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NEWS
June 30, 2010 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Small high schools came to Philadelphia in a big way four years ago, when four new ones opened their doors. Less than three miles apart, High School of the Future in Parkside and Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Center City had vastly different beginnings. Expectations for both were high. Both awarded their first diplomas this month. But although leadership was identified as key to both, one had turmoil at the top and the other had a stable principal. Though both emphasized technology and were given freedom to innovate, one kept a close eye on district standards and the other initially veered from the path.
NEWS
April 3, 2013 | By Ibrahim Barzak and Dalia Nammari, Associated Press
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Starting with the new school year in September, Gaza boys and girls in middle and high school will be breaking the law if they study side by side. Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers argue that new legislation, mandating gender separation in schools from age 9, enshrines common practice. But women's activists warned Tuesday that it's another step in what it sees as the Hamas agenda of imposing its fundamentalist world view on Gaza's 1.7 million people. The Gaza rules appear harsh compared to Western practice but are not unusual in parts of the Arab and Muslim world.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | BY JENNIFER WRIGHT, Daily News Staff Writer wrightj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
WHILE STUDENTS headed home for the summer yesterday, the School Reform Commission approved the first of two staff outsourcing plans with the intent to cut costs and staff empty classrooms. The SRC voted unanimously to give Source4Teachers, based in Cherry Hill, N.J., a $34 million contract to manage substitute staffing services for two years. Chairwoman Marjorie Neff and Commissioner Sylvia Simms missed the meeting but cast their votes in a conference call. "The vendor was able to commit to us to provide high quality substitutes at a 90 percent fill rate by January of next year," said Naomi Wyatt, the district's head of human resources.
NEWS
June 4, 2007
What qualities are important for a new Philadelphia schools chief? We'd like to hear from Philadelphia residents in 150 words or less. E-mail us at suburbanletters@phillynews.com or write us at Regional Commentary Page, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 800 River Rd., Conshohocken, Pa., 19428. All letters must include a full name, home address, and day and evening phone numbers.
NEWS
December 27, 2005
Let me commend you for reporting that "the Eastern PA Organizing Project, a faith-based and community group... " rebuked the School District of Philadelphia. Faith groups can and should rebuke secular organizations, for faith groups are better at changing lives than secular organizations. We are accountable to the God who made us, whereas secular organizations leave out God all together. The only hope for improving the educational system in America is impacting the Word of God upon it. Thomas Muldoon, Philadelphia
NEWS
December 14, 2012 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
SUPERINTENDENT William R. Hite Jr., saying he had "few options," announced Thursday that the School District will recommend closing 37 schools as part of a plan to establish "a school system that is better run, safer and higher performing. " Calling it "a historic moment," Hite said his recommendations also included changing the grade levels of 23 schools and making other program changes affecting another seven. The total savings for the district could be up to $28 million beginning in 2014-15, he said.
NEWS
April 30, 2013 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
IN 1939, a 6-year-old boy moved to Detroit with his working-class parents - Lithuanian Jewish immigrants - and walked into the remarkable engine that propelled so much of America's prosperity in the 20th century, his neighborhood public school. That kid, Eli Broad, graduated from Detroit Central High School in 1951 and went on to become one of the world's richest people, a billionaire who made his fortune first in the post-World War II housing boom and later in insurance. Today, the 79-year-old Broad (it rhymes with "road")
NEWS
May 28, 2015
WE KNEW we were being naïve when we imagined that City Council would come back from the last week's campaigning and roll up its sleeves to address the hard issues of school funding in Philadelphia. Any one of the issues would have been fine: how to come up with the $105 million the district requested of the city, how to fill the $85 million deficit, the erosion of essentials like school nurses and books, or maybe the discouraging disparity - 33 percent, according to a recent study - between funding for rich districts vs. poor ones like ours.
NEWS
July 15, 2013 | By Michelle Faul, Associated Press
LAGOS, Nigeria - Shaking a finger while cradling an assault rifle, the leader of Nigeria's extremist Islamic sect threatened to burn down more schools and kill teachers. But he denied that his fighters were killing children. In a new video released Saturday, Islamic radical Abubakar Shekau said he "fully supports" attacks on several schools in recent weeks. The U.N. Children's Fund says at least 48 students and seven teachers have been killed since June, with some burned alive this month in a dormitory.
NEWS
August 9, 2013
THIRTY-ONE days just became seven. If City Council doesn't move on certifying $50 million in proceeds from the sales tax to the School District by next Friday, Superintendent William Hite says he will be unable to open the schools on Sept. 9. So the daily countdown of time remaining in the standoff between the schools and the state and city lawmakers who have fallen short of finding the money the schools need to open has just been shortened. More to the point, Hite has finally introduced the nuclear option.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 23, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Kwesi Koomson has spent his whole adult life teaching at Westtown School. He met his wife, Melissa, there. This month, the couple quit their jobs with the support of their Quaker school's community to head to a school in a small village in Ghana on the northwest coast of Africa. Koomson, 40, founded Heritage Academy in 2004 in Breman Essiam, the village where he grew up and where his family still lives. Its tin-roof homes are made of cinder blocks, and most of the families in the rural village of about 5,000 earn no more than $2 a day. The Koomsons usually visit twice a year.
