January 26, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - Borrowing the language and imagery of the civil rights movement, speaker after speaker told a crowd that filled the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday that the failing public schools of today are no different than the segregated schools of a half-century ago. Hundreds of supporters of a proposal to help low-income children transfer to schools of their choice rallied boisterously under the Capitol dome, portraying the issue as the new educational battleground....
June 15, 1995 |
The Legislature, as expected, has passed a $16 billion state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 that reflects almost all of what Gov. Ridge proposed in March and most of what he ran on as a candidate for governor last year. But House Republicans late last night postponed a vote on the governor's controversial school choice proposal, saying they were short of the votes needed for passage. "We're a smidgen short at the moment," said Stephen Drachler, spokesman for GOP Majority Leader John Perzel, of Philadelphia.
December 28, 2000 |
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has been giving the First Amendment's establishment clause quite a workout. In April, it ruled that the Ohio state motto ("With God All Things Are Possible") amounted to "an endorsement of the Christian religion" and was unconstitutional. Now comes an even more unfathomable decision. Two weeks ago, the court held that Ohio's school voucher program, designed to rescue poor children stuck in Cleveland's blighted public schools, also violated the First Amendment.
September 28, 2009 |
Tomorrow in Philadelphia, two of politics' most interesting personalities - the Rev. Al Sharpton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich - are expected to join Education Secretary Arne Duncan in kicking off a tour of America's urban public schools. Sharpton and Gingrich have said they intend to draw attention to persistent problems and promising remedies in education. In putting the spotlight on fixing education, this odd couple plus one should focus on reforms that actually have a shot at helping kids.
November 23, 2010
MOST OF America hadn't even heard of school choice when Sharmain Matlock-Turner's mother introduced her to the concept. This was more than 30 years ago, after a group of girls duked it out in a brawl at Sayre Junior High School. "My mother heard about it and decided that my sister and I weren't going to that school," Matlock-Turner recalled. "She went to her pastor and told him we needed another school. She wasn't an educated person herself. But she knew what she wanted for us. "Making that choice for middle school is one of the reasons my sister and I succeeded in school.
March 28, 2008
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT of Philadelphia and its 167,000 students may be facing a moment of truth in June, when Harrisburg decides how much money it will send the schools. The district, which is requesting $85 million from the state, shows a $21 million shortfall in its preliminary "lump sum" budget, but that's not unusual at this stage in the budgeting process. What is unusual - and what will prove to be a test of Harrisburg - is a decision the district has made to scale back on charter schools and grow them more conservatively.
November 26, 1991
Reasonable people disagree over whether the time has come for "choice" in education. Even on this editorial board, there are major differences of opinion on the subject. But not on this latest effort to shove a complex school "choice" bill through the Pennsylvania Legislature. Even our dedicated proponents of true parental choice agree that the legislation being promoted by state Sen. Hank Salvatore is little more than a $900-per-child subsidy for the city's Catholic schools. Sure, that helps parents with kids in parochial schools, and may mean a few other kids would transfer from the public to the parochial system.
January 31, 2012 |
CATHOLIC Schools Week began yesterday with a plea from Philly Archbishop Charles Chaput for Catholics to push for passage of a school-voucher bill that would let parents choose where to spend education dollars. "We need to press our lawmakers . . . to pass school choice," Chaput writes in his weekly column on the website Catholic Philly. "Vouchers . . . return the power of educational choice to parents, where it belongs. " Then why is the Archdiocese of Philadelphia taking choice from parents whose kids attend archdiocesan elementary schools slated to close in June?
January 29, 1989 |
Two of the verities of public school education, the neighborhood school and the standard curriculum, are being questioned in New Jersey. Alternatives to the neighborhood public school will be the subject of public hearings to be held in each of the state's 21 counties by the end of February. The state wants to know if parents and students would prefer to have the option of choosing a public school other than the one assigned by the local school board. It is a notion Gov. Kean wants the Department of Education to consider, but it leaves some educators wondering.
August 24, 2012 |
IT MIGHT HAVE once seemed unthinkable: Handing the keys to a large, troubled public-school district over to a high-profile advocate for increasing privatization, including vouchers and for-profit private schools. But activists said that last Friday's surprise announcement that Gov. Corbett had named the Rev. Joe Watkins - an MSNBC pundit who headed the Students First PAC, the pro-voucher group that's dumped millions of campaign dollars on Corbett and other pols - as chief recovery officer to run the Chester Upland schools in Delaware County marks a tipping point.