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NEWS
May 10, 2013
By Robert Maranto The best book about public schools is not about schools at all. Jeffrey Race's War Comes to Long An tells the tale of a province viewed in completely different ways by the North and South in the long Vietnamese civil war. The communists and government forces had different names for the same towns, had safe havens and danger zones that were mirror images of each other, and had completely distinct views of what the war was...
NEWS
March 18, 2013 | Matt Katz, Inquirer Staff Writer
Meeting with African American leaders at the governor's mansion last year, Gov. Christie told a story from his student days at the University of Delaware. An African American friend, hoping to give the young Christie a sense of being black on a largely white campus, took the future governor to the historically black Delaware State University. Christie stood out. He got stares. And so, the boy from the white North Jersey suburbs got a small sense of his friend's daily existence. Michael Blunt, the African American mayor of tiny Chesilhurst borough in Camden County, recalls being moved when hearing the story.
NEWS
March 11, 2013
THE DEED is done. Amid some of the most well-orchestrated and well-attended protests from parents and activists in recent history, the School Reform Commission last week voted to close down nearly two-dozen schools and consolidate a dozen others. The next question: What can the SRC and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. do to prevent more closings in the future? More to the point, what can parents, teachers and public-education advocates do to prevent them? Before we get to answers, we have to look at the problem.
NEWS
January 31, 2013
By Michael Moroney It is no secret that our education system needs reform, but what direction to take and how to get there present a formidable challenge. Countless studies have shown that our children's math and science skills are dangerously below average. Test scores for eighth-grade Pennsylvania students have remained stagnant since 2005, and in 2011, about 61 percent of students scored basic or below basic on standardized tests. Schools continuously report failing test scores while our federal government pours unprecedented amounts of taxpayer money into an ineffective system.
NEWS
November 30, 2012 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three Camden students seeking to transfer out of their poorly performing district on the state's dime, with a petition that is seen as an effort to enable school choice in the city, will have to wait for a final decision. That's the result of the New Jersey education commissioner's siding with an administrative law judge's decision to deny swift relief to the students. In the petition, filed in October, lawyers for the three children and their parents asked the state to waste no time in reassigning Keanu Vargas, 12, a seventh grader at Pyne Poynt Family School; Freddy Hernandez, 5, a first grader at Davis Elementary; and Emmanuel Roldan, 8, a fourth grader at Dudley Elementary, to better-performing parochial or other schools not part of the Camden School District, claiming the boys were losing valuable time academically.
NEWS
November 29, 2012 | By Claudia Vargas, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Three Camden students seeking to transfer out of their poorly performing district on the state's dime, with a petition that is seen as an effort to enable school choice in the city, will have to wait for a final decision. That's the result of the New Jersey education commissioner's siding with an administrative law judge's decision to deny swift relief to the students. In the petition, filed in October, lawyers for the three children and their parents asked the state to waste no time in reassigning Keanu Vargas, 12, a seventh grader at Pyne Poynt Family School; Freddy Hernandez, 5, a first grader at Davis Elementary; and Emmanuel Roldan, 8, a fourth grader at Dudley Elementary, to better-performing parochial or other schools not part of the Camden School District, claiming the boys were losing valuable time academically.
NEWS
October 29, 2012
Christmas in mid-October Strolling through the garden section of a big-box store, I was amazed to see many lighted Christmas trees (at $199.99 each) and to hear an ongoing and very loud rendition of "Jingle Bells. " This display constitutes a total ignoring of fall and its natural beauty, as well as all of the wonderful events, activities, and holidays that will occur in the next two months. This is really a not-too-subtle attempt to develop a purposely extended commercial Christmas selling season that will distract attention and interest in such happenings as Halloween, the World Series, the presidential election, Thanksgiving Day, the observance of Pearl Harbor Day, and even Hanukkah.
NEWS
September 6, 2012 | Dom Giordano, For the Daily News
WHAT SHOULD the penalty be for two Philadelphia parents caught sending their child just to a neighboring school district just over the Philadelphia border? In the spectrum of law enforcement, what is the appropriate punishment for these parents trying to get their elementary-school-age daughter a better education in a suburban school district? Should the daughter be removed and the parents warned? Should she be removed and the parents fined? Should the daughter be removed and the parents forced to pay back to the taxpayers of Lower Moreland Township $10,753, which is the cost of tuition for an out-of-district child attending Lower Moreland schools?
NEWS
August 27, 2012 | By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joe Watkins has worked for a U.S. president and a senator, has served as an investment company manager, and twice ran for statewide office. In 2010, Students First, the pro-vouchers and charter-school political action committee he headed, made the largest total contribution from a single source to one candidate in Pennsylvania history - $3.3 million to Philadelphia Democrat Anthony Hardy Williams. Watkins, 59, lives in Philadelphia, where he's the pastor of a North Philadelphia church.
NEWS
August 26, 2012 | By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Chester Upland school board voted unanimously Thursday night to work with state-appointed Chief Recovery Officer Joe Watkins in crafting a recovery plan for the financially distressed Delaware County district. Watkins was selected as chief recovery officer this month by Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ron Tomalis under new legislation that gives Watkins broad power to recommend closing schools, renegotiating the teachers' contract, making budget cuts, privatizing school management, and turning schools into charters.
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