NBC News reports that federal officials have filed suit against the Philadelphia School District over its rules that limits employee beards to a quarter-inch in length.
Today, Stephen Starr and STARR Restaurants launched a “Support Our Schools” fundraising and awareness effort with The School District of Philadelphia. The month-long initiative will request that patrons to all of Starr’s Philadelphia restaurants to add a donation to the schools, right onto their checks.
Starr says “the School District’s needs are at historical proportions, we simply can’t turn our backs on it and wait for others to try to fix it; we all have to do our part.”
Nice news this morning:
— STARR Restaurants (@StarrRestaurant) March 4, 2014
— Kristen Graham (@newskag) March 4, 2014
In a city that has smart parents fleeing in droves to the better, safer schools of the suburbs, this hashtag used by the School District of Philadelphia is probably ill-advised. Ah, homophony.
Also closed are all early childhood and after school programs. Administrative offices will open two hours late #phled
— Philadelphia Schools (@PhillyEducation) March 3, 2014
Christopher Theodore has been teaching yoga in Philadelphia public schools for the past 14 years. Surprised? There’s more: Christopher—or Mr. Coach Theo, as his younger students call him—has a whole curriculum he’s built for his P.E. classes that carves out time for yoga, plus optional after-school classes for kids who want to deepen their practice. Cool, right?
I chatted with Christopher last week to hear more about what he’s doing, how he’s doing it, and why he thinks yoga is important for kids in Philadelphia.
NBC 10 reports on accusations that a school worker yanked a child’s teeth out. No, the teeth weren’t ready.
Harmani, 7, attends a class for children with behavioral issues at the Solis Cohen Elementary School in Northeast Philadelphia. Tomeka Speller says her daughter was chewing on her sweater and refused to stop when a specially trained school therapeutic worker told her to. Speller says the worker then forcefully pulled out the sweater, yanking out the girl’s three front teeth.
“She used excessive force,” Speller said. “She just said, ‘I’m not having this today’ and she yanked it out. Just because you’re having a bad day does not mean you’re going to mistreat my child!”
School officials are filing a complaint with police and the Department of Human Services.
Philly Mag’s cover article offering proposals to fix the city’s school crisis will be the center of a live panel discussion at today on 6ABC.com.
Sarah Bloomquist, 6ABC anchor, will moderate the discussion, which will feature Patrick Kerkstra, author of the Philly Mag article. Other members of the panel will include Farah Jimenez, a new member of the School Reform Commission; Jerry Jordan of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; Scott Gordon, CEO of Mastery Charter Schools; Gerald Wright of Parents United, as well as several other elected officials and activists.
The Philadelphia School Notebook reports that incoming SRC Chair Bill Green is ready to make waves:
Green also said that he was fully prepared to use the SRC’s special powers to impose a contract on the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers if a negotiated agreement cannot be reached, a bold step that prior SRCs have avoided. Whether such a move would survive a court challenge is unclear.
With the District asking teachers all at once for deep pay cuts, an overhaul of the compensation system, performance-based raises, dilution of seniority privileges, and changes in cherished work rules, the two sides have met without resolution since last spring.
“I hope we can have a negotiated settlement,” said the councilman when he was awaiting state Senate confirmation. “But whatever has to be done to have 100 percent good schools, if I have the power to do it, I’ll do it.”
Green was confirmed this week. No word yet on how teachers would respond if terms were imposed. As it happens, though, such a move is recommended by Philly Mag’s Patrick Kerkstra in his cover story on Philly schools.