September 7, 2015 |
Poised to enter his fourth year as superintendent Tuesday, William R. Hite Jr. said this back-to-school cycle feels different. "This is the first year since I've been in Philadelphia that I'm excited about more things than I'm nervous about," said Hite. Even with potentially bruising fights for funding in Harrisburg and City Hall still ahead, a newly decided court ruling that could allow for explosive, unplanned charter growth, and a tough two-plus years without a teachers' contract, the Philadelphia School District chief believes he can finally spend much of his time focusing, he said, "on the stuff that matters.
September 4, 2015 |
STRUCTURAL problems at a large Northeast Philadelphia elementary school will delay the start of class for some pupils and force others to relocate to a nearby school for the entire year, officials said yesterday. The problems were found at the Solis-Cohen School, on Horrocks Street near Tyson Avenue, one of the district's largest K-6 schools, with about 1,370 students. As a result, pupils in kindergarten and first grade will be located in the school's annex, a stand-alone building.
May 29, 2015 |
PHILADELPHIA'S public schools are spending less per child than in 2007, partially due to rising costs for pensions and health care, according to an independent report released yesterday by the school district. The analysis, conducted by Education Research Strategies Inc., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit research organization, shows the district spent $12,724 per-pupil in 2013-14, down from $13,384 in 2007-08, a 5 percent decline. District officials said the report bears out what they have been saying for a while - mandated costs are rising faster than revenue, taking precious dollars away from the classroom.
May 22, 2015 |
Frith deKerillis said she was changed this year by the philosophies of her second graders. The Erdenheim Elementary School teacher spent all year incorporating ideas of mindfulness and thoughtfulness into her classroom as part of a leadership project - Habits of the Mind - the Flourtown elementary school recently expanded. "My outlook now captures more patience, understanding, and endless positive energy," deKerillis said. To mark the end of this year's project, more than 750 pupils sent "well wishes" into the universe Wednesday when they gathered on the school playground and blew bubbles into the sky. The Springfield (Montco)
May 20, 2015 |
PATRICIA LAFFERTY has some rules for pupils learning cursive writing in her class. "Proper posture for proper penmanship," Lafferty told her third-graders yesterday at St. Anthony of Padua Regional Catholic School in South Philadelphia. "Put your feet under your desk, not under your chairs. " They were learning to write a proper cursive "n" in their handbooks. Each page had a sample cursive letter and an area to practice it, with three lines to help guide their writing. The boys and girls watched Lafferty write a lowercase "n" on the chalkboard, which also had the three lines.
May 6, 2015 |
MAYORAL CANDIDATE Doug Oliver did it again with the young'uns, rocking the world of fourth- and fifth-graders in the Philadelphia School District yesterday during a youth mayoral forum. The students - from Julia de Burgos, Avery D. Harrington, John Wister, William Dick and Edwin M. Stanton elementary schools - swarmed Oliver just to chat and see him up close after the forum. It was held in the district headquarters auditorium and hosted by the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement.
April 10, 2015 |
SCIENCE AND MATH teacher Jason Bui knew a few years back that he wanted to start an after-school chess club at S. Weir Mitchell Elementary, at 55th Street and Kingsessing Avenue, in Kingsessing. The pupils who joined the club - which he named the Minor Threats after the early-'80s hard-core punk band Minor Threat - had no idea that chess would have an impact on their minds, their attitudes and their families. "By the time we were the Minor Threats, I was already seeing an impact," said Bui, 33, who this year moved to Andrew Hamilton Elementary, on Spruce Street near 56th, West Philadelphia.
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.
October 16, 2014
PHILADELPHIA finally has a cigarette tax. The Legislature's approval was the result of advocacy by many stakeholders: parents and teachers, the mayor and business leaders, and a coalition of legislators from in and outside of Philadelphia. We applaud the governor and the Pennsylvania General Assembly for passage of this much-needed, short-term funding solution. Yet, there is much more work to do. Now is the time to refocus our work on the strategic short-, medium- and long-term efforts of reform that will ensure a safe, fiscally sound and quality outcome for our schools.