information-sharing, and regular input from Council, which feels it has stepped up to make up for state funding shortfalls without getting enough respect or information from the District.

Protesting classroom cuts, 100 students march to District headquarters

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 8, 2015 04:03 PM

More than 100 Philadelphia School District high school students cut classes Thursday morning to protest a lack of resources in their classrooms.

Students first took to the streets outside of their respective schools – mainly the city’s magnet options – in an attempt to convince classmates to join them.

District facing cash-flow problems without state funds

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Oct 8, 2015 12:04 PM

The School District of Philadelphia is anticipating a cash crunch in just a few weeks. 

The problem is the budget stalemate in Harrisburg.

School district, City Council reach deal on financial transparency

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Oct 7, 2015 05:38 PM
rnmental cooperation agreement. 

The pact, which guarantees financial transparency on the part of the District, means City Council will soon deliver promised dollars.

Parents at Cooke Elementary push back against charter conversion

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Oct 7, 2015 04:57 PM

It began with a whimper, and ended with a bang.

On Tuesday evening, the Philadelphia School District hosted its first parent engagement meeting on its plan to convert Jay Cooke Elementary School in Logan into a neighborhood-based charter.

Parents react to news of Wister's planned charter conversion

By Connie Langland on Oct 6, 2015 05:18 PM

Parents from John Wister Elementary School have mixed opinions about the prospect of big changes at the school, but several who were interviewed agreed on a key point: Wister is a fixture in the Germantown neighborhood and should remain open.

On Thursday, Superintendent William Hite proposed closing some schools, creating others, and turning three elementary schools -- Wister, Jay Cooke in Logan and Samuel Huey in West Philadelphia -- over to charter management. Decisions about which operators will take over the schools, the District says, will be made after a lengthy process involving community meetings and extensive parental input.

Audit finds fault with Pa. education agencies

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Oct 6, 2015 04:43 PM

A new audit gives Pennsylvania's Department of Education poor marks for the way it deals with academically struggling schools and special employees.

The report, covering mid-2010 to mid-2015, finds that the agency failed to provide special help to most poor-performing schools unless it was expressly required by federal law.

Chester schools to seek special funding from Pa., cut charter payments

By Laura Benshoff for Newsworks on Oct 6, 2015 09:46 AM

In the midst of hearings to determine the fate of Chester Upland, arguably Pennsylvania's most financially distressed school district, representatives from the state and local charter schools held private negotiations on cutting charter school payments.

The fruits of those dealings are a compromise and a new financial recovery plan.

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