October 7, 2013 |
THE PHILADELPHIA School District yesterday released its results for the state's top standardized test - the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA - and the news wasn't pretty. The scores marked the second year in a row that the overall percentage of students scoring "proficient" or "advanced" on math and reading exams were down, across all grade levels and subgroups. The district said average math proficiency scores fell four points from 51 percent to 47 percent, according to the district.
October 5, 2013 |
There is nothing that energizes a soccer team more than a keeper figuratively standing on his head, making one big save after another. That was the situation last Friday when Zac MacMath had his best Major League Soccer game of the season - and possibly his career - in a 1-0 win at Sporting Kansas City. Don't take our word for it, just listen to Conor Casey, who scored the game's lone goal to snap a five-game winless streak and suddenly put the Union in control of their own postseason destiny with four games left.
September 28, 2013 |
MALVERN With a DJ in the gym, and an inflatable slide in the parking lot, St. Patrick School looked like a carnival Thursday. And instead of their everyday green uniforms, the pupils were dressed in blue. St. Patrick School was named one of the 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools, an honor bestowed on 50 private and 236 public schools in the country. And that called for a blue palooza. Principal Patricia O'Donnell said the school in Malvern had been notified by the Department of Education over the summer that it might win the award, and she made sure it was ready to celebrate.
September 5, 2013
Last week, Editorial Page Editor Sandra Shea wrote a separate, signed column ("Hey, teachers: Do the math") about the points that teachers are making in the current school-budget crisis, and questioning some of them. The response was heavy and rapid, from teachers and others, in support of teachers and not, via snail-mail, email and online. Here's a sampling. I AM a 2011 graduate of Rutgers University and a certified history teacher in New Jersey. I am currently getting my cert in Pennsylvania.
July 14, 2013 |
IT IS NOT how you start a game, but how you finish - just ask Zac MacMath. Now in his third season with the Union, the 21-year-old goalkeeper has enjoyed ups and downs throughout his professional career, but MacMath understands he must learn to finish games consistently to be considered a top MLS player. In Philadelphia's 20 games this season, the Union has dominated the first half, scoring 15 goals, while MacMath has allowed eight. The second half typically has been a different story.
July 12, 2013 |
As the play developed and Mike Watkins saw his opportunity to snuff a potential layup, a smirk began to spread across the 6-foot-8 power forward's face. Competing in a scrimmage at Philadelphia University in the Reebok Classic Breakout, a showcase of more than 100 of the top high school basketball players in the country, Watkins skied above a guard driving to the basket and smashed the ball against the backboard. "I do my job and try to block everything that goes up," said Watkins, a self-proclaimed "rim protector.
June 25, 2013 |
Union goalie Zac MacMath insists he isn't looking over his shoulder. MacMath says he isn't worried about the Union's addition of 39-year-old German goalie Oka Nikolov, who was signed last week and is a veteran of 229 Bundesliga games. The 21-year-old MacMath is in his second year as a starter and third with the team and he's coming off his second straight 3-0 Major League Soccer shutout following Sunday's win over the visiting New York Red Bulls. Never mind that New York played 62 minutes a man down after Lloyd Sam received a red card for what referee Baldomero Toledo called a "serious foul play" on Danny Cruz.
June 22, 2013 |
It was interesting to hear the Union's spin on signing 39-year-old German goalkeeper Oka Nikolov. At first, team manager John Hackworth mentioned that the veteran of 229 Bundesliga games was being brought in as a mentor. Later in a news conference Wednesday, Hackworth acknowledged that Nikolov was there to push starter Zac MacMath and backup Chris Konopka in practice. Then Hackworth said: "I wouldn't bring a guy in to be a practice player. " Yet, Hackworth stated emphatically that the 21-year-old MacMath, now in his third season with the team and second as full-time starter, was the man - for now. "Zac is absolutely, 100 percent the starter," Hackworth said.
May 20, 2013 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I'm returning to work after a two-month absence. What was supposed to be maternity leave turned into a nightmare - my son was stillborn and I suffered a number of serious complications from a very difficult delivery. I needed the time away from work to recuperate. Although physically I am doing much better, emotionally I am anything but. I anticipate that some co-workers, although well-intentioned, may ask awkward and even inappropriate questions about my son's birth and death, and my subsequent healing period.