Sunday, February 7, 2016

Archive: October, 2012

POSTED: Friday, October 12, 2012, 11:03 AM

The Dr. Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham is surprisingly long - 62 pages in all - and when you attempt to read it in under two minutes, pausing for as few breaths as possible, it seems even longer.

I'm intimately familiar with that fact only because yesterday, I speed read the book for a fundraiser for First Book Philadelphia, a local literacy nonprofit that puts new books in the hands of kids who need them. First Book Philadelphia asked a handful of local folks - news types, actor David Morse, Temple mens' basketball coach Fran Dunphy, author Alice Ozma and others - to practice, then team up and read parts of the book aloud.

I practiced a few times in the days leading up to the competition, which was held at the Union League in Center City, and was astonished at how all that "I am Sam" stuff trips your tongue. But I love a good challenge, as I told the audience - I'm from Philly, and I like to win!

POSTED: Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 5:41 PM
Carver HS of Engineering and Science teacher John Kalicki is rappelling from a Center City building to raise money to fund trips for his students. He's shown here on an Outward Bound trip.

How much does Philadelphia high school teacher John Kalicki believe in his students?

So much that he’s planning to rappel down a 20-story Center City building to raise money to give them life experiences they wouldn’t get otherwise.

Which would be impressive but understandable if Kalicki, a math teacher at Carver High School of Engineering and Science, were an avid rappeller. But Kalicki has rappelled a grand total of once in his life.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 2:40 PM

Three separate fights caused Lincoln High School to be locked down for 45 minutes today.

City police arrested seven students, said Fernando Gallard, a spokesman for the Philadelphia School District.

The lockdown started at 1:15 and was lifted at about 2 p.m., Gallard said.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 5:01 PM

Last Friday was dress-down day at Charles Carroll High School in Port Richmond — a day for students to leave their uniforms at home and wear whatever they liked.

One young woman chose to wear a shirt showing her support for Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy.  Her geometry teacher didn’t like it, the girl’s father said on a radio call-in show on IQ 106.9 FM today.

The teacher allegedly told the girl to take off the shirt, saying it was like wearing a Ku Klux Klan sheet. The teacher allegedly threatened to use a marker to cross out Romney’s name and that of Rep. Paul Ryan, his running mate.  The teacher also allegedly tried to throw the student out of class.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 12:46 PM

In an attempt to at least temporarily halt the Philadelphia School District's school closing process, a group of parents and others say they are filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.  The parents, who include members of the community group ACTION UNITED, say that school closings disproportionately affect African American students.  

The group hopes to win a moratorium on school closings, and they want an investigation into the school closings and phase-outs that took effect this year, which they say were discriminatory.  Advocates for the group say that at six of the eight schools that closed or began the closing process, at least 13 percent more African American students are enrolled than district average.  They say that at seven of the eight schols, the white population is at least 11 percent below district average.

The district is currently in the beginning stages of a plan to close up to 40 schools this year.  Meetings on criteria for determining schools to be closed are now being held; a list of possible closures is expected in November, with final School Reform Commission approval next year.

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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