July 9, 2014 |
AT FIRST, Philadelphia teacher LeShawna Coleman believed she'd be meeting with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss education issues. Late last week, she was informed that things had changed: Coleman would be having a luncheon meeting with President Obama instead. Coleman, who as a teacher coach with the district works with teachers in classrooms, was one of four educators to have an "honest, open conversation" with Obama in the White House. Duncan was also present. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Coleman said.
May 2, 2014 |
THE TOPIC of discussion in a voter forum yesterday with the four Democratic candidates for governor was to be education - and only education. But York County businessman Tom Wolf has opened up a double-digit lead on his opponents. And the May 20 primary election is three short weeks away. So politics swiftly overtook and temporarily displaced policy. State Treasurer Rob McCord used his opening statement to criticize Wolf for serving in 2001 as campaign chairman for then-York Mayor Charles Robertson, who won the primary election but withdrew from the general election after he was charged with murder for the 1969 death of a black woman during a race riot.
April 17, 2014 |
Most Philadelphia voters disagree with the way the School Reform Commission is handling its responsibilities. They're dissatisfied with Gov. Corbett's positions on public education. And they side with teachers in an ongoing contract dispute with the Philadelphia School District by a ratio of 4-1 - or so says a poll commissioned by the teachers union. The findings come from a new survey of 554 registered voters commissioned by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and conducted by a Democratic polling firm, Washington-based Hart Research Associates.
September 5, 2013 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Federation of Teachers hasn't just been busy at the negotiating table lately - today, the union is expected to release two new ads, one of which attacks Mayor Nutter and Gov. Corbett because they "failed to lead" in the school-funding crisis. The commercial, paid for by the PFT, shows a montage of school scenes, including a teacher walking down a hallway with students and kids sitting in a classroom. "Facing overcrowded classrooms in unsafe schools, parents and teachers have offered real sacrifices and real solutions," the female narrator says.
January 18, 2013 |
WHENEVER national publications offer a checklist of fun and charming places to visit in Philadelphia, Point Breeze and Grays Ferry usually aren't neighborhoods that make the cut. Both areas have been plagued for years by poverty, blight, crime and struggling schools. Although there's no easy way to cure those deep-rooted urban ailments, Kenny Gamble's Universal Companies has given itself the task of trying to create a path forward for both communities, thanks to a $100,000 neighborhood planning grant it received earlier this month from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation.
November 3, 2011 |
This summer, it handed out 40,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to students in Camden and other low-income areas. This week, one of its founders promised to bail out an after-school program that was set to shutter after state funding cuts. Now, Better Education for Kids (B4K), an organization bankrolled by two hedge-fund managers, is using its cash to help elect candidates who agree with its ideas on education, including tenure reform, voucher programs, and teacher merit pay. The group's political action committee has spent money in four competitive districts, including in Burlington County's Seventh Legislative District, where it has fronted more than $31,000 to send glossy fliers promoting Troy Singleton, a Democrat running for the Assembly, according to financial disclosures filed with the state this week.
December 14, 2010 |
A panel of leaders from every sector of education in the city gathered last night at the Franklin Institute and pledged to work together to ensure quality education for all Philadelphia students. Anthony Conti, chairman of the World Affairs Council, which hosted the event, said the group's mission is to bring education issues to the forefront of the local policy agenda. He noted the achievements of Bodine High School, a special-admissions school that graduates 100 percent of its seniors and where for three straight years instructors received the Ruth Hayre Community Service Award, named in honor of a former president of the Philadelphia Board of Education.
August 29, 2008
LABOR DAY weekend not only brings the end of summer, but the end of the teachers' current contracts. Contracts for all school workers, from principals and cafeteria staffs to blue-collar employees, expire Sunday. Not that you'd know it. This year's negotiations with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers have been so quiet that both sides must have been trained by the Chinese government on how to conduct a news blackout. Not that we think the labor negotiations should be played out in public for theatrical value.
June 25, 2007 |
Patsy Tollin, the second-grade teacher recently dismissed by the Baldwin School, allegedly to appease a wealthy couple, is lucky. She enjoyed a 22-year career on the Main Line before she was sent packing. There are many others who were dispatched much earlier in their careers for challenging the authority of an administrator or wealthy parent. Some were forced to find employment outside teaching, their chosen profession. How do I know? I taught at some of the area's most prestigious private schools for 15 years.
July 28, 2004 |
Thomas and Babette Hankin believe they are "duty-bound by God" to educate their seven children. But the secular public school system, "with its humanism, evolution, denial of God," is "an unclean thing," they say. So the Bucks County couple homeschooled their children underground for 10 years. Then the school district found out and threatened to intervene. Now, in a test case watched by homeschoolers nationwide, the Hankins have sued the Bristol Township School District, saying the government has no right to monitor their children's "holy and sacred education," and that complying with the state's home school law would be a sin. They base their case on the Pennsylvania Religious Freedom Protection Act, which allows a person to challenge any state or local law if it "substantially burdens" that person's religious beliefs.