Monday, March 2, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, April 3, 2014, 4:08 PM
These frame grabs from Tuesday's melee were taken from the video posted on social media.

Trouble continues at Bartram High, where a "conflict resolution specialist" was knocked unconscious on March 21.

A brawl erupted in the school cafeteria on Tuesday, with teens punching and stomping on each other and school police. The fight occurred at lunchtime, and was captured by a cell phone camera, with footage posted on social media.

It appears serious, with dozens gathered, and several students exchanging punches. A male school police officer attemps to separate them as the room fills with screams. In short order, a larger brawl erupts between mostly female students. A female police officer attempts to break up one skirmish, then others. At one point, the female police officer appears to fall to the floor.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 3:29 PM

Two more Philadelphia public schools have been tapped for likely conversion to charter schools.

Muñoz Marín Elementary and Steel Elementary were designated "Renaissance," or turnaround, schools on Tuesday, the Philadelphia School District announced. Muñoz-Marín was paired with ASPIRA of Pennsylvania, and Steel was paired with Mastery Charter Schools, Inc.

But it's not a done deal - yet. In a new wrinkle in the Renaissance process, parents at both schools will have final say over whether they become charters or remain district schools.

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 11:12 AM
Gym is being honored by the White House next week. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer)

Helen Gym, a founder of Parents United for Public Education and a board member of Asian Americans United, is being honored by the White House next week.

Gym has been named a Chesar Chavez Champion of Change - one of 10 community leaders nationally who have "committed themselves to improving the lives of others in their communities and across the country," people who "represent the values and steadfast determination of Cesar Chavez to organize ourselves for a more just tomorrow."

Gym and the other Champions will particpate in a discussion about how to expand opportunities for all Americans, according to a White House news release.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 1:51 PM
Exterior view of John Bartram High School in Philadelphia (Photo from Wikipedia Commons)

Less than a week after a staffer was knocked unconscious at Bartram High School, the school was locked down as a result of a student fight.

The incident occurred around noon, said Fernando Gallard, district spokesman.

Six students are in custody after the fight, which happened in the cafeteria.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 12:01 PM

The influential Philadelphia School Partnership, organized to raise $100 million for high-performing city schools, is giving $2.6 million more to district, charter and Catholic schools, it announced Tuesday.

Its largest grant, $2 million, will support Building 21, a new Philadelphia School District high school slated to open in September in North Philadelphia. The school - will will eventually educate 600 students - will use "competency-based" curriculum that allows students to progress once they show mastery of skills. It will not have admissions criteria.

PSP's next-largest grant, $575,000, will go to help New Foundations Charter School in Northeast Philadelphia expand.

POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014, 1:04 PM
City public school principals have agreed to a sizeable pay cut and will begin paying toward their health benefits.


Members of the local Commonwealth Association of School Administrators ratified the contract. The votes were counted and the results announced Monday by union officials.

POSTED: Friday, March 14, 2014, 11:07 AM

Fighting back against reforms they feel harm traditional public schools - and hoping to envigorate the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers with "more ground-up help" - a new group of teachers, counselors, nurses and other school employees has formed.


POSTED: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 12:34 PM

Philadelphia School District officials announced Tuesday that they will, for the fifth year in a row, give failing district schools to charter organizations for turnarounds.

Officials have said they aim to designate one or two "Renaissance schools" this year.

The district release a request for qualification for Renaissance providers, saying that instead of school communities selecting providers, as they have in the past, the district will match finalists with schools. In April, the school communities will vote on whether to become charters or remain a district-run school.

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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