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NEWS
March 19, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo., is on track to close 29 schools due to declining enrollment, and many other school districts are verging on similar action, so it wouldn't be illogical to predict a major overhaul of every phase of America's system of public education. I believe a major reduction in salaries, pensions and other benefits will be necessary to correct a dire situation. Politicians and school administrators can make speeches and promises, but money is the final arbiter. Ephraim Levin, Philadelphia
NEWS
October 15, 2001 | By TIMOTHY POTTS
IF THE EVENTS of the past few weeks have taught us nothing, we have learned that we Americans, including Pennsylvanians, are capable of great acts of heroism and generosity. We have a deep reservoir of compassion when we see innocents suffering through no fault of their own. Even those of us who have no connection to New York City or Washington couldn't wait to donate our blood, sweat, tears and hard-earned money toward their rescue. It's enough to make me believe that we in Pennsylvania really do have the heart and will to rescue our own innocents.
NEWS
October 14, 2010 | By Tom Infield, Inquirer Staff Writer
Calling him "the education candidate," a public-school advocacy group endorsed Democrat Dan Onorato for governor Wednesday afternoon. Education Voters of Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group based in Philadelphia, said it preferred Onorato over Republican Tom Corbett because of his support for gradually raising state funding for most school districts according to a formula first approved by the legislature in 2008. Corbett has said he does not support increased funding because of budget crises that the state faces in the next few years.
NEWS
April 2, 2010
AMERICA IS now in the process of dismantling its public-school system. This is the result of indulging in expensive school contracts, lowering standards for teachers and pupils and a funding system that is both archaic and unworkable. All of the foregoing, tolerated by political know-nothings and exacerbated by tens of thousands of drones, has managed to wreck America's infrastructure of learning. What solutions now, disgusting, disingenuous politicians? Ephraim Levin, Philadelphia
NEWS
September 16, 2013 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
Stepping into Philadelphia's school-funding crisis, the Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a fiery address Saturday linking public education to the civil rights movement and promising a return to the city to "take the veil off. " The problem, he said in his keynote speech at the "Higher Education Awareness, Dropout Prevention, and Health Initiative" conference, is "a direct effort to eliminate public education. " He then seized upon a theme often trumpeted by city education activists: "You got money, [Gov.]
NEWS
April 20, 1999 | By Louise Harbach, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Nationwide she may be known as the founder of the American Red Cross, but in Burlington County, Clara Barton will be remembered for promoting public education. At Burlington and Crosswicks Streets in Bordentown is a one-room brick schoolhouse, believed to be the first public school in the county, which Barton, then 30, started in 1852 as part of her goal to overcome a bias in the community against "pauper schools. " "Something drew me to the State of New Jersey," Barton wrote in her memoirs.
NEWS
May 15, 2012 | By Lisa Haver
If the School Reform Commission and Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen have their way, we may witness the end of public education in Philadelphia. A five-year plan proposed by Philadelphia School District officials calls for the overhaul of virtually every element of the system — from finances to academics to central management. These drastic changes suggest to many that the district is intent on expediting the privatization of its schools, despite its promises to stay the traditional route and invest in neighborhoods and communities.
NEWS
May 29, 1994
The most encouraging news about the plan for Philadelphia's public schools announced last week is that, at last, the key players are singing from the same hymnal. When Mayor Rendell, City Council President John Street, and the school board president, Rotan Lee, presented a list of ideas to prevent $29 million in cuts from the school district's budget, they talked more than economics. They talked about addressing the severe credibility problem of the district, the continuing perception that it just sucks up public money to support a "bloated, inefficient and topheavy bureaucracy.
NEWS
March 3, 2003
QUICK RECAP: A few weeks ago, Philadelphia School District CEO Paul Vallas all but canned two principals who had allowed students to get a bit out of hand at their high schools. The crackdown was controversial, but few could debate its symbolic value. High school principals were on notice that a higher standard will be enforced. But a district doesn't survive on symbolism alone. Vallas has now followed up with a bold and substantial plan to overhaul nearly all Philadelphia high schools.
NEWS
September 27, 1989 | BY CAL THOMAS
All 50 governors will meet Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va., for an education summit convened by President Bush. These days it seems that everyone is calling for a restructuring of the public school system, including the National Education Association, whose president, Keith Geiger, recently said "Our experience tells us that our schools need massive, substantive, systemic change. " They do, indeed, and the first change that needs to be made is to take them away from the NEA and the government and convert them into privately run, parent-controlled institutions.
