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NEWS
March 20, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL REFORM Commission last night voted to accept the closure of a charter school for foster-care students. Arise Academy Charter, which opened in 2009 and has about 100 students, forfeited its charter and will close at the end of the school year after failing to meet academic targets. The SRC initially voted not to renew the school's charter in April 2012, but gave officials a one-year reprieve before ultimately deciding to pull the plug last year. Roberta Trombetta, the school's acting chief executive, said her staff is working with district officials to make sure the students get the support they need as they transition into other schools.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THREE RETIRED Philadelphia School District teachers have filed a federal lawsuit against the School Reform Commission, former chairman Bill Green, the city and other parties for allegedly violating their constitutional rights during an SRC meeting. The trio - Ilene Poses, Lisa Haver and Barbara Dowdall - say the violations occurred during a Feb. 18 meeting at which commissioners voted on charter-school applications, according to the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL REFORM COMMISSION is ready to move past Chairgate. That was the message yesterday from ousted chairman Bill Green and Commissioner Marjorie Neff, who was named to replace Green as chairwoman of the school district's governing body last week by Gov. Wolf. The two met with reporters to make it clear that they are on the same page and don't intend for it to be a distraction. "I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the members of this SRC are focused on quality education for all kids," said Neff, a former principal and career educator who was appointed to the five-member board last year by Mayor Nutter.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Expect no major position shifts on the reshuffled School Reform Commission, its leaders said Tuesday. That means the SRC is still holding a hard line in negotiations with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, said the new chairwoman, Marjorie Neff. "We have to have a contract that is fiscally responsible. We can't spend money we don't have, and we need work-rule changes that allow Action Plan 3.0 to go forward," Neff said, referring to Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.'s blueprint for moving the Philadelphia School District ahead.
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
BILL GREEN is throwing in the towel - but not because he thinks he's wrong. Green announced yesterday he would not challenge his removal as chair of the School Reform Commission by Gov. Wolf last week, as originally planned. In a statement released by the school district, Green said he did not want to draw attention away from Superintendent William Hite's latest action plan or proposed funding increases for the district. "Working with the SRC, the school district is now in a better position than it has been in many years to ensure equity for underserved children," he said in the statement.
NEWS
March 4, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH & REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writers leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
A DAY AFTER a major shake-up on the School Reform Commission, the new chair of the Philadelphia School District's governing body said she does not foresee big changes to her role or the way the district handles contract negotiations with the teachers union. "I can't say that there'll be a change in approach," Marjorie Neff, a career educator, said about bargaining with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. "All of the SRC members are committed to making sure we have a contract that is fiscally responsible and giving [Superintendent]
NEWS
March 4, 2015 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
I MIGHT AS WELL admit my bias right up front: I think Marge Neff rocks. She's the School Reform Commission member who just got promoted to chairman by new Gov. Tom Wolf. I've got nothing against former chair Bill Green, who has been pushed aside by Neff's ascension. I disagree mightily with his over-zealous commitment to charter schools, but he deserves credit nonetheless for taking on a thankless job. Green walked into the lion's den when he resigned City Council last year to head the SRC, a position that pays nothing in dollars but a king's ransom in migraines , sleepless nights and ears burned by the fiery vitriol of parents, teachers and politicians.
NEWS
March 4, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bill Green was not shocked when Gov. Wolf removed him as School Reform Commission chair, he said Monday, drawing a straight line from his ouster to the governor's perceived alliance with the teachers' union. "Based on his public campaign and who his financial backers are, I have a sense that we don't agree on the future of the School District," Green said of the governor, who replaced him with Commissioner Marjorie Neff, a retired Philadelphia School District principal. Wolf wants "more money in the traditional public school model" only, Green said.
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