January 16, 2016 |
Local control of large urban school systems is no magic bullet to improve academic performance, research released Thursday indicates. Then again, neither is state control of such districts. The conclusions from the Pew Charitable Trusts come amid a growing local push for an end to the School Reform Commission, which has controlled the beleaguered Philadelphia School District since 2001. Opponents of the SRC - created during the state's takeover of the district, amid financial crisis and academic distress - say it has outlived its usefulness and ought to be replaced by some sort of locally appointed or locally elected board.
December 6, 2014 |
After a contentious hearing, a judge ruled Thursday that Joe Watkins could remain the state-appointed receiver of the troubled Chester Upland School District, turning down state officials' surprise request to oust him. The state Education Department had cited Watkins' alleged failure to improve the finances and student performance in the poverty-stricken system, but Delaware County Court President Judge Chad F. Kenney said he did not see a reason...
June 7, 2013 |
The NCAA said this week that 976 teams have earned Public Recognition Awards, based on their most recent multiyear Academic Progress Rates. The awards are given each year to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport in the APR results. The full report will be released Tuesday. St. Joseph's baseball, men's golf, women's lacrosse, and women's rowing received recognition. It marks the fourth straight year that the Hawks' baseball, women's lacrosse, and women's rowing teams have been cited, and the second consecutive year for men's golf.
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.