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Stories tagged: community organizing

Public ed advocates turn to video to spread their message on schools crisis

By the Notebook on Oct 4, 2013 01:50 PM

by Isaac Riddle

“If you can’t get your voice heard, then you need to find the mechanism to be heard,” said Eileen Duffey, an 18-year veteran of the School District of Philadelphia.

Duffey, a school nurse at the Academy at Palumbo, found that mechanism through Our Schools Are Not for Sale, a short documentary video that examines the current education funding crisis and the closing of 24 neighborhood schools by the School Reform Commission earlier this year.

Columbia student reaches out to Philly seniors with college essay help

By the Notebook on Sep 25, 2013 09:24 PM

by Isaac Riddle

Applying to college, especially writing a compelling essay that will catch the eye of admissions officials, can be an intimidating process for many high school seniors.

This year, students in Philadelphia's District-run high schools have it even harder due to a critical shortage of counselors. So Marilyn He, a senior at Columbia University, decided to do something about it.

He, who grew up on the Main Line, said she has organized a network of 300 volunteer readers to help city students with their essays.

Now sharing a building, 2 schools seek collaboration

By by Sonia Giebel on Sep 14, 2013 09:38 AM

Dimner Beeber Middle School was headed for extinction. 

Since it was barely a quarter full and posted poor academic indicators, the District planned to close it and send a few hundred Beeber 7th and 8th graders to nearby Overbrook High School.

But for Raynae Bosley, a rising 8th grader, Beeber was working.

In 7th grade, she said, “all of the teachers didn’t give up on me and they kept getting me up to the next level.”

“I really didn’t want the school to be closed at all.”

PFT launches neighborhood rallies to protest budget cuts

By the Notebook on Jul 31, 2013 10:43 AM

By Mark McHugh

Dressed in their red union shirts, members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers filled a crowd of abut 60 people who gathered outside DeBurgos Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon to protest the budget crisis in the School District.

The protest is the first of an August campaign launched by the PFT called “Rally the Neighborhood,” in which PFT members and community organizers will stage rallies at neighborhood schools to call attention to the District’s fiscal crisis and paint a picture for the public of what students will be without when school starts in September.  

Protesters rally outside governor's office

By the Notebook on Jun 15, 2013 09:06 AM

by Mark McHugh

Members of the Philadelphia Student Union and the faith-based organizing group POWER conducted a boisterous rally in front of Gov. Corbett’s Philadelphia headquarters on Friday afternoon.

Several hundred protesters were there to object to the “doomsday” budget that the School Reform Commission recently enacted due to insufficient revenue. They marched from LOVE Park, past City Hall, to Corbett's office at 200 S. Broad St.

UNITE HERE rally emphasizes student safety staff and fresh meals

By the Notebook on Jun 6, 2013 03:18 PM

by Sonia Giebel

Days after the School Reform Commission approved its “doomsday” budget, about 150 people conducted a noisy protest Wednesday outside District headquarters against two of the budget's consequences: the removal of noontime aides from lunchrooms and less fresh food for students.

The UNITE HERE rally brought together the aides -- also called student safety staff -- who monitor trouble-prone hallways and lunchrooms, with students, teachers, cafeteria workers, and others. They chanted slogans like “break bread, not schools” and banged pots and pans.

“What parent wants their kid eating on a dirty table ... or coming home with a busted nose?” said Migdalia Lopez, a noontime aide at Bodine High School. The cafeteria will not be a safe environment, she said.

Hite vows to work with faith-based organizing group to improve schools

By the Notebook on Apr 22, 2013 05:08 PM

by Bill Hangley Jr.

At a rousing interfaith rally of thousands, Superintendent William Hite vowed to support the community organizing group POWER’s newly launched campaign to organize public school parents into an effective citywide force.

At the rally, held Sunday in the massive Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Philadelphia, Hite agreed to meet regularly with POWER and encourage principals to let it organize in their schools. In return, Hite asked POWER’s members to help lobby for education funding in Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

PCAPS talks new strategy as it regroups

By the Notebook on Apr 18, 2013 02:12 PM

by Charlotte Pope

Now that the School Reform Commission has voted to close 23 schools, the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools -- a major voice in the school-closings debate -- is regrouping and laying out its next steps.

About 200 people came together Wednesday evening during the group’s general assembly to hear about a new three-part campaign focusing on school funding, community schools, and charter school accountability.

Don't give up the ship

By the Notebook on Mar 8, 2013 04:07 PM

by Zachary Lax

I am a second-year high school teacher who is proud to serve the students of the School District of Philadelphia. I am also among the many members of our community whose school will be closed. I know that my colleagues, my students, and their parents share my sense of dismay and betrayal over the final decision by the School Reform Commission -- and by extension their appointers, Mayor Nutter and Gov. Corbett -- to ignore our pleas.

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