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Education Reform

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NEWS
May 23, 1991 | BY CHESTER E. FINN JR
The Achilles' heel of education renewal is the lack of real-world incentives for young Americans to excel in school. Creating such incentives without triggering charges of discrimination is harder still. Sure, it's important to get a diploma. But among those who complete high school, it matters little which courses they take, how hard they study or what grades they earn. The reason, said the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce in its 1990 report, is that employers have come to see the diploma as more a clue to character than to learning.
NEWS
March 31, 1991 | By Andrew Cassel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Principal John Mazurek had been explaining Pablo Casals Elementary School's policy on pupil retention for a good 10 minutes before parent Roger Chandler spoke up. "I can't tell you how to run the school . . . " he began. Mazurek cut him off. "Sure you can," the voluble principal said with a grin. "You're the council. " Seventeen months after Chicago began turning the nation's third-largest school system almost literally upside down, many people still are having trouble comprehending the new order.
NEWS
April 8, 1986 | BY HAPPY FERNANDEZ
Declining enrollments, "white flight," fiscal austerity and a "search for excellence" have sparked much debate about federally funded education. This debate includes such radical concepts as mandatory teacher evaluation and vouchers. But one simple reform that started two decades ago, a prohibition against discrimination, could die before a hostile and indifferent Congress unless there is a strong show of public support. The Civil Rights Restoration Act, now under consideration by both Houses of Congress, would restore protections against discrimination for women, minorities, the disabled and the elderly in federally funded educational institutions.
NEWS
December 17, 1997 | by John M. Baer, Daily News Staff Writer
The double-barrelled blast of school-reform plans shot off this week in the capital might well be aimed at future election days more than future school days. The plans - one from the House on reforming urban schools, one from Gov. Ridge on tougher teacher standards - have been offered as state politicos prepare for the 1998 election campaigns and Philadelphia politicians become more active in laying the groundwork for the 1999 Philadelphia mayoral race. Daily News Keystone Poll director Dr. G. Terry Madonna says that in a number of polls, schools and education are "moving to the upper tier of issues nationwide and in Pennsylvania.
NEWS
October 12, 2011 | BY REGINA MEDINA, medinar@phillynews.com 215-854-5985
LONG ON VISION but short on details, Gov. Corbett yesterday unveiled an education-reform package that he said gives students statewide "a fighting chance. " The changes aim to foster competition in all schools and step up student performance, Corbett told a student audience during a news conference at the Lincoln Charter School gym, in York. The proposed reforms, which have been discussed in public for several months, focused on improvements to the charter-school system: increased funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit, a tax-credit program for businesses that underwrite scholarships and other academic programs; establishment of "opportunity scholarships" (vouchers)
NEWS
July 25, 2001 | By Linda Chavez
While Congress and President Bush wrangle over the shape of education reform, one group in Washington has decided to launch a revolution in the education of poor children on its own. The Washington Jesuit Academy won't open until 2004, but when it does, 75 poor middle-school students will be given an unparalleled opportunity to escape poverty through a first-rate education. But the process won't be easy. Students will attend school 12 hours a day, taking all their meals at the school, completing homework assignments in supervised study halls, and attending classes on Saturdays, as well as spending summers at Jesuit-run summer camps.
NEWS
July 25, 2011 | By Matt Katz, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
DES MOINES, Iowa - As speculation about his presidential ambitions hung heavily in the hot Midwestern air, Gov. Christie called for peace in the battle over education at a summit convened Monday by the governor of Iowa. Saying he did not come to Iowa "to throw down the gauntlet of the next battle," Christie instead spoke in lofty terms about the American promise and the need to save students in places such as Camden, where students fail despite a price tag of $20,000 per pupil.
NEWS
April 17, 2001
I was shocked to read in your editorial (April 10) that education is not "one of [my] top priorities. " Several years ago, I launched Pennsylvania's first-ever School District Performance Review Program to improve efficiency and help get more hard-earned tax dollars into the classroom. These have provided hundreds of recommendations and identified millions of dollars in potential savings for school districts. As governor. I would aggressively support and advocate proposals to directly improve our public schools, including: Reducing class size for the youngest students.
NEWS
March 10, 2001 | By E.J. Dionne Jr
Imagine a 13-year-old in a low-income community who describes himself this way: "I'm a math literacy worker. I speak math. I do math. I work with math. " His name is David and he's part of a second revolution that Robert Moses, the legendary civil rights activist, is trying to lead through his Algebra Project. Before anyone in Congress or the White House says another word about education reform, they owe themselves a few hours with Moses' new book, Radical Equations. Moses cuts through cant and phony debates with the serene urgency of someone who risked his life in the civil rights revolution.
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NEWS
June 22, 2015 | Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
People are suddenly asking Dwight Evans for lottery picks. That happens when you are two-for-two betting long on the most important political offices in Pennsylvania. In back-to-back elections, the Democratic state representative from West Oak Lane has wagered and won big with his support of the relatively unknown Tom Wolf for governor last year and Jim Kenney for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Philadelphia last month. Evans now can boast of having the ear of both men and an inside track on favors and future political appointments.
