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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
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
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
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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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
October 14, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania's secretary of education on Friday asked Commonwealth Court to dismiss a lawsuit against her that accuses her of failing to investigate complaints from Philadelphia school parents over poor conditions in schools. The complaints, Carolyn Dumaresq contends in court filings, do not constitute "curriculum deficiencies," so she is not compelled to investigate. "The petition fails to state a claim of violation of that regulation," the response said in part. "It is outrageous for the state to disclaim any responsibility for these problems," Benjamin Geffen, staff attorney at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, said in a statement issued in response and published on the group's website.
NEWS
September 30, 2014
THERE WAS celebration locally last week when Gov. Corbett signed the bill allowing Philadelphia to increase the tax on cigarettes by $2 a pack. Mayor Nutter praised the governor and the Legislature for finally taking action. Schools Superintendent William Hite added his thanks. No one did high-fives, but there was a sense of satisfaction over a mission accomplished. The situation reminds us of the title of the 1960s novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me . The cigarette tax - which will raise the price of a pack by 30 percent - will provide a source of continuing revenue for the financially battered school district.
NEWS
September 11, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The state Education Department has violated its legal obligation to investigate claims of "massive curriculum deficiencies" in city schools, a group of Philadelphia School District parents claimed in a lawsuit filed Tuesday. The group, including seven district parents and the group Parents United for Public Education, filed the suit in Commonwealth Court. A separate suit about education funding is forthcoming, said officials with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, which represents the parents in the suit filed Tuesday.
NEWS
September 11, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
SEVEN PARENTS have accused the state Department of Education of failing to investigate poor conditions at Philadelphia public schools. The claims are contained in a lawsuit filed yesterday by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia on behalf of the parents and the local organization Parents United for Public Education. The suit says that 825 complaints were submitted to the department last school year regarding inadequate conditions and that the state is required to probe each claim.
NEWS
August 30, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
A summer onslaught of television attack ads against his opponents has not improved the standing of Gov. Corbett in his run for a second term against Democrat Tom Wolf, according to a poll released Thursday. Wolf held a lead of 25 percentage points in the Franklin and Marshall College Poll - 49 percent to 24 percent, with 25 percent undecided. That has budged little from the college's last survey in June. Just over a quarter of respondents, or 26 percent, said Corbett had done a good enough job to earn reelection.
NEWS
August 19, 2014
ANOTHER WEEK, another crisis at the Philadelphia School District. Last week, it was over whether the school year will begin on time. Superintendent William Hite wisely decided it would, despite the fact that the district still is $81 million short of the money it needs to operate all year. Still, Hite had to slash another $31 million from the budget. When they open on September 8, schools will be more dangerous and dirty - due to the cuts in the budgets for police officers and maintenance.
NEWS
July 5, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a surprise move, Wendell Pritchett resigned Thursday from the School Reform Commission, citing frustration with and fear for the state of public education in Philadelphia. He will be replaced by Marjorie Neff, who until June was principal of Masterman, the city's top magnet school. Neff spent 38 years as a teacher and principal and was the first Philadelphia School District educator to ever serve on the SRC. Pritchett, a well-regarded academic who was the longest-serving member of the commission, said the SRC's job had essentially become figuring out which from a menu of bad options will cause the least damage to city students.
NEWS
July 1, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban for championing girls' education, has been awarded the National Constitution Center's 2014 Liberty Medal. "It's an honor to be awarded the Liberty Medal," Malala said in a statement. "I accept this award on behalf of all the children around the world who are struggling to get an education. " Helen Gym, a founder of Philadelphia's Parents United for Public Education, said she is glad the National Constitution Center is highlighting the importance of education by choosing Malala.
NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
We Americans may be passive about politics, even ignorant about history and geography - but we've always been passionate about our children's education. Witness the continued success of the scrappy start-up news organization called the Philadelphia Public School Notebook. On Tuesday, the Notebook will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a party at the University of the Arts featuring music, exhibits, and an awards ceremony. First produced in photocopiers and distributed by hand in supermarkets and community meetings, the Notebook has grown into a respected journal providing in-depth coverage of the city's 212 public schools and the system that supposedly holds them together.
NEWS
May 30, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
Public higher education in New Jersey badly needs changes to become more affordable, accessible, and successful, legislators were told Wednesday during a hearing at Rowan University. Over 2 hours and 45 minutes, members of the Assembly's higher-education committee listened to students, administrators, and a faculty union president, all of whom agreed it was right for the Legislature to tackle reform of the state's public higher-education system. But their solutions varied, in some cases opposing legislators' proposals or urging caution.
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