The Philadelphia School District’s Charter School website is helpful, but the Directory of Philadelphia Charter Schools (PDF) published by the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition is much better. It contains a lot of great school data, including the mission of each school, demographic/test score data, contact information, and more. It also has special sections on cyber charter schools, a charter school FAQ, a checklist of things to look for when visiting a school, a charter school map, and more.
I started this blog just before the new contract was signed with the Philadelphia teacher’s union. At the time, I was supportive of the contract and the innovative/proactive changes to the traditional structure of the contract. It also seemed like public and media reaction was generally positive.
Now that the new contract is off of the front pages, however, there is a vocal group of teachers who seem to be quite unhappy with the new contract. Reading several Philly teacher blogs and news articles out there, it is clear that teachers are experiencing a wide range of emotions–fear in some cases, distress or jitteryness. Yesterday, this blog received an anonymous submission Continue reading
Independence Charter was the only school which explicitly told us, “Do not hover. Do not contact us. It makes no difference.” Their incoming class is filled by random lottery on the first Friday of December. The only exception is siblings of current students, who get first preference. Sibling preference actually fills up quite a lot of the kindergarten class – this year there were about 26 openings for the lottery out of a total 44 spots. So, about half of the incoming class is siblings. There were about 200 applications, giving us about a 10% chance of getting our son into Kindergarten (or about what my chances were of getting into any particular medical school back in 2003). The business manager assured us on the phone that the lottery was random, “We actually, literally, pull the names out of a hat. Well, nowadays it’s a big box because there are so many kids applying. You’re welcome to come view the process.”
And that’s exactly what we did this past December. We dragged Continue reading
Lower Merion has long been the no-brainer school choice. Living in the city is a priority for me, but when schools are a factor, it is hard for Philadelphia School District’s beleaguered system to compete with what some consider to be one of the best public school districts in the country. Until now, perhaps?
Unless you have been living under a rock over the last few days, you have most likely heard about the lawsuit filed by several students of Harriton High School alleging that school administrators spied on them at home using Continue reading
This blog got very popular very quickly. I have no illusions that it is about anything that I am doing. I am certain that it is all about the shared anxiety we have as parents of soon-to-be-school aged kids. I have only gotten one community submission on the emotional aspect of this process, but, as a result of finding this blog, many strangers and friends are reaching out to me to share their fears and anxieties without formally submitting stories.
The conversations often go something like this. “We love our Philadelphia neighborhood, but we hate our local public school. We believe in public school, just not the public school option available to us here. We can’t afford private schools [or we don't think that they are the best option]. We can’t count on getting into Continue reading