NEWS
April 17, 2014
Smoke and glamor If we really wanted smoking cessation, or at least a dramatic reduction, we could achieve it ("Pa. to get back $120M in tobacco ruling," April 11). Jurisdictions that enjoy the revenue from smokers, however, are not about to turn off the spigot. That's why so many well-touted efforts are no more than smoke screens (pun intended). I was a three-pack-a-day smoker. If we are serious about the health effects of smoking, there is only one way: Cut out blatant promotion of smoking in movies and on TV. The all-time classic movie smoking scene remains Sharon Stone in that short white dress, lighting her cigarette and taunting police.
NEWS
April 30, 2013 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
IN 1939, a 6-year-old boy moved to Detroit with his working-class parents - Lithuanian Jewish immigrants - and walked into the remarkable engine that propelled so much of America's prosperity in the 20th century, his neighborhood public school. That kid, Eli Broad, graduated from Detroit Central High School in 1951 and went on to become one of the world's richest people, a billionaire who made his fortune first in the post-World War II housing boom and later in insurance. Today, the 79-year-old Broad (it rhymes with "road")
NEWS
April 1, 2013 | By Matt Katz, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Christie's decision to take over the Camden school system was described by his education commissioner as the politically gutsiest thing he had ever seen. "This is not politically smart, this is not politically driven," Commissioner Christopher Cerf said. ". . . It's not for the timid, it's not for the safe, it's not to stay in the harbor. " He gushed: "There is no one who has more political courage on a matter like this . . . than this gentleman to my left. " Or not. Because in several ways, Christie's takeover was politically smart, obvious - and, yes, as safe as can be. Forget, for a moment, the merits of the takeover.
NEWS
February 20, 2013 | By E.J. Dionne
We interrupt this highly partisan moment with some contrarian news: President Obama is not the only politician who thinks that expanding access to pre-kindergarten is a good investment. In Alabama, Republican Gov. Robert Bentley urged a 60 percent increase in preschool funding in his state, with the goal of having a universal preschool system in place within 10 years. "I truly believe by allowing greater access to a voluntary pre-K education," Bentley declared earlier this month, "we will change the lives of children in Alabama.
NEWS
July 27, 2012 | By Lawrence F. Jones Jr
During a recent School Reform Commission meeting, Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky decried the cost of independent charter school expansion under the Philadelphia School District's reform plan, saying district Renaissance Schools have been less costly. We at the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools disagree with the commissioner's math as well as his philosophy on education reform. Dworetzky and others are overlooking the fact that the costs of any reforms have been exacerbated by the inability or refusal of previous commissioners to "rightsize" the district.
NEWS
July 23, 2012
By Jerry Jordan   It's blockbuster season at the movies, the time of year when many of us allow ourselves to suspend reality, munch on over-buttered popcorn, and get lost in a world of superheroes, alien attacks, and outrageous plot lines.   Philadelphia has its own far-fetched story line this summer. It's about a school district that, even though it's so cash-strapped it can't afford summer school, decides to spend $139 million over the next five years for an education reform strategy that won't improve student achievement.
NEWS
June 20, 2012 | By Geoff Mulvihill and Associated Press
TRENTON — The idea of making tenure tougher for New Jersey teachers to get and easier to lose took a big leap forward Monday when a state Senate committee advanced a bill and Gov. Christie endorsed it. Bills on the issue have won committee approval in both chambers of the state's Legislature in the last five days, with the support of the state's education-advocacy cottage industry. The Senate bill was put together by Teresa Ruiz (D., Essex), who worked out the details with groups representing a variety of interests.
NEWS
May 17, 2012 | Daily News Editorial
FIXING THE SCHOOL district would be simple, if only: The schools went back to teaching basics. We'd stop siphoning off money to charter schools. We'd open more charters. We had the means to get rid of bad teachers. We had a way to get rid of bad students. Parents cared more. We made sure there were music and art classes. The state funded the schools they way it is supposed to. This list could go on — and on and on, limited only by the number of people you ask. Everyone has an opinion about how to fix the district, and the district has an opinion about how to fix itself via a new set of proposals that would close 40 schools, move many students to charters, establish "achievement networks" and require major concessions from the unions to close its fiscal gap. Tuesday, City Council members offered their own opinions, quizzing the School Reform Commission as they consider providing $39 million to the district.
NEWS
April 26, 2012 | By Christopher Moraff
Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the nation's most expansive school voucher program into law. Since the GOP sweep of statehouses in 2010, similar measures have been introduced by the legislatures of more than 30 states — including Pennsylvania, where a bipartisan school voucher bill was defeated in the House in December. Few doubt that there is a crisis in America's public schools. But focusing so much attention on where money is spent — instead of how — oversimplifies a complex problem.
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