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NEWS
March 10, 1993 | By Dwight Ott, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Dressed in her gray wool suit and clutching a black pocketbook, New Jersey education commissioner Mary Lee Fitzgerald fairly gushed with enthusiasm on a tour of Camden schools yesterday. "I think it's a successful prototype for other urban districts," said the commissioner, who visited the district as part of an effort to see some "urban districts up close. " "What (the district) has been able to do is extraordinary," she said. "Camden could become a training site for the rest of the state.
NEWS
November 29, 2002 | By Dale Mezzacappa INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Under federal regulations released this week, urban school districts such as Philadelphia's will be required to give all students in low-achieving schools the option to transfer to better ones, even if that means hiring more teachers and adding classes in those schools. It could even mean asking suburban districts to take some students. The regulations, meant to clarify how states and districts can comply with the sweeping new education law known as No Child Left Behind, rejects as too limited transfer policies such as the one instituted this year by Philadelphia schools chief Paul Vallas.
NEWS
October 4, 2000 | By Melanie Burney and Tom Avril, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
To address the shortage of urban school superintendents, New Jersey Education Commissioner David Hespe plans to launch a pilot program to allow urban school boards to hire qualified applicants who lack the necessary certification. The program would permit 57 districts, including Camden, Gloucester Township, Mount Holly and Willingboro, to waive the certification requirements in favor of work experience. During the 1999-2000 school year, 70 of 602 districts were searching for new leaders, according to the State School Boards Association.
NEWS
October 5, 2000 | By Tom Avril and Melanie Burney, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
When teachers learned that a former Navy commander was going to be superintendent of Colorado's Boulder Valley school district, they were horrified that he did not have an education background. Some joked about how they would have to salute their new boss, said Kathy Shoemaker, president of the local teachers union. But after Thomas Seigel started the job in 1997, opinions changed. "We discovered that he was probably one of the most credible supporters of public education that we've had in the United States," Shoemaker said.
NEWS
November 20, 1997 | By James M. O'Neill, INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
A lawyer for urban school districts kept state Education Commissioner Leo Klagholz on the witness stand all day yesterday, prompting Klagholz to argue repeatedly that a state plan to assist the urban districts would not end up reducing financial aid to those districts. The lawyer, David Sciarra of the nonprofit Education Law Center, also used his questioning to suggest that state officials did insufficient research in preparing their plan, which he said lacks important programs to help children from poor, urban backgrounds improve academically.
NEWS
August 5, 2000 | By Susan Snyder, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia's Board of Education may follow the lead of several other large urban districts and hire a chief executive officer to serve as interim leader of the 209,000-student district. "It's certainly a model that's being used successfully in Chicago and it has caught people's attention. We're considering it," Board President Pedro Ramos said this week. Under such a model, a second person might be appointed to oversee the educational side of the district, he said. It's an organizational setup that has been gaining popularity in the last few years.
NEWS
May 23, 2001 | By Susan Snyder INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A national study on urban school districts released yesterday presented startling statistics on the racial achievement gap in Philadelphia. At the end of 11th grade last year, only 9.6 percent of African American students scored at the basic level or above in math on the district's standardized achievement test, the SAT-9. Latino students did only one percentage point better. Although white students scored considerably higher, only one-third met the basic standard in mathematics.
NEWS
November 19, 1997 | By James M. O'Neill, INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
State Education Commissioner Leo Klagholz took the witness stand yesterday to defend the Whitman administration's proposal for providing extra services to 28 poor urban school districts, saying a "whole-school reform" approach would be more effective than merely appending supplemental programs to classroom instruction. Klagholz also said that while the administration thinks districts get enough state aid to pay for the whole-school approach, the department would study each district and provide more aid to a district if the facts warrant it. His brief testimony, which is to resume today, came at the end of a day of tough questioning of a top Education Department aide by David Sciarra, the lawyer for the nonprofit Education Law Center.
NEWS
December 11, 1997 | By Thomas Ginsberg, INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
The sparse, mostly rural community of Ocean Township sits far off the path of state power and money, with a shrinking tax base and a school district struggling to make ends meet. So when the opportunity came to show that it needs more state money to educate its 1,200 schoolchildren, just as much or more than some big-city districts need, the school board jumped in with both feet. "We've been getting short shrift," Superintendent Stephen Seely said yesterday. "We have a district just to the south that is aided 65-70 percent from state aid. Why . . . are we getting 30 percent?"
NEWS
August 7, 1986 | By Carolyn Acker, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
New Jersey education officials announced yesterday that 61.5 percent of the ninth graders tested in April passed the state's new, more rigorous basic skills test, while 38.5 percent of them failed and must repeat the exam next year. The students, members of the class of 1989, are the first required to pass the High School Proficiency Test (HSPT) before they may graduate from public school in New Jersey. "The results are better than we thought they would be, and we're happy - very happy for that," said state Education Commissioner Saul Cooperman.
