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Basic Skills

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NEWS
October 12, 1997 | By Patricia Smith, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Sinnita El-Muhammad, 7, sat with a set of colored blocks and a stack of flash cards and worked on the day's lesson: doubles. "OK, Sinnita. What's 7 plus 7?" teacher Donna Herron asked, holding up a flash card. "Fourteen," answered the second grader at the John Glenn School. "Very good," Herron said. "Now can you show me with the blocks?" Sinnita counted off seven orange blocks and seven red ones. For the other side of the equal sign, she counted off 14 violet blocks.
NEWS
January 22, 1989 | By Carol D. Leonnig, Special to The Inquirer
After three teams of education investigators have visited the Willingboro School District in the last few months - following up on parents' complaints about the system's remedial programs - school officials there await the last of the teams' findings and an end to what they consider a political smear. The small group of parents who have called for the state and federal Education Departments' reviews hold a different view of the future in Willingboro. They expect the state - through the probes by the divisions of basic skills, special education and civil rights - to implicate school officials in serious wrongdoing.
NEWS
February 18, 1989 | By Chris Conway, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Large numbers of students entering New Jersey's colleges and universities continue to lack basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics, a situation that has shown only slight improvement during the last decade. Those were the troubling results of a study presented here yesterday to the New Jersey Board of Higher Education by state higher-education officials. "Significant proportions of students continue to enter our colleges needing help in basic skills," T. Edward Hollander, the state's commissioner of higher education, reported in a memo to the board yesterday.
NEWS
September 20, 1987 | By Maureen Maloney, Special to The Inquirer
The Tabernacle School District is beefing up its basic-skills program this year, according to a plan outlined to the Board of Education by curriculum coordinator Eileen Steepy. This year, Steepy told the board on Tuesday, there will be more state- certified instructors to teach students who need extra help in math, reading and language. This will be the first year for a basic-skills language program, Steepy said. About 135 students from kindergarten through eighth grade who fall below the minimum proficiency levels on the California Achievement Tests will receive the special instruction in classes of seven to eight students, Steepy said.
NEWS
September 10, 1987 | By Ralph Cipriano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The No. 2 pencils have not even been sharpened, but Abington school officials already are predicting that students' comprehensive test scores will be lower this school year. Beginning in February, the district will administer a new comprehensive test - the Iowa Test of Basic Skills - to students in grades two, four, six and eight. The test is "longer and therefore more reliable" than the California Achievement Tests that the district used for years, Don Puglisi, director of pupil service, said at Tuesday night's school board meeting.
NEWS
May 2, 1991 | By Bryon Kurzenabe, Special to The Inquirer
For the second time in five years, the Willingboro School District has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for the "unusual success" of its language arts basic skills program. Each year, the program's 14 teachers introduce the basic skills students to plays based on stories by major authors, such as The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant. After reading excerpts aloud and building projects depicting scenes from each work, the students attend live performances of the plays at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
NEWS
September 17, 1987 | By Anthony Gnoffo Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer
Less than three weeks after the Pennsylvania Department of Education released more results of statewide tests to measure students' basic skills, principals at Upper Darby schools have been told that improving such skills is the district's highest priority. Upper Darby Superintendent Joseph Batory has been a critic of the state's use of results from the Testing for Essential Learning Skills Program to compare school districts and schools based on pupils' performances. But on Aug. 31, the state did just that, releasing school-by-school test results.
NEWS
July 5, 1987 | By Tanya Barrientos, Inquirer Staff Writer
Results of a statewide test of minimum skills given to elementary and junior high school students show that at least one of every three Coatesville school district youngsters failed the reading and math segments. The test, called Testing for Essential Learning and Literacy Skills, or TELLS, is given annually to students in the third, fifth and eighth grades to measure their basic reading and math skills, state education officials said. Test results for the 1986-87 school year show the percentage of students who failed to master what officials believe are the minimum skills for reading and math at the various grade levels.
NEWS
March 9, 1999 | BY DON HASKIN AND JOANN WEINBERGER
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary of providing literacy training to adult Philadelphians, the Center for Literacy could not have asked for a better present than President Clinton's call for a dramatic increase in federal support for our cause in his State of the Union address. Specifically, the president asked for a national campaign aimed at the millions of Americans who read at less than 5th-grade level. He also cited the need for long lines of immigrants to learn English.
NEWS
July 13, 1992 | BY A. FRANK DONAGHUE
This summer nearly 25,000 Americans - about one in 100 people - will die as a result of accidents or heart attacks. If you were the only person who could make the difference in a life or death situation, would you know what to do? And if you were facing a life-threatening situation of your own, would you be able to rely on the people you love to save you? These are very difficult, very serious questions, and they demand consideration. This past Memorial Day weekend a 14-year-old girl swimming in the ocean off an area beach became caught in a strong current which threatened to drown her. Fortunately, Phil Kohler was there.
