Sunday, April 26, 2015

Archive: March, 2011

POSTED: Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 11:39 AM

Some readers have said they're having trouble accessing the district's full response to our Assault on Learning series.  I will reprint it in its entirety here.  The district's blog can be found at

The response reads:

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 6:13 AM
Corey Thames, director at Shallcross Academy, singles out a student for inappropriate behavior. At Shallcross, students do not have lockers or backpacks and change classes by walking single file with hands behind their back. (Ron Tarver/Staff)

Join schools reporter Kristen Graham at 4 p.m. Thursday for a chat about the Assault on Learning investigative series. On a mobile phone? Click here to join. Click here to read the series.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 29, 2011, 6:36 AM
In four separate attacks this school year, classroom assistant Tracee Sigler was cut, punched, kicked and stabbed. She required hand surgery after an attack by a 5-year-old at Dobson Elementary. Sigler quit and moved out of state. (Jeff Leo/For the Inquirer)

Join Inquirer schools reporter Kristen Graham for a chat at 4 p.m. Tuesday on the Assault on Learning investigative series. On a mobile phone? Click here to join the chat. Find the series here.

POSTED: Monday, March 28, 2011, 10:03 AM


Two Philadelphia-area state representatives will introduce legislation to fully fund the Office of Safe Schools Advocate for the Philadelphia School District, they said.

Rep. John Taylor (R-Phila.) held a press conference today announcing the legislation, which will be introduced with Rep. Bill Keller (D-Phila.)  in early April.

POSTED: Monday, March 28, 2011, 7:45 AM
Surveillance video from Audenried High School in South Philadelphia captured this attack on a student on Jan. 22, 2010. Reporter Kristen Graham's live chat on the series starts NOW!

Join reporter Kristen Graham for a live chat at noon Monday on Assault on Learning, the Inquirer investigative series on violence in the Philadelphia School District. You can also catch a chat with Kristen about the investigative series at 4 p.m. Tuesday. On a mobile phone? Click here to join today's chat.

POSTED: Monday, March 28, 2011, 7:30 PM

Check out the Philadelphia School District's response to "Assault on Learning," our investigative series on school violence.  There's a post on "A Broad View," the district's official blog. Find it at:

I'll let the district speak for itself, but I do want to address one point - "The Inquirer would like to parse numbers, but whether violence is down 29% or 22% over the past two years, the fact remains, it is down."  I think it's important to note that we're talking about reported violence, and as today's story found, there's plenty of violence that is not reported.  Also, the district uses raw violence numbers to arrive at this conclusion, but the district's enrollment has been declining every year, and that's not accounted for in raw numbers.

My colleague Dylan Purcell breaks down the numbers here:

POSTED: Sunday, March 27, 2011, 5:51 PM

This evening, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan responded to the first part of our seven-day "Assault on Learning" investigative series. 

Jordan said:

"The findings in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer article about violence in the city’s schools simply confirm what our members who work in the schools have been saying. Both violent acts against students and assaults on teachers are underreported and could be avoided.

POSTED: Saturday, March 26, 2011, 10:16 AM

So, the seven-part investigative series four colleagues and I have been working on for the past year runs beginning tomorrow.  Assault on Learning is a look at violence in the Philadelphia School District.

In addition to the story, photos and graphics, there are online exclusives available beginning tomorrow at  There, you'll be able to see videos and explore a database of school-by-school violence.

Here's the lineup of stories:

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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