2 More Philadelphia School Principals Charged with Changing Test Answers

Two former Philadelphia school principals have been charged with changing students’ answers on standardized tests in order to boost scores. District Attorney Kathleen Kane announced the arrests of Barbara McCreery, 61, of Philadelphia, and Arthur “Larry” Melton, 70, of Cherry Hill Thursday afternoon.

McCreery, the former principal at Communications Technology High School, is accused of changing answers on Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in 2010. Melton, the former principal at Edward W. Bok Technical High School, is charged with changing answers of a group that was “on the cusp.”

Read more »

Rich People Are Stupider Than You and Me

shutterstock_burn-money-940x540

Rich people, F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, are different from you and me, and there was a doozy of an article in the New York Times last Thursday that proved it. The story was about rich people who send their kids away to ritzy boarding schools and then buy or rent houses near those boarding schools so they can stay close to their kids.

Let me repeat: These rich people send their kids away to boarding schools and then buy or rent houses near those schools so they can stay close to their kids. This shows precisely how rich people are different from you and me: They’re batshit insane.

Read more »

Parents Sue Over Philadelphia School Conditions

harrisburg-capital-940

Seven Philadelphia parents and the Parents United for Public Education group are suing over the conditions of Philadelphia’s public schools. The petitioners are represented by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.

In the suit, to be filed against acting Pennsylvania education secretary Carolyn Dumaresq, the parents say the state has failed in its constitutional mandate to “receive and investigate allegations of curriculum deficiencies.” Parents United says it delivered 825 complaints about school conditions to Dumaresq that were not followed up on.

Per the lawsuit, the allegations included “overcrowded classrooms, the lack of classes such as art, music, foreign language and physical education, cancelled programs for the mentally gifted, the absence of facilities such as libraries or school materials such as textbooks that resulted in loss of instruction for students, shortages of staff … and unsafe or unsanitary conditions that interfered with students’ ability to respond to the curriculum.”

Read more »

Judge: Girard College Can’t Close Its High School

A judge ruled Monday that Girard College can’t close its high school and must remain a boarding school. The surprise ruling is a blow to the leaders of the school, who wished to eliminate boarding and the high school in order to improve Girard College’s finances.

The Inquirer reports the ruling “shocked and dismayed the Board of Directors of City Trusts,” which oversees Girard. When the board requested the ability to end student boarding and shutter the high school, it said Girard would be forced to close within 25 years if the request were denied.

Read more »

District Makes Ominous Announcement About School Year

Screenshot via 6 ABC's live press conference feed

Screenshot via 6 ABC’s press conference feed

Protesters chanting “No education, no life!” ended a depressing press conference from Philadelphia School District superintentendent William Hite today. He didn’t announce layoffs, but said “we’re not out of the woods yet” on the school year. If Philly’s new cigarette tax is not approved by state lawmakers, Hite says the school district will have to make big cuts.

Hite said the district is no longer asking the teachers’ union to accept wage cuts, but is asking for changes to benefits. Without those reductions and/or additional money from the state in some way, the district will be forced to lay off employees in October. The school district still has an $81 million gap to reach the funding levels of last school year.

For now, 34 vacant school police officer positions will remain unfilled; 27 elementary schools will have to share police officers.

Read more »

Pennsylvania Creates Commission to Study New School Funding Formula

One thing Governor Tom Corbett and Philadelphians can agree on: The funding system for public schools in this state is broken. What we don’t know if they’ll agree on: Whatever recommendations the new Basic Education Funding Commission makes.

Corbett signed the bill, sponsored by Republican Bucks County Rep. Bernie O’Neill, which attempts to overhaul how school districts are funded. “Our current system is very antiquated and fails to recognize the differing needs of school districts with increasing or decreasing enrollment levels,” O’Neill said in a press release.

Read more »

Principal, 4 Teachers Charged in Cheating Scandal at Philadelphia School

As expected, charges were announced today in an investigation into cheating at Philadelphia schools. The principal of Cayuga Elementary School and four teachers there have been charged in the cheating scandal, the Inquirer’s Kristen Graham reports. The school is in Hunting Park.

Action News says the attorney general’s office alleges the teachers gave test answers to students, changed answers and “improperly reviewed PSSA questions prior to tests.”

The Inquirer first reported on cheating at Cayuga in 2012. The paper said principal Evelyn Cortez, who was charged today, told teachers to “go through and make sure no questions are left blank” on state achievement tests.

Read more »

« Older Posts