Wednesday, January 28, 2015

POSTED: Sunday, January 25, 2015, 9:09 PM

With an eye to the snowy forecast, Philadelphia School District officials have made the call to close schools early on Monday.

All schools will dismiss at noon. After-school activities are cancelled.

Auditions for the High School for Creative and Performing Arts scheduled for Monday are cancelled, and have been rescheduled for the next day school is in session.

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 9:50 AM
Philadelphia public school parents and local advocacy groups protest the SRC's recent move to cancel the contract for teachers, nurses and staff, October 15th, 2014, on the front steps of the school district building, located at 440 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. Kia Philpot-Hinton, with Action United, is speaking center, over a microphone. Staff Photographer / Jessica Griffin

Commonwealth Court judges have handed a win to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, ruling that the School Reform Commission cannot throw out the teachers' union's contract and impose new terms.

The decision was confirmed by Jerry Jordan, PFT president, on Thursday morning.

POSTED: Thursday, January 15, 2015, 5:29 PM

Compared with big-city peers, the Philadelphia School District now spends less per pupil than almost any other education system in the country — even Detroit’s.

Philadelphia’s per-pupil pricetag last school year was $12,570 — the lowest of any comparable district except Memphis, Tampa and Dallas, the Pew Charitable Trusts concluded in a report released Thursday.

POSTED: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 4:01 PM

It's another busy day in Philadelphia School District land - on tap is an SRC meeting, a student die-in, and a five-year financial plan for the cash-strapped school system. Follow along as I livetweet...

POSTED: Thursday, December 11, 2014, 12:37 PM

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez on Thursday announced a $100 million competitive grant program - the largest in history, he said - that will go to expand apprenticeship programs.

Perez made the announcement in Philadelphia, where he touted a successful Philadelphia School District apprenticeship program that equips students to be Information Technology professionals - jobs that often land products of the program starting salaries of $50,000 or above.

"Apprenticeship is not only your ticket to the middle class," Perez said. "It's the other college."

POSTED: Friday, December 5, 2014, 12:40 PM
About 40 Rutgers-Camden students participated in a "die-in" on campus in protest of the Grand Jury decisions in Ferguson and New York. (Donald Groff photo)

At three city schools, students staged "die-ins" on Friday to protest police brutality and racism.

The Masterman die-in happened in a first-floor hallway, when roughly 100 students sat or laid down silently at mid-morning. Some held "Black Lives Matter" signs. Others closed their eyes or stared straight ahead.

The die-in lasted four minutes - symbolizing the four and a half hours Michael Brown lay dead on the ground in Ferguson, Mo., students said. They said they were deeply affected by the deaths of Brown and of Eric Garner in Staten Island. Both died at the hands of police who controversially faced no criminal penalty for the deaths.

POSTED: Monday, December 1, 2014, 11:59 AM

Teachers and support staff at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, a 195-year-old school in Germantown, want to unionize.

The staff have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to form a collective bargaining unit at the school, they announced on Monday<NO1>dec 1<NO>. The move comes after the state-run school’s board refused to voluntarily recognize the union.

And it comes amid a growing rift between school staff and administration.

POSTED: Monday, November 17, 2014, 5:21 PM

On a visit to a Philadelphia School District school today (hi, Parkway Center City!), a familiar thought occurred to me: financial circumstances are tough (see: running a school on $160 tough) but man, are the students great. (See also: Ben Franklin students, whom I visited last week and wrote about in today's Inquirer.)

I write a lot about the things that are broken in Philadelphia schools. I love finding and writing about the good stuff, too. Colleague Cathy Rubin, editor of our Style & Soul section, has put out a call to Philadelphia students. Cathy writes: "tell us what you're thankful for in your classrooms - the teacher who always goes the extra mile, for instance, or the lesson you'll never forget. Please send your e-mails of 100 words or less to by Nov. 18. Please include your full name, age, and school. We will publish some of them in Style & Soul Nov. 27."

So, Philly students, we're all ears - send us your thoughts by tomorrow! I can't wait to read what you have to say.

About this blog

Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham writes the Philly School Files blog, where she covers education in Philadelphia, both in and out of the classroom.

During the school year, you’ll frequently find her hosting live chats about the district on

Please do pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter.

Kristen Graham Inquirer Staff Writer
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