Casey Grills Trump’s Education Pick on Sexual Assault Allegation Procedures

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L: Sen. Bob Casey | R: Betsy DeVos (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)

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 »

ThinkFest Recap: 3 Takeaways From Jeff Yass on School Vouchers

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 »

Q&A: Anne Holton, Clinton Ally, on Education

Anne Holton in Ardmore on Saturday

Photo | Star Shooter/MediaPunch/IPX

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 »

In Defense of Trigger Warnings

Left: Kutztown University Director of Women's and Gender Studies Colleen Lutz Clemens. Right: The trigger warning that appears on her new syllabus. (Highlighting added.)

Left: Kutztown University director of Women’s and Gender Studies Colleen Lutz Clemens. Right: The trigger warning that appears on her new syllabus. (Highlighting added.)

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: We’ve Filled 99 Percent of Teacher Vacancies

Photo | It's Our City via Flickr / Creative Commons | Teacher Vacancies

Photo | It’s Our City via Flickr / Creative Commons

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.

Read more »

Philly Organization Hopes to Recruit 1,000 Black Male Teachers by 2020

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Members of The Fellowship pose with Pennsylvania secretary of education Pedro Rivera and State Senator Anthony Williams during a town hall they hosted with U.S. secretary of education John King in January.

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 »

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