November 28, 2012
By Jonathan Zimmerman The Cherry Hill Board of Education and its teachers recently agreed on a new contract that extends the school day by 30 minutes. Over the course of a 180-day school year, that comes out to about 14 more days of class. But it probably won't make much of a difference, at least not for high school students. That's because the board tacked the additional time onto the beginning of the day, forcing high school kids to show up for school at 7:30 a.m. instead of 8. They won't be awake.
March 14, 2013 |
I AM A Philadelphia School District (PSD) teacher in my 36th year, and what has really gotten stuck in my craw most has been the imperial, patronizing manner in which the PSD leadership has been conducting its business. Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. arrived six months ago spouting transparency and community engagement, but what we've mostly gotten has been something far less. School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos and the SRC set the stage by surreptitiously hiring an attorney to lobby the state Legislature to increase the power of the SRC to impose working conditions.
April 26, 2013
By Nathan Mains Every school day in Pennsylvania, 82 high school students leave school after classes - and never return. That's more than 14,000 school dropouts last year across the commonwealth. Fifty-four of Pennsylvania's 598 high schools are considered among the nation's lowest performers, meaning that fewer than 60 percent of freshmen progress to their senior year on time. Dropping out of school isn't just a stigma - it's a life-changing disadvantage with wide-ranging implications and the issue is dogged by troubling questions around who's dropping out, the reasons for the exodus, and the societal and economic consequences.
January 18, 2013 |
Arvel Wells-Kargbo, 56, of East Mount Airy, a longtime Philadelphia teacher and principal who dedicated her career to raising standards for Philadelphia schoolchildren, died Thursday, Jan. 10, of cardiac arrest. Mrs. Wells-Kargbo, principal of the Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School at the time of her death, grew up in North Philadelphia and graduated from Gratz High School in 1974. She earned a bachelor's degree at Morgan State University and master's degree at Antioch College, and had finished studies for her doctorate in education at Nova Southeastern University, her husband, Molson Kargbo, said.
April 20, 2013
By William C. Kashatus When I was a teenager in the 1970s, I refused to get out of bed for school at 6 a.m. It got so bad that my mother threatened to pour ice water over my head. Not until my father took away the car keys did I force myself to roll off the mattress and become the grouchy morning person who trudged off to school. Forty years later, my adolescent son is exhibiting the same early-morning behavior. Just like his teenaged father, he's trying to get an education, play sports, and hold down a weekend job on less than six hours of sleep each night; not nearly enough rest for an adolescent who lives in a 24/7 culture.
March 7, 2013
Teachers have long stressed the "three R's" - reading, writing, and arithmetic - as fundamental to learning. It's time to bring back another R: recess. In their well-intentioned emphasis on academics and standardized test scores, schools across the country have eliminated recess. Today, only 40 percent of public schools offer a play period. It's time to reconsider recess' benefits for students' minds as well as their bodies. Expecting elementary-school children to sit in classrooms for hours on end may actually hurt the learning process.
December 4, 2011 |
High school feels different in the big white mansion at the edge of the Navy Yard - no desks in rows. No 47-minute class periods. No warnings to remove the hat, put the cellphone away, take the exam seriously. Instead, small groups of students are designing their own workshop space. They're drawing up more efficient bus routes for the Philadelphia School District. Their teachers act as mentors, sounding boards, not lecturers. The premise? American high schools are broken.
October 28, 1992 |
Smoke curled out of their Marlboros yesterday as a small crowd of Penn Wood High students gathered outside the school in Lansdowne to theorize about the raucous brawl Monday that left five injured and nine students arrested. "It's been going on like 20 years, and every year it's some incident that starts it over again," said Soraun Cook, a 16-year-old senior from Darby Borough. An age-old rivalry between neighboring Darby and Yeadon Boroughs is at the bottom of what developed into a series of fights at the two-story school shortly before 7:30 a.m. Monday, the students said.
March 22, 2000 |
When the bell rings at the end of Darryl Washington's school day, it's time for the Penn Wood junior's daily commuting ritual to begin. First he takes a SEPTA bus from school to the 69th Street Terminal. There he boards the Market Street subway/elevated train to Center City. At 15th Street, he changes to the Broad Street Subway for a ride to North Philadelphia. When he gets off at the Hunting Park station, he walks two blocks to the Marcus Foster Recreation Center for swim practice.
March 11, 2011 |
The U.S. Constitution may prohibit mandatory prayer in public schools, but it doesn't prohibit schools from allowing students to pray on their own initiative, says City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who wants to encourage the practice. "Students are free to pray alone or in groups as long as the activity is not disruptive and does not infringe on the rights of others," according to a resolution adopted unanimously in Council yesterday at Blackwell's request. It calls for Council's Education Committee, headed by Blackwell, to schedule hearings on prayer in Philadelphia public schools.