Archive: October, 2011
The Philadelphia School District has released the list of schools considered Persistently Dangerous under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. As I wrote here yesterday, the number of persistently dangerous schools dropped from 19 last year to 10 this year.
But now we know who's on the list.
It's: Edison, Fels, Frankford, Kensington Business, Lincoln, Northeast, Sayre, South Philadelphia and Strawberry Mansion High Schools and Shaw Middle School.
The number of city public schools considered “persistently dangerous” under federal guidelines plummeted this year, according to the Philadelphia School District.
In 2010, 19 district schools made the list of schools considered so unsafe that parents have the right to send their children elsewhere. This year, were 10.
That’s a 47 percent drop.
Abraham Kwon met a lot of smart, motivated teens as a volunteer working with the debate team at West Philadelphia High a few years back. But he was astonished at the questions students asked him — what are the SATs? Do I have to take them to go to college? How do you apply to college?
Growing up in Philadelphia, then California and Utah, Kwon knew he would attend a university, probably even get graduate degrees. And he understood exactly how to do it, relying on the experience of his older cousins to take the right tests, fill in the forms, meet the deadlines.
But the students he met in city public schools didn’t have that.
UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: PFT members overwhelmingly ratified a contract extension that keeps intact their 3 percent January raise. There will be no changes to their benefits. The PFT gave the district some financial relief by letting it skip a payment to the union's health and welfare fund. More to come.
The PFT gave the district some financial relief by letting it skip a payment to the union's health and welfare fund. More to come.
The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers will have a special general membership meeting at 7 p.m. tonight to vote on a one-year contract extension. No word yet what concessions - if any - the contract will have. The 15,000 teachers and support staff in the union are due a 3 percent raise in January.
Mayor Nutter has named novelist Lorene Cary to the School Reform Commission.
Cary, whose novel "The Price of a Child" was the inaugural One Book One Philadelphia selection in 2003, is also the founder of the nonprofit Art Sanctuary, which showcases African American art. She also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. “Lorene Cary is a nationally recognized writer, she has a tremendous education background, but for me what is truly outstanding is that she has an incredible passion for the well-being of children; she cares very personally about parents and she’s very much focused on supporting teachers. She will be a tremendous asset to the School Reform Commission and the children of Philadelphia,” Mayor Nutter said in a statement.
“Lorene Cary is a nationally recognized writer, she has a tremendous education background, but for me what is truly outstanding is that she has an incredible passion for the well-being of children; she cares very personally about parents and she’s very much focused on supporting teachers. She will be a tremendous asset to the School Reform Commission and the children of Philadelphia,” Mayor Nutter said in a statement.
Kristen A. Graham
Inquirer schools reporter Kristen Graham chats today about the Philadelphia school district and the School Reform Commission, starting at noon. On a mobile device? Join the chat here. Post your questions NOW!
UPDATE, 11:30 a.m. Monday
Mary Beth Hertz found out this morning that she has been eliminated from the contest.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.
A brief statement from PFT President Jerry Jordan was just posted. It reads:
Gov. Corbett has announced he will name Pedro Ramos chair of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission. Ramos, a former school board member, is awaiting confirmation by the state Senate; Corbett nominated him to fill a vacant SRC seat earlier this year. The announcement is not a surprise - Ramos was widely expected to become the next SRC chair, and speculation increased after former chairman Robert L. Archie Jr. resigned in September.
Until Ramos is seated, new SRC member Wendell Pritchett will serve as interim chair, a Corbett spokesman said in a news release. Pritchett was recently appointed by Mayor Nutter. He'll attend his first SRC meeting later today.
I'll be live Tweeting the meeting; check back here for updates, or follow me @newskag. The meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Two main pieces of news out of today's news conference:
First, there will be two "executive advisors" to support and guide Acting Superintendent Leroy Nunery and the SRC. They are Lori Shorr, Mayor Nutter's top education official, and Ed Williams, a former district Chief Academic Officer. They will have offices at the district and work closely to provide "real-time, two-way communication" between the city and state and the district. They will be in place until a permanent superintendent begins his or her job.