The school board nominating panel includes parents and educators, activists and one former School Reform Commission member. It must consider applicants and nominees for the school board, presenting to Mayor Kenney by Jan. 31 a list of 27 nominees for the nine board seats.
"Why are these people in our schools in the first place?" asked Julien Terrell, executive director of the Philadelphia Student Union, a youth organizing group. "We want a long-term commitment to phasing school police out."
"Charter school students are not outperforming their traditional school peers; results are mixed at best and extremely subpar at worst," a report by the child-advocacy organization Public Citizens for Children and Youth concludes. "Passing stronger legislation to link growth and charter renewal to student performance will encourage schools to strive for better student outcomes."
How did this teacher get 10 pairs of VR glasses, a 3D printer and a hot dog steamer for his classroom? Crowdfunding.
In a time of diminished government aid for education and perpetually crimped budgets, teachers in Philadelphia, Camden and across the region - usually accustomed to dipping into their own pockets to buy emergency supplies - increasingly use online networks like DonorsChoose.org to raise hundreds or thousands of dollars for classroom supplies and activities for their students.
"After an extensive review, the Department of Education has determined that the district has made financial and academic improvements during the tenure of the SRC and the district no longer exhibits the factors that caused it to be placed in distress," Pennsylvania Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said of Philadelphia schools.
A Philadelphia school police officer "threw my son on the floor and against the wall," Isaac Gardner Sr. said. Gardner said his son, who refused to sit down in art class, was targeted in part because of Gardner's activity in the Black Lives Matter movement.
For almost two years, Patricia Cleary claimed to be tutoring a relative with special needs, a Philadelphia School District student; she used her maiden name to submit false tax documents, using a fake Social Security number and teaching credentials, federal officials said.
Kristen Graham covers the Philadelphia School District. A native Philadelphian – and a product of the school system and Temple University – she has written about everything from crime and county government to education since joining the Inquirer in 2000.
Kristen is a Pulitzer Prize winner, part of a team whose "Assault on Learning" series about violence in the Philadelphia schools won the 2012 prize for public service for the Inquirer. Please pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-854-5146.
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