August 15, 2016
Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history at New York University and is the author of "Campus Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know" (Oxford University Press), which will be published in September In 1938, the philosopher Alexander Meiklejohn called on America's schoolteachers to address controversial political issues in their classrooms. Teachers should not shy away from discussing unemployment relief, labor unions, or other pressing questions of the day, Meiklejohn wrote. But neither should they impose their personal views on students, who must remain free to come to their own conclusions.
May 15, 2016 |
When seeing the success of West Deptford senior Samantha Budd, one has to look beyond all the goals, although that isn't always easy to do. She has been a scoring machine in lacrosse since her freshman year. The goals, now at 209 and counting, shouldn't define her, but they do give an indication about her effectiveness. The goals are a big part, no doubt, but this is somebody who is also the equivalent of a 200-goal scorer in the classroom. Budd is ranked No. 10 in her class academically, and here is a sample of the advanced placement classes she is taking: physics, computer science, English, and calculus.
May 14, 2016 |
For her 50th birthday party last fall, Patty Smith decided not to ask for presents for herself. Instead, the 14-year veteran of the Philadelphia School District asked for a gift for her third graders at Anderson Elementary School. Anderson, in West Philadelphia, has no art teacher; the position has sat vacant all school year. So Smith asked friends and family to donate money to bring the Claymobile - a traveling ceramic arts program - to her classroom. On Thursday night, Smith's students exhibited their work and got a chance to see their creations for the first time after they had been fired in the kiln.
April 6, 2016 |
An arbitrator has ruled that the School District of Philadelphia owes money to former nonteaching assistants who took assignments in special-education classrooms. Ralph Teti, an attorney for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, received the arbitrator's decision Friday. He said the ruling would affect 50 to 60 staffers and could cost the district more than $1 million. District spokesman Fernando Gallard said he could not comment because it was an active legal matter. In the past, the district has appealed some arbitration decisions to the Court of Common Pleas.
February 7, 2016
The School District of Philadelphia may lack proper funding, but the United States' eighth-largest public school system has never wanted for dedicated teachers. For many of the city's Cold War kids, Helen Cheyney Bailey stands at the front of the class. Born in Philadelphia and educated in its public schools, Bailey (1897-1978) initially dreamed of being a writer. A scholarship to Radcliffe College seemed to offer the Philadelphia High School for Girls graduate a chance at a life of letters.
January 31, 2016 |
Three students at Benjamin Franklin High School were taken into police custody after a handgun was found at the school on Friday afternoon. The school was placed on lockdown in the early afternoon, when someone reported hearing a gunshot inside the building and a shell casing was found in a stairwell, police said. Police found the handgun after SWAT teams and the highway patrol responded to the school around 12:30 p.m. The students who were taken into custody left the school in handcuffs shortly before 2 p.m. It was unclear exactly how each had been involved in the incident, police said.
January 14, 2016 |
A Neshaminy High School teacher and coach who had been on leave since an alleged head-butting incident during a basketball game this month has returned to the classroom, the Neshaminy School District said in a statement Tuesday. Jerry Devine had been on administrative leave after video surfaced of him evidently head-butting a referee during his team's 49-42 loss to visiting Pennsbury High School. Devine, who teaches history and algebra, is in his 15th year at Neshaminy, according to his biography on the school's website.
January 12, 2016 |
NEARLY HALFWAY into the school year, Harding Middle School has six teaching vacancies - the same number it has had since September. Some open positions have been filled along the way, longtime Harding teacher Bernadette MacDonald said, but others have cropped up, leading to overstuffed classes and an atmosphere that "makes it harder and harder to stay," even for veterans. "We had one teacher quit to go sell tacos at a taco truck," said MacDonald, a sixth-grade teacher at the Frankford school.
December 27, 2015 |
Davis can neither ice skate nor swim. She seems to excel at nearly everything she tries, though: dancing, singing, choreography, kung fu. She is a Grammy-nominated producer. She hosted a nationally syndicated PBS cooking program in the 1970s, and has been enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution for her work on that show. Perhaps most remarkably, Davis has for a half-century - 50 full years - been a beloved teacher in the Philadelphia School District. With verve and passion, she runs the dance department at the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and, at 71, has no plans to retire.