September 7, 2016
Not too long ago, the Upper Darby school board couldn't say enough nice things about its superintendent, Richard F. Dunlap Jr. It wrote in his 2014-15 school year evaluation: "Performance is superior, far exceeding expectations. " A year ago, he got an 8 percent pay raise, bringing his salary to $194,866, and a fresh five-year contract. Now Dunlap is out, having spent the last six weeks on paid leave before officially retiring on Wednesday. Since July 12, he's apparently been the subject of six executive sessions of the board, including one meeting in which 24 staffers were brought in to testify.
May 12, 2015 |
WHAT IS THIS academic world coming to? Tom Brady gets caught with his air compressor on so now they're going to be teaching a four-credit course on "Deflategate" at the University of New Hampshire. UNH sports law professor Michael McCann designed the course, which according to its description, will be about "the interplay between those footballs . . . and the legal, regulatory and journalistic systems governing sports. " So, got to thinking: If courses can be offered in that, why not have some Philadelphia sports officials teach a course?
September 16, 2013
Success in numbers I had to smile while reading about Andrew Jackson School in South Philadelphia, where teachers expressed consternation at having to deal with classes of 32 to 36 students. In the mid- to late 1950s, I attended a Philadelphia parochial school where class size regularly approached 90 students, and my fourth-grade class actually had 101 children. How did our teachers, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a small contingent of young, dedicated lay teachers, manage?
September 12, 2013 |
When Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. showed up unannounced Tuesday morning at Andrew Jackson School, principal Lisa Ciaranca Kaplan asked: "Am I in trouble?" The South Philadelphia school, hit with large class sizes, was featured in an Inquirer article Tuesday on how Kaplan and teachers grappled with those classes, including one with 36 first graders. Hite, however, hadn't come to lower the boom. He had talked to Kaplan last week about class size concerns, and Jackson was one of the schools on his radar to visit, he said.
June 26, 2013 |
Amid widespread concern over school-funding cuts, a majority of Pennsylvania voters would be willing to pay higher taxes to reverse them, a poll released Monday said. The statewide poll said 78 percent of those questioned were concerned about public school funding, 48 percent "very concerned. " The rates were higher for women, with 85 percent expressing concern for schools and 55 percent saying they were "very concerned. " Overall, 55 percent of respondents said that they believed the schools were in crisis and that Gov. Corbett and the Republican-controlled legislature should act to prevent staff from being laid off, programs ended, and class sizes increased.
March 4, 2013 |
FORT HOOD, Texas - Public schools everywhere will be affected by the government's automatic budget cuts, but few may feel the funding pinch faster than those on and around military bases. School districts with military ties from coast to coast are bracing for increased class sizes and delayed building repairs. Others already have axed sports teams and even eliminated teaching positions, but still may have to tap savings just to make it through year's end. But there's little hope for softening any future financial blows.
November 19, 2012 |
I HADN'T SEEN Vince's son in years. He had grown into a charming, intelligent and articulate high-school senior. His father wants him to work on Wall Street but he's always dreamed of becoming a teacher. Teaching is a wonderful profession, I told him. Sure, you'll make more money in finance, but you'll never feel the satisfaction of working with young people and making a difference in their lives. On the other hand, it seems that the days of being admired and valued for dedicating yourself to the education of young people may be over.
June 4, 2012 |
It was no surprise that educators at a West Philadelphia charter school challenged Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's statement that class size has no impact on student achievement. His assertion isn't supported by most research, and it is the widely held belief of generations of parents and teachers that class size matters when it comes to learning. Many schools — including the private academy where Romney sends his children, which advertises an average class size of 12 students — have long touted small class sizes as a selling point.
May 27, 2012 |
For years, teachers and parents have insisted that smaller class sizes are crucial to children's educational success. On Thursday, Mitt Romney visited Philadelphia and politely said they were mistaken. And on Friday, passions erupted among partisans and professionals, from city classrooms to City Hall to Cherry Hill. "Out of touch with reality," Mayor Nutter fumed about the presumptive GOP nominee. "Just plain wrong," said Steve Baker, spokesman for the New Jersey teachers' union.
May 26, 2012 |
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney brought his plan to improve the American educational system to a West Philadelphia charter school Thursday, and suggested class size mattered little to pupils' achievement. Whereupon the teachers in the room immediately questioned his stance. Calling the gap in education performance between black and white students "the civil rights issue of our time," Romney said quality teaching and parental involvement were the keys to classroom success.