Prompted by Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey yesterday, Betsy DeVos, the woman who will likely head the U.S. Department of Education under president-elect Donald Trump, said she would not commit to following Obama administration guidelines on how schools, colleges and universities should treat sexual assault and harassment allegations. Read more »
Jeff Yass is a stock trader in the Philadelphia suburbs. He is a board member of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. He has donated millions of dollars to support Republican and Democratic candidates, including a pro-Tony Williams super PAC in the 2015 mayoral race. And today at Philadelphia magazine’s ThinkFest event, he said he has an idea that can make Philly go from being the poorest big city in the country to the richest. Yeah, he can be a little hyperbolic. But you should still give him a listen. Read more »
More than 5,000 faculty members at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities went on strike this morning in a move that affects more than 100,000 students, and many of them aren’t really sure what to do about it. Read more »
Last Thursday, Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine stopped at Spring Garden Elementary School to stump for votes and brandish his education credentials. He was joined at the stop by American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten.
Over the weekend, Anne Holton — a former judge and Kaine’s wife — was also in the Philadelphia area campaigning. She made stops in West Mount Airy, Ardmore, and West Chester. Read more »
Faculty members at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities could soon go on strike. Read more »
Last week, the University of Chicago made national headlines when the school announced to incoming freshman that it does not support trigger warnings. (You can read the school’s letter to students here.) But Colleen Lutz Clemens, the director of women’s and gender studies at Kutztown University says that the University of Chicago got it all wrong. We reached out to her to learn more about the origin of trigger warnings, why she uses them, and why parents may be to blame for their existence. Read more »
Philadelphia School District superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Wednesday that the school district is on track to have all teacher vacancies filled by the start of the school year.
At a news conference at Roxborough High School today, Hite said 99 percent of teacher vacancies have been filled.
A group of local teachers has put together a plan to increase recruitment of black men into the profession.
The Fellowship, a recently founded organization, has already received national attention for its work. Studies have shown that minority students’ performance in the classroom can be enhanced when their teacher is the same race as them. However, according to the organization, having diverse teachers can be beneficial to all students. It can challenge stereotypes that students may have and make them more tolerant.
The group’s motto, “2 percent is not enough,” refers to the fact that just two percent of teachers in America are black men, according to the Department of Education. Only seven percent of total teachers are black, and only eight percent are Latino, compared to 80 percent who are white. Additionally, 3/4 of educators are women nationally. Around five percent of educators are black women, which is also an incredibly small amount. All of this is despite the fact that black students make up nearly 15 percent of the nation’s student body. This means that students everywhere have very little chance of ever having a black man as their teacher. Read more »
(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from guest writer Michael Churchill. Churchill is a staff attorney at the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia.)
While politicians and advocates are celebrating the legislature’s passage last week of a student-based, fair formula for distributing new school funds, it is important to understand this reality: Our school funding system is as unconstitutional today as it was last week. Read more »
(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from guest writer Randi Weingarten, written in response to an op-ed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. Weingarten is the president of the American Federation of Teachers, and a member of a coalition of labor unions and civic groups supporting the mayor’s soda tax proposal.)
Philadelphia’s students deserve a fair shot to succeed, and Mayor Jim Kenney has a plan to significantly boost funding for critical programs.
The mayor is proposing a significant increase in pre-kindergarten, to provide 25,000 kids a chance to get their education started early. And he’s proposing to expand community schools that provide critical services like health care and counseling to students who often can’t access the support they need to thrive.
You’ve probably heard the corporate spin, but here’s the truth about Mayor Kenney’s soda tax proposal: It would tax corporate profits — not consumers — and generate $400 million to fund programs to give Philadelphia’s children safe communities and a quality public education. Read more »