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NEWS
July 20, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
A GROUP OF University of Pennsylvania graduate students got a case study on challenges facing urban school districts right in their own back yard yesterday - at the Philadelphia School District. The students, who are taking a course on schools as organizations at Penn's Graduate School of Education, visited the district's headquarters to probe officials on various topics, including school design and the use of data. Grace Cannon, head of the Office of New School Models, discussed the district's three new high schools, opened last year, which use a project-based, competency-driven method.
NEWS
April 25, 2012 | BY KRISTEN A. GRAHAM, Inquirer Staff Writer
THE REALITIES are ugly, leaders said Tuesday - the Philadelphia School District is nearly insolvent, lags most other urban districts in academics and loses students to charters because parents believe it doesn't keep their children safe. "What we do know through lots of history and evidence and practice is that the current structure doesn't work," School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos said. "It's not fiscally sustainable and it doesn't produce high-quality schools for all kids.
NEWS
November 11, 2010 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
There are more empty desks in Philadelphia School District schools - 45,000 - than there are seats in Citizens Bank Park, and the district is working on a long-range plan to solve the problem. At Wednesday's School Reform Commission meeting, officials said the district would begin a three-step process with a series of public meetings beginning Wednesday to create a master facilities plan that will result in closing or finding new uses for some of the district's 284 schools and in upgrading others.
NEWS
September 8, 2010
A new school year began in Philadelphia Tuesday, but the challenges facing the district are little changed. Lackluster academic achievement and unacceptable violence top the list, just as they do in most urban districts across America. Now starting her third year as superintendent, Arlene Ackerman must press with even more urgency the agenda she promised in 2008. Too many children still leave Philadelphia schools without even basic skills. Ackerman has made some measurable progress that can be seen in improved standardized test scores.
NEWS
July 16, 2010
Philadelphia School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman finally seems to realize that part of the challenge in a city where perception too often becomes reality is making sure your story is heard. Accordingly, she went on the offensive last week with Mayor Nutter, bypassing the media to meet with business and community leaders to talk about the "significant gains" the district made during the last school year. The data actually were reported last month, but you can't blame Ackerman for wanting to make doubly sure that the story wasn't missed.
NEWS
May 25, 2010 | By Rita Giordano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Ten schools in Burlington County and 14 in Camden County are in line for a total of $11.4 million in capital-improvement money, state officials announced Monday. The money is part of the Regular Operating District grant program, which was started in 2001 and assists schools in areas besides the mostly poor, urban districts often referred to as "Abbotts" after the Supreme Court ruling. In this funding round, districts slated to get grants in Burlington County are Burlington Township, Medford, Moorestown, New Hanover, and Southampton.
NEWS
May 25, 2010 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ten schools in Burlington County and 14 in Camden County are in line for a total of $11.4 million in capital-improvement money, state officials announced Monday. The money is part of the Regular Operating District grant program, which was started in 2001 and assists schools in areas besides the mostly poor, urban districts often referred to as "Abbotts" after the Supreme Court ruling. In this funding round, districts slated to get grants in Burlington County are Burlington Township, Medford, Moorestown, New Hanover, and Southampton.
NEWS
May 21, 2010 | By Kristen A. Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia schoolchildren fall into the middle of the pack or lag other pupils in 17 other big-city districts in reading, according to test scores released Thursday. Eleven of the 17 other big-city districts who participated in the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) exam did better than Philadelphia's fourth-graders. Seven urban districts outperformed Philadelphia eighth graders. The percentage of fourth-grade students who scored at grade level on the national test was 11 percent, lower than the average of 23 percent in other large cities nationwide.
NEWS
May 21, 2010 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia schoolchildren fall into the middle of the pack or lag other pupils in 17 other big-city districts in reading, according to test scores released Thursday. Eleven of the 17 other big-city districts who participated in the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) exam did better than Philadelphia's fourth-graders. Seven urban districts outperformed Philadelphia eighth graders. The percentage of fourth-grade students who scored at grade level on the national test was 11 percent, lower than the average of 23 percent in other large cities nationwide.
NEWS
May 20, 2010 | By Kristen A. Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia schoolchildren fall in the middle of the pack or lag other pupils in 17 other big-city districts in reading, according to test scores released Thursday. Eleven of the 17 other big-city districts who participated in the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) exam did better than Philadelphia's fourth-graders. Seven urban districts outperformed Philadelphia eighth-graders. The percentage of fourth grade students who scored at grade level on the national test was 11 percent, lower than the average of 23 percent in other large cities nationwide.
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