NEWS
June 23, 2015
HOW BROKEN is Pennsylvania's school funding formula? So broken that the Legislature actually decided to do something about it. It created a bipartisan commission to study the current formula and come up with a new, more workable and fairer one. The Basic Education Funding Commission released its report and recommendations last week and it contains a lot of good news for the Philadelphia School District. Instead of the hodgepodge formula the state uses now to dole out aid, it calls for a new one that begins with true enrollment.
NEWS
June 23, 2015
CAN THE DNA of a school system by altered permanently? For decades, the accepted wisdom in the nature v. nurture debate held that our brains are fully formed at birth, that our DNA cannot be changed. But recent research has shown that trauma, especially in early childhood, can effect changes not only in the DNA of the victim but in that of subsequent generations. Can the DNA of a school system be harmed irreparably? So many factors have contributed to the unaddressed trauma of Philadelphia's students: the expansion of charter schools, some closing without warning due to mismanagement or outright fraud; the yearly standardized testing - even in early grades - used to label students and to justify the permanent closing of neighborhood schools; the sense of abandonment felt when entire faculties are replaced for hasty turnarounds or transformations.
REAL_ESTATE
June 22, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. Lisa Fazio doesn't remember living anywhere else but Lower Moreland. That doesn't count the years she lived in Philadelphia while attending Drexel University for her architecture and civil engineering degree. "My parents, who grew up in Olney, were living on Brous Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, and when I came along they decided they needed a larger house for four children," says Fazio, an agent with Weichert Realtors in Jenkintown.
NEWS
June 22, 2015 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
Alesha Figueroa-Falcon was headed to college last fall - until, all of a sudden, she wasn't. "I chickened out last-minute. It was too far for me," she said. "I felt like I was going to be uncomfortable. " That came as a shock to those who knew her, because she had managed to do everything right, spending her senior year applying to colleges, celebrating the acceptances, and choosing a school. But the months after graduation can be daunting. For low-income and first-generation students such as Figueroa-Falcon, those months can lead to a phenomenon known as "summer melt" - large numbers of students, as high as 20 percent to 30 percent in urban school districts, never showing for college in the fall.
NEWS
June 21, 2015 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
School districts that serve Philadelphia and some of the region's poorer communities, such as Pottstown, Norristown, and Chester, would see major gains in state funding if Pennsylvania enacts a proposed education-funding formula. The formula would add an estimated $75 million to the Philadelphia School District budget - far less than the $200 million it is seeking - if it were applied to the 2015-16 school year under Gov. Wolf's proposed $30 billion budget. The Chester Upland School District would gain $5.4 million under the plan, unveiled Thursday and detailed Friday by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission.
NEWS
June 20, 2015 | By Erin McCarthy, Inquirer Staff Writer
OCEAN CITY, N.J. - On a traffic-signal control box a block from her Ocean City home, Carla Migliaccio painted a brown-haired boy fishing off the bay with a blond dog by his side. This piece of roadside artwork, created as part of a community arts project, reflects the 59-year-old's life. "I wanted to pay homage to the neighborhood," Migliaccio said of the 10th Street wharf area. "We all grew up on that dock fishing. " Two years after painting the last of her seven traffic boxes, the Ocean City native - who inherited her family's Palen Avenue home, across from the dock, in 1999 - is preparing for her first one-woman show, at the Ocean City Arts Center.
NEWS
June 20, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
A state commission Thursday called for a sweeping overhaul of Pennsylvania's education-funding formula, aimed at closing the nation's biggest spending gap between richer and poorer districts. The formula recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commission, a bipartisan task force of lawmakers and key administration officials, would add more weight to factors such as poverty, non-English-speaking pupils, and charter payments, and would be a boon to cash-poor districts across the state.
NEWS
June 20, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council passed a package of tax increases Thursday that will hit a wide swath of the city's taxpayers while taking in an additional $70 million for the Philadelphia School District. Under the biggest piece of the plan - a 4.5 percent property-tax increase - the owners of a house assessed at $150,000 would see their tax bill go up $72 per year. Mayor Nutter signed the tax increases, as well as the city's annual operating budget, soon after Council approved them. He said the additional school funding was badly needed but still did not fill the district's deficit, leaving the burden to Harrisburg.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writer rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
AND . . . that's a wrap! City Council yesterday held its last voting session before adjourning for summer. During the long session, members gave final approval to a sea of bills and resolutions, with "aye" votes for everything from a new lease between Philadelphia International Airport and the airlines that fly there to the city's $3.9 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2016. Among the top items on Council's agenda was a school-funding package. Council members voted in favor of a wave of tax hikes that would raise $70 million to help rescue the sinking public school district from an estimated $85 million deficit.
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