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NEWS
July 3, 2015
AS EXPECTED, Gov. Wolf this week vetoed the $30.2 billion budget passed by legislative Republicans, saying that it was filled with "gimmicks . . . smoke and mirrors and a lot of kick the can down the road. " That is a long string of clichés, but the governor was right. The Republican budget balanced on paper, but did so by shortchanging public education and pillaging various state funds that were supposed to be dedicated to such things as school construction and child-welfare payments.
NEWS
June 25, 2015
PHILLY, MEET Scott Wagner. He's a 59-year old first-term Republican state senator from (Gov. Wolf's home) York County who's loathed by unions, loved by conservatives and a growing force in the GOP Legislature. He wants to cut government costs, government pensions, taxes and regulations. He's a self-described rough-edged "garbage man who never graduated college. " But he's also a wealthy biz-guy - owns trucking and trash firms - who made Pennsylvania political history.
NEWS
May 13, 2015
ISSUE | NEXT MAYOR Focus on issues, not influence Instead of focusing on personalities and the influence of Susquehanna International Group ("Talking smack: Philly's Democratic mayoral primary turns testy," May 1), The Inquirer should have focused on the substantive issues I raised. Three billionaires from the suburbs are actively working to destroy public education in a city they will never live in. I spoke out because I've been fighting to improve public education in our city for 20 years.
NEWS
May 12, 2015 | Daily News Editorial
PHILADELPHIA, at the center of a convergence of growth, positive attention and forward movement, is having a moment. While still beset with big problems, we can more easily stand with other modern cities - no longer corrupt and content, no longer in thrall to pay to play, patronage, ethical shortcomings and soul-killing bureaucratic indifference, much of which can be credited to Mayor Nutter's past seven years. Interviewing candidates, and attending some of the countless debates and forums to weigh our choice for the Democratic choice for next mayor, we have focused a key question: Who is most likely to keep the momentum going?
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pennsylvania's lowest-performing schools could be given an ultimatum - reform quickly, or face relegation to a new, state-run district - under legislation to be introduced soon. The bill, crafted by State Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R., Lancaster), could remake the Philadelphia School District, where most of the struggling schools now reside. Supporters say it has a shot at passage in this legislative session, particularly as a way to partner the increased education funding Gov. Wolf seeks with accountability measures palatable to Republicans.
NEWS
April 21, 2015 | DN Editorial
THE RACES for the mayor's office and for Council seats seem to be running on Novocain, especially when it comes to education. Every candidate says that education is a priority. The candidates for mayor and many for Council have put forth their plans for funding education, and most of them are designed to keep voters numb . . . at least until after the election. Not one candidate supports Mayor Nutter's proposal to raise the property tax by 9.34 percent. That would bring $103 million that the district requested to help Superintendent Hite implement his plans for rebuilding the district after years of cuts and uncertainty.
NEWS
April 20, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
While the city's legislators have to work together, Philadelphia City Council is overpopulated by members who reflexively follow Council President Darrell Clarke. Emblematic of this was Council's refusal to hold a public hearing on a $1.87 billion offer for the Philadelphia Gas Works. Council needs an upheaval to return it to its mission of representing the public. Fortunately, the crowd of candidates seeking five Democratic at-large Council seats includes political newcomers with impressive civic experience and potential.
NEWS
April 7, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
PHILADELPHIA writer and parent Arden Kass became outraged a couple of years ago when the school district slashed its budget and classroom education suffered. Teachers were laid off and class sizes ballooned. "It seemed like they were attacking the school system," Kass said in an interview last week. "The budget cuts seemed almost punitive. It seemed like you had to succeed in spite of what was going on in the state. " Kass soon became obsessed with Philadelphia's school-funding issue and developed an idea that she pitched to a few funders and to civic leaders including Donna Cooper with Public Citizens for Children and Youth.
NEWS
March 17, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
When John E. Williams Jr. taught high school students about Shakespeare, he did not suffer their readings of passages from plays. "He would instead tell them he would be reading it to them," son Thomas said, because "they were not qualified to read it aloud. " His readings would show the students "what the language meant and what they were supposed to be listening for. " Mr. Williams, his son said, "was very straitlaced. " The Marine veteran "expected kids to come in and be respectful in the classroom - maybe not what they were being taught at home.
NEWS
February 16, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the affluent Lower Merion School District proposed cutting music and art instruction in elementary schools, some teachers and parents saw it as part of a scheme to increase prep time for state-mandated standardized tests. The loudest voice was Todd Marrone, a popular Welsh Valley Middle School art teacher, who started a blog to encourage a broader revolt against the growing role of high-stakes testing, which he called "the greatest threat to the humanities. " Marrone died in late 2013, but his protest has taken root in Lower Merion and is connecting with an increasingly powerful nationwide movement for kids to "opt out" of standardized tests such as the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA.
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