April 4, 2015 |
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has signed on a new resident company. The Curtis Institute of Music joined the roster effective Wednesday, making it the Kimmel's first new resident company since its opening in December 2001. As far as the listening public is concerned, little will change with the start of the five-year contract. Curtis ensembles have performed at the Kimmel from the start - its orchestra in Verizon Hall and operas in the Perelman Theater. But as a resident company, Curtis will receive breaks on rental fees and priority scheduling, and will be featured in Kimmel marketing and advertising.
March 27, 2015 |
Feeling optimistic? You've got company. More than two-thirds of Philadelphians recently surveyed said they expect the city to improve over the next five years, while fewer than one in five see worse times ahead. More young people say they plan to stay. In fact, the historically cantankerous denizens of the nation's fifth-most-populous city now report feeling more positive than at any time in the last six years, according to a poll by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which has asked the same question about residents' outlook since 2009.
March 21, 2015 |
Nameplates were hurriedly shuffled when Marjorie Neff took her place as chairwoman of the School Reform Commission at Thursday night's monthly meeting. The audience showered Neff with applause as she sat beside Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. She then thanked former Chairman Bill Green, seated two seats to her right, for his service. Hite addressed news, first reported by Inquirer columnist Mike Newall, that the district allowed thousands of books to pile up in a dusty, block-long basement beneath its headquarters.
March 18, 2015 |
Education is the most important issue to Philadelphians - more important than crime, jobs, and the economy, according to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. City residents favor eliminating the School Reform Commission, want an elected school board, and "have an extremely low opinion of the performance of the public school system," according to a research study released Monday. Philadelphians were mixed on charter schools in the poll - they view them generally positively, but most back the idea of spending more money on traditional public schools rather than creating new charter schools.
February 5, 2015
An informational box Wednesday wrongly described the Pew Charitable Trusts' role in "The Next Mayor," a project designed to support high-quality reporting on the Philadelphia mayoral race. The Pew's Philadelphia Research Initiative is participating but is not a partner.
January 17, 2015 |
Compared with big-city peers, the Philadelphia School District spends less per pupil than almost any other education system in the country - even Detroit's. Philadelphia's per-pupil price tag last school year was $12,570 - the lowest of any comparable district except Memphis, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; and Dallas, the Pew Charitable Trusts concluded in a report released Thursday. Detroit spent $13,419 per student, and Boston, at the top of the peer-district list, spent $18,626. Pennsylvania is one of just three states that lack an education funding formula, and city schools have paid the price in recent years, with many unable to fund full-time guidance counselors or after-school activities.
January 16, 2015 |
A NEW REPORT on K-12 education funding finds that Philadelphia lags behind many big-city school districts in per-pupil funding. The report, commissioned by Pew Charitable Trusts, analyzes funding of 10 large school districts across the country in states with a comprehensive funding formula that takes into account need, demographics and poverty. (Pennsylvania is one of three states that does not have such a formula.) It concludes that in 2012-13, the Philadelphia School District spent roughly $12,570 per pupil - less than the average of Boston, Milwaukee, Cleveland, New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit.
December 8, 2014 |
Even when she goes to the movies, Susan Weinstock was saying, she can't get away from a topic that has possessed her work for much of the last four years: Many banks' shamelessly opportunistic overdraft fees. Weinstock, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts' consumer banking project, had just seen Bill Murray portray a grizzled war veteran in St. Vincent - his usual charming misanthrope. Between scenes of Murray's misdeeds, he's the victim of one himself: He can't shut a bank account because he owes $112 in overdraft fees.
October 9, 2014 |
Gregory Rowe, 63, of Berwyn, an arts and culture visionary, whose business and fund-raising strategies helped push Philadelphia's cultural progress, died at his home Friday, Oct. 3, after a 14-month battle with cancer. Mr. Rowe's knowledge of financial management led to one of the most successful periods in the history of People's Light & Theatre Company in Malvern, where he worked as managing director from 1983-1997. During that time, the theater's operating budget tripled, capital assets quadrupled, and it developed one of the country's largest arts-education programs - all while remaining free of operating debt.
October 1, 2014 |
Two new studies add to a mountain of evidence that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has done a poor job of making sure medical devices are safe. The studies, in the current issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, are accompanied by commentaries that point out that the agency recognizes the need for change and is in the midst of improving the device approval system. But critics say the FDA has an inherent conflict because of its dual role of protecting public health and encouraging medical innovation.