Pennsylvania

The Color of School Closures

Posted on: Tuesday April 23rd, 2013

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: 
Report

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.

Philly Schools Open Despite Major Budget Shortfall

Posted on: Thursday August 21st, 2014

State lawmakers in Pennsylvania failed to pass a cigarette tax that would have provided much needed funds for Philly's schools. Instead, the school year will begin with $32 million in budget cuts, leaving schools without janitors and 7,500 students without transportation to school.


Photo from organizers' multi-day sit-in at the state
capitol in late June. Via
Fight for Philly.

Philly Students Deserve Better Than "Legislative Pingpong"

Posted on: Friday July 11th, 2014

Advocates and organizers in Philadelphia came close to scoring a victory for the city's public schools – only to have legislative tinkering get in the way.


Photo from organizers' multi-day sit-in at the state
capitol in late June. Via
Fight for Philly.

Advocates and organizers in Philadelphia came close to scoring a victory for the city's public schools – only to have legislative tinkering get in the way.

Revival from the Roots: A Tour of Philly's Neighborhood Schools

Posted on: Monday June 23rd, 2014

Media Mobilizaing Project's four-part video series highlights the dedicated educators, parents and community members who are working to improve Philadelphia's schools and continue the fight for better resources for all students.

Philadelphia's public schools are reeling from years of underfunding, devastating budget cuts and the mass closure of 23 schools last year.

Hundreds Protest in Philly Against Govs. Corbett and Christie

Posted on: Tuesday June 10th, 2014

Hundreds of parents, students and teachers protested in Philadelphia yesterday outside a joint fundraising event for PA Gov. Tom Corbett and NJ Gov. Chris Christie. The protesters are fighting against the education policies of the two governors, which have starved public schools of funding and left students without access to resources like full-time school nurses.

Philly Rally for Full Funding, Local Control and a Nurse in Every School

Posted on: Monday June 9th, 2014

Students, parents and teachers in Philadelphia will protest Pennsylania Gov. Tom Corbett and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at their joint event at the Union League, 140 South Broad Street, on Monday, June 9th. Join us and take a stand for full funding and community control for public schools!

Govs. Corbett and Christie Are Coming to Philadelphia.
Join Us for a Rally to Demand Full Funding, Local Control!

At the Union League at 4pm on Monday, June 9th

An Inspiring Year of Student Organizing in Philadelphia

Posted on: Friday May 30th, 2014

The Philadelphia Student Union, an OTL Campaign ally, has had an eventful school year organizing for educational justice in Philly and nationwide. Check out this recap of their great work this past year!

The following post originally appeared on the Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) website and is reposted here with permission. PSU is an OTL Campaign ally.

Philly Student Dies With No Nurse on Duty. Organizers Call for Officials to Resign

Posted on: Friday May 23rd, 2014

For the second time this school year, a Philadelphia student died after falling ill at school. Due to budget cuts, neither school had a nurse on duty. Organizers in Philadelphia are calling for the resignation of city officials unless they can provide the full school funding necessary to put a nurse in every school.


Jackson Elementary parents give statement to
the press. Photo via Philly.com

Revival From the Roots: A Tour of Philly's Neighborhood Schools

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-04-17

The first video in a three-part series, "Revival From the Roots: A Tour of Philly's Neighborhood Schools" follows Jerry Jordan, President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and Hellen Gym, parent and education advocate, as they hear firsthand from students, parents and teachers fighting to turn around public education from the bottom up.

The first video in a three-part series, "Revival From the Roots: A Tour of Philly's Neighborhood Schools" follows Jerry Jordan, President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and Hellen Gym, parent and education advocate, as they hear firsthand from students, parents and teachers fighting to turn around public education from the bottom up. 

See video