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NEWS
January 17, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
As it heard news Thursday night that a stunning 138 educators had been implicated in a widespread cheating scandal, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission prepared for two new members. On Friday, Gov. Corbett will nominate City Councilman Bill Green and People's Emergency Center chief Farah Jimenez to the SRC, sources said. Green, who would have to resign from Council, is to be chairman. The governor is scheduled to visit Central High School on Friday morning. If confirmed by the state Senate, Green and Jimenez will have to deal with the fallout of the cheating probe.
NEWS
January 17, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL Reform Commission approved five-year renewals for three city charter schools, while taking steps to not renew the charter of another that serves mainly foster-care students. Planet Abacus and Laboratory Charter - both founded by Dorothy June Brown, who is expected to be retried on federal charges that she defrauded the schools - were approved with a slew of conditions related to personnel, governance, financial oversight, training of faculty and staff, and enrollment barriers.
NEWS
January 1, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Is Bill Green interested in becoming chair of the School Reform Commission? Sources say he is a finalist for the job; Green is mum on the subject. But the current city councilman is clear in his view that the Philadelphia School District is failing far too many children, and change must come quickly. "Eliminating all the bad seats in the School District is a concept I think is important to pursue," Green said Monday. "There are tens of thousands of kids in underperforming schools.
NEWS
December 6, 2013
IS COUNCILMAN Bill Green a good candidate to run the School Reform Commission? Green appears to be on the short list for Gov. Corbett's pick to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Pedro Ramos. (Others include former Pennsylvania Convention Center chief Al Mezzaroba and Farah Jimenez, of the People's Emergency Center.) Green has many ideas about education, having issued two policy papers in the past few years on the subject, calling for, among other things, vouchers, more charters and a radical reorganization of the school system.
NEWS
November 30, 2013 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Councilman Bill Green and former Convention Center head Al Mezzaroba are Gov. Corbett's top choices to lead the School Reform Commission, multiple sources say. A second SRC seat becomes vacant in January, and the top contenders for that post, the sources say, are Farah Jimenez, who leads the People's Emergency Center, and Keith Leaphart, a doctor and entrepreneur. Few details are known about the views of most of the likely nominees, who would all be subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
NEWS
November 23, 2013 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two schools founded by Dorothy June Brown failed to have their charters renewed Thursday, as Philadelphia School District officials voiced concerns about both. A resolution to renew the charter of Laboratory Charter School with stipulations was on the School Reform Commission agenda Thursday night, but Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. withdrew it, citing new information the district had received. Both Lab, with campuses in Northern Liberties, Overbrook, and Wynnefield, and Planet Abacus have been operating without charters for more than a year, and parents and staff say they fear for the future of the schools without them.
NEWS
November 22, 2013 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THE CHARTERS for two schools founded by Dorothy June Brown were not renewed at last night's School Reform Commission meeting. The decision to not renew charters for the schools - Laboratory Charter School of Communication and Languages, and Planet Abacus Charter School - was unrelated to Brown's ongoing federal trial on fraud charges, said Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. Hite announced that the district had received information yesterday about...
NEWS
November 22, 2013 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THE SCHOOL Reform Commission failed to approve the hires of 785 district employees last year in violation of district policy, a Daily News review found yesterday. The results of the review follow a story Monday in the People Paper that outlined criticism by open-records advocates of the district's hiring policies. Many said the district has violated the state Sunshine Act, because as a practice, it has not presented personnel resolutions for SRC approval until after the employees are already working, restricting public input.
NEWS
November 19, 2013 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA For four weeks now, the body that runs the troubled Philadelphia School District has been leaderless. And while the smart money is on an interim School Reform Commission chair being named by Thursday's voting meeting, the state isn't committing to even that. "There is no official timetable" for a new SRC chair, said state Department of Education spokesman Tim Eller. "The governor's working to make sure that he has an individual who is well qualified and who can work with the members of the commission to move the district forward.
NEWS
October 28, 2013 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
Public education has become the third rail of local discourse, particularly when discussing the fate of our beleaguered city schools. It is far safer to debate politics or the Middle East. Lori Shorr, the city's chief education officer, has seen arguments erupt at her children's soccer games. She said: "I think carefully when I accept a dinner invitation. " Me, too. I've been excoriated over drinks - and this is by friends. The debate over public education, especially testing and the quality of teachers and principals, has long been loud and passionate.
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