July 19, 2012 |
When New Jersey approved nine new charter schools on Monday, it also announced a new accountability system aimed at setting uniform standards to evaluate the success of charters over time. The annual "Performance Framework" will examine academic achievement, financial performance, and governance in the state's 86 charter schools. Schools will do a self-review, evaluated by the state. Previously, the state simply relied on each school's initial application plan to hold the schools accountable, said Barbara Morgan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education.
April 11, 2011 |
Students at Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion High School failed to reach the state benchmark in the reading test last year, but by another state measure they showed a steeper rate of overall academic growth than those at the prestigious Masterman School. The same is true of fourth to eighth graders in Delaware County's Upper Darby schools, many of whom failed to meet state standards. They showed more academic growth, on average, than children in the same grades in Garnet Valley, a high-achieving district in the western part of the county.
August 19, 2010 |
Convening yesterday for the first time after a two-month break, the School Reform Commission heard from several charter-school representatives seeking renewal and expansion for the schools. Walter Palmer, founder of the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School, pleaded with members of the commission and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman to allow the school to add a grade to its roster. Whether or not the SRC grants its request to expand, the school, at 6th and Poplar streets, plans to open next month with students in grades K-12, bringing their enrollment to 925 students from 675. "I'm not asking the school district to give me or the school anything that isn't earned," said Palmer, to the applause of students and staff sitting behind him. Meanwhile, representatives from Montessori Charter, on Island Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia, are seeking renewal of their charter.
June 21, 2009 |
Educators are still debating the merits of social promotion, more than 25 years after a national study said the decision to pass should be based on what students have learned rather than their age. For decades, the education pendulum has swung back and forth between experts who say holding children back will lead to more dropouts and those who say it will foster academic mastery and future success. The National Commission on Excellence in Education's 1983 study, "A Nation at Risk," concluded that grade placement "should be guided by the academic progress of students and their instructional needs, rather than by rigid adherence to age. " As of 2005, 18 states required students to pass a test for at least one grade to be promoted, said Kathy Christie, chief of staff at the Education Commission of the States, which collects education research.
December 9, 2008 |
BOOKS ARE valuable resources that foster learning. Textbooks in particular are instrumental in guiding the academic progress of students in our schools. Therefore, making sure that all our students have access to textbooks in their classrooms is an incredibly important priority. As the new superintendent, one of my top concerns in June was to ensure that all our schools had enough core-subject textbooks for student use at the beginning of the new school year. Even though the district spent an estimated $30 million this year, and another $94 million since 2005 on the purchase of textbooks for all students, the fact that some of our students still do not have access to texts is totally unacceptable.
October 1, 2008 |
AS WE BEGIN a new school year and a new era of district leadership under Dr. Arlene Ackerman, the School District of Philadelphia has an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the academic progress of its 205,000 district and charter-school students. The stars are aligned as Dr. Ackerman, an experienced and progressive educator, is flanked by strong public education advocates - Gov. Rendell and Mayor Nutter, pro-education members in City Council and our state delegation, skilled and committed employees, along with energized parent, corporate, philanthropic and non-profit stakeholders.
June 24, 2008 |
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing this morning on the proposed closing of Germantown Settlement Charter School. The hearing was scheduled after the commission voted in April to start the process of closing the troubled school on grounds of poor academic performance, failing to submit materials mandated by state law and falling short of the state requirement that calls for at least 75 percent of the teaching staff to be certified. The commission also said a lack of financial documentation has raised questions about the charter school's solvency.
April 20, 2008 |
Mayor Nutter decided on green because it symbolized renewal. The Rev. Katherine Rick-Miller chose red in honor of the Holy Spirit. And 13-year-old Deonna Rushing picked blue because "it is one of the colors that represent America. " Yesterday, they and about 350 other children, community members, teachers and friends put their colorful handprints on a playground wall of Thomas Mifflin Elementary School in East Falls. About a week earlier, the wall - once covered by a mural - was defaced by vandals with graffiti so vile that officials decided to paint it immediately, before children arrived at school.
March 10, 2008 |
Hassanna is an appealing 15-year-old with a great sense of humor and many interests. She loves to cook and to participate in a variety of sports, including football, baseball, swimming, skating and bowling. She also likes going to the movies with her friends. Hassanna especially enjoys a jewelry-making class that she attends. In school, Hassanna receives special-education services to improve her reading and verbal skills. She has experienced a great deal of trauma in her young life and this has had an impact on her academic progress.
May 26, 2007 |
Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia has collected national accolades for improving student test scores, hosted a visit by U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, and been profiled in a new book from Harvard Education Press. Now, Stanton and nearby Blaine Elementary School are featured in a Time cover article about how the federal No Child Left Behind Act is affecting schools nationwide. A Time spokesman said the June 4 issue was scheduled to be on newsstands today.