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NEWS
August 25, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Public schools are a perpetual worry for Philadelphia, and scant attention is often paid to another weighty educational problem: adults who struggle to read. But nearly half of all adults in the city - more than half a million men and women - lack the basic skills necessary to qualify for postsecondary training or hold jobs that permit them to support a family. Many function below eighth-grade levels. The Mayor's Commission on Literacy is making inroads. Its work is attracting national attention: praise from the U.S. Department of Education, and designation as a model site from Digital Promise, a nonprofit established by act of Congress in 2008 to use technology to improve education for all Americans.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 2014 | By Patricia Mans, For The Inquirer
Dontaye is a happy, affectionate 13-year-old who smiles a lot, has abundant energy, and loves to explore his surroundings, typically at a run. He is socially engaged, and enjoys playing with other children his age and going out to eat during trips with them and the staff of his foster-care facility. His favorite activity is playing with wagons and cars that make sounds. He also likes arts and crafts, and dancing. Dontaye is nonverbal but has various ways of making himself understood and communicating his needs.
SPORTS
October 3, 2012 | By Nick Carroll, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Last spring, Tara Vittese earned a spot on the U.S. under-21 field hockey team, although she did not play with the team this fall. The reason was not because she did not want to, but the junior could not afford to miss school at Camden Catholic to attend the training for the Junior World Cup qualifier in Mexico. Vittese, who will turn 17 on Oct. 22, already has 20 goals for the Irish and has proven to be wise beyond her years. "It's amazing," Irish coach Maureen Casserly said.
NEWS
September 17, 2012 | BY LILLIAN KELLOGG & MICHELLE HERCZOG
THE NATIONAL Conference on Citizenship and National Constitution Center last week celebrated the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills is exploring how citizenship has changed in the 21st century. Rapid technological advancements, economic globalization and political forces around the world have had a profound impact on our democracy and on what it means to be a productive member of society.
NEWS
November 1, 2011 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
Rising dramatically on an entire block of Broadway in downtown Camden, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University looks impressive. What is even more impressive is that 40 Camden residents are among the 190 people who are building it. In 30 years of reporting about the city, I've heard plenty of well-intentioned promises about how such projects will provide work for people who live in Camden. And in all my visits to job sites for publicly funded construction in the city, where the population has been majority minority for more than a generation, I've rarely seen blacks and Latinos in hard hats.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 2010
NOW THAT there's no more time for drama in Mary J. Blige 's life, can we really expect to see her dashing across the yard on Howard University's campus on her way to class? I can't quite picture her lugging a bunch of heavy text books around or parsing sentences during English 101. Nor can I see her putting off a scheduled recording session because of a big exam. But if you believed the soul diva's onstage chatter during a recent mini-concert on "Good Morning America," enrolling in college appears to be in her not-so-distant future.
NEWS
July 13, 2007 | By Kathleen Sebelius and Josh Anderson
Americans have always placed great importance on public education, going back before the founding of the nation. Public schools have been the gateway to success for generation upon generation of Americans. But those schools now face challenges - challenges that cannot be resolved with minor changes. The first is the No Child Left Behind Act, which requires an intensive focus on basic skills in preparation for state assessment tests. Ample evidence exists to show that schools are eliminating programs and opportunities to redirect resources to these high-stakes tests.
NEWS
November 8, 2006 | Stephen Miller
Stephen Miller is the author of "Conversation: A History of a Declining Art" A few decades ago, most politicians knew they had to be civil to members of the opposing party in order to legislate, so it was important to forget about the mudslinging that inevitably occurs in an election campaign. Most knew that, as the English political philosopher Michael Oakeshott said, "political education means learning how to participate in a political conversation. " Nowadays, according to many observers, there is very little cross-party conversation going on in Congress.
NEWS
January 23, 2005 | By Louise Harbach INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
When she heard there was to be a surprise assembly, it never occurred to Roberta Thomson that the teachers and students at St. Margaret Regional School were gathering to honor her. "Usually the surprise assemblies we have are entertainment acts sponsored by the PTA," said Thomson, who has taught at the Woodbury Heights school for 11 years. "Since it was close to Christmas, I thought the assembly would be linked to the upcoming holiday. I even kidded Sister Lorraine that everyone was abuzz about the assembly, trying to guess what it would be. " What Thomson didn't know was that Sister Lorraine Klein, the school principal, had called everyone together for the impromptu assembly to read a letter she had just received.
NEWS
December 29, 2004 | By MATTHEW LADNER
THE NEW year brings the inevitable round of resolutions, some serious and some mere aspirations. One resolution we need to be deadly serious about is improving the literacy skills of our children. Our spending on K-12 education exceeds the dreams of avarice of school administrators from previous decades (inflation-adjusted spending per pupil more than tripled from the early 1960s to the late 1990s) while shamefully large numbers of our students leave school without having mastered basic reading skills needed to function in the modern world.
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