Pennsylvania

The Color of School Closures

Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today's dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students.

Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today's dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students. 

What can you do to end these discriminatory and unacceptable school closures?

Lost Opportunity 50 State Report

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2009-09-23
Type: 
reports

In Lost Opportunity: A 50 State Report on the Opportunity to Learn in America, the Schott Foundation for Public Education establishes a metric for determining the opportunity to learn for students. Providing a state-by-state comparison of both academic proficiency (percentage of students scoring at or above proficient on the eighth grade NAEP reading exam) and equity (as measured by the Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn Index, or OTLI), Lost Opportunity identifies the four baseline minimum resources that are necessary for a child – regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status – to have a fair and substantive Opportunity to Learn.

In the United States, every student should have the equal right to a high-quality education.  But as our most recent data demonstrates, for far too many students, quality and equity are aspirations, not realities.  Few states are providing public school educations that result in academic proficiency for students.  And even fewer states are providing access to a high-quality education to all students, particularly those from historically disadvantaged groups.

Is school funding fair? For too many students, the answer is still no.

Since 2010, the Education Law Center has published national report cards on how states are (or aren't) investing in their schools and students. "Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card" released Wednesday, paints a worrying picture. In most states, ELC has found that public funding for schools is both unfair and inequitable: that is, not only are schools not receiving the funds they need, the schools that need funding the most are the ones with the most dramatic shortfalls.

What Does it Take to Create a Successful Community School?

Community Schools have been getting a lot of attention as more and more districts try and implement them in an effort to mitigate affects of poverty on students' opportunities to learn. In Philadelphia, the Mayor-elect Jim Kenney has called for an increase of 25 community schools. A new brief by Research for Action takes an in-depth look at how these types of schools really work in practice, and what methods of implementation have been most effective so far. This research helps to combat some skeptics, who argue that these types of full-service schools are expensive and difficult to implement, in part because they must be so individualized to each community. By pointing out exactly what has been working in community schools, the research brief provides districts and schools with specific ways community schools can work to help improve student success.

Community Schools have been getting a lot of attention as more and more districts try and implement them in an effort to mitigate affects of poverty on students' opportunities to learn. In Philadelphia, the Mayor-elect Jim Kenney has called for an increase of 25 community schools.

State: 

For equity in education: join us on #GivingTuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Grassroots organizations are working hard for — and winning — serious victories for public school children in communities across the country. But they can't continue without gifts from people like you.

#GivingTuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.

Grassroots organizations are working hard for — and winning — serious victories for public school children in communities across the country. But they can't continue without gifts from people like you.

Pennsylvania Schools Still Lack Fair Funding

Despite fair funding recommendations, parents speaking out, and even state-wide bus tours, Pennsylvania is still without a budget that guarantees fair funding for education—in fact, the entire state budget remains unresolved. Now districts, teachers, and students are beginning to feel the effects. In the Chester Upland School District, teachers have decided to work without pay to keep schools open, and recently received even more bad news. Because of their long-term lack of funding and continually worsening financial situation, they have now been placed under review for a possible debt rating downgrade.

PA educators and activists rally
A rally in June at the PA Capitol 
State: 

New Video Project: Untold Stories from Philadelphia's Public Schools

Media Mobilizing Project has created an amazing new project to share the personal stories of parents, students and educators in Philadelphia's public schools. Their website, "Voices from our Public Schools" collects these stories to create a larger narrative around why people love their public schools and how they feel Pennsylvania's budget cuts to education have hurt them.

Media Mobilizing Project has created an amazing new project to share the personal stories of parents, students and educators in Philadelphia's public schools.

PA Funding Commission Issues Funding Formula Recommendations

A new report from the Basic Education Funding Commission gives recommendations for developing a fair school funding formula in Pennsylvania, clarifying what factors must be considered in calculating students' diverse needs and highlighting the overall importance of a funding system that ensures schools can meet those needs.

PA Basic Education Funding Commission ReportOne of the major issues facing Pennsylvania's policymakers in the ongoing budget debate is how to fairly and fully fund all of the state's schools. Currently, Pennsylvania has one of the largest funding gaps between districts in the country.

PA Activists Demand Fair Funding in Statewide Bus Tour

As Pennsylvania's state budget deadline looms, organizers like the PA Alliance to Reclaim our Schools (PA AROS) and a coalition of faith and community leaders are ramping up pressure for a budget that fairly funds Pennsylvania schools. PA AROS organized a statewide bus tour this past month, which stopped at 13 cities to meet with parents, students, teachers, state senators and other local leaders. The tour finished on June 29 with a rally at the capitol.

PA AROS at the state capitolAs Pennsylvania's state budget deadline looms, organizers like the Pennsylvania Alliance to Reclaim our Schools (PA AROS) and a coalition of faith and community leaders are ramping up pressure for a budget that fairly funds Pennsylvania schools.

Students Speak Out Against High-Stakes Testing in #MoreThanATest Photo Campaign

As policymakers apply ever higher stakes to standardized tests, parents, educators, and students have been speaking out against the damage this causes to their education. In Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Student Union started a photo campaign with the hashtag #MoreThanATest to show just how and why these tests fail to measure their full potential.

MoreThanATest CampaignAs policymakers apply ever higher stakes to standardized tests, parents, educators, and students have been speaking out against the damage this causes to their education. In Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Student Union started a photo campaign with the hashtag #MoreThanATest to show just how and why these tests fail to measure their full